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MRSA Case At Rochelle Park Living Facility Raises Health Concerns

Alaris Health in Rochelle Park.
Alaris Health in Rochelle Park. Photo Credit: Cecilia Levine

ROCHELLE PARK, N.J. — A 62-year-old resident at a Rochelle Park rehabilitation center tested positive for MRSA last week, said his sister, who is concerned about conditions there.

William Sokol, formerly of Garfield, has been at Alaris Health for two years and came down with pneumonia last Thanksgiving, Kim Carroll said.

Caroll, of Saddle Brook, told Daily Voice she suspects that the MRSA stems from poor conditions of her brother's room.

"It was a pigsty," she said.

She's also concerned that precautions aren't being taken to protect other residents there.

"Alaris has no signs posted, not even outside the door to his room," Carroll said.

"The door to his room is open. If he sneezes or blows his nose then the disease is airborne. What does that mean for the general public?"

"They took his roommate out Monday," she said, "and said they are not going to sanitize until [Sokol] completes the 10-day round of antibiotics."

On Friday, Sokol called Daily Voice and said that he feels well taken care of at Alaris.

"The room was thoroughly cleaned about a month ago and I was witness to that," he said.

"The report that it was filthy was not true."

"They are taking every precaution necessary," he added. "I’m staying in the room for all my meals, told not to go downstairs or mingle."

"I have a strict protocol to stick to and I’m doing my part. I think they are too."

Former medical director Roy Santos — who left the facility last week for unannounced reasons — told her in November that she'd be banned from Alaris if she complained, Carroll said.

Alaris Health Administrator Kevin Woodard declined comment to Daily Voice.

Sokol has suffered respiratory problems ever since November's bout with pneumonia that "never really cleared up," Carroll said.

Conditions were horrific, she said.

"Corners, counter tops and radiators were dirty, and [Sokol] had food stashed in his drawers and the basket of his walker," Carroll said. "Nothing was touched and I had to keep my mouth shut.

"I understand my brother can get an infection, but to this extent? There are no precautions on medication or cleanliness."

Daily Voice Managing Editor Cecilia Levine can be reached at clevine@dailyvoice.com.

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