Understanding COVID-19

May 20, 2021

A year into the pandemic, there’s still much to learn about COVID-19. Thanks to research conducted at Broadway House for Continuing Care and nine other long-term care facilities in New Jersey, scientists are a step closer to understanding this novel virus.

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A recent study conducted by the New Jersey Department of Health and the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School sought to measure the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 antibody in residents and staff at the 10 facilities, which were located throughout the state. Specifically, the study investigated the occurrence of illness due to SARS-CoV-2 in HIV-infected adults and compared the presence of antibodies in HIV-infected and non-infected residents. Researchers also tried to identify factors that may influence the development of antibodies to the virus.

James Gonzalez, MPH, FACHE, LNHA, Broadway House President and CEO, was a member of the research team and a co-author of the study. “I’m proud of Broadway House and our residents for participating in the quest to discover more about COVID-19,” said Mr. Gonzalez, noting that Broadway House has recorded no COVID-19 cases among residents since the pandemic began. “Our residents were excited to do their part in helping scientists to understand more about this devastating illness.”

Stephen Friedman, MD, MPH, of the Rutgers New Jersey School of Medicine Preventive Medicine Residency Program, another co-author of the study, noted that with just 53 people participating, the sample size was too small to provide definitive results. But he noted that the percentage of residents who tested positive for antibodies was slightly lower in HIV-positive residents than in negative residents.

Reza Peymani, MD

Study results were presented this month at the American College of Preventive Medicine. In addition to Mr. Gonzalez and Dr. Friedman, study authors are: Reza Peymani, MD, and Paulene Thomas, MD, of the Rutgers New Jersey School of Medicine Preventive Medicine Residency Program; Manisha Gurumurthy, MD, and Amy Davidow, PhD, of the Rutgers School of Public Health; and Edward Lifshitz, MD, of the New Jersey State Department of Health Communicable Diseases Program.