A Bronx Nursing Home has dramatically increased the death toll of its residents from the Corona virus – after allegations that The Post had significantly reduced the number to the state.
Staff at the Hebrew House in Riverdale are crying badly, because according to state records Sunday, the facility is said to have had 20 confirmed or infected deaths.
But workers told The Post on May 9 that 119 residents – many with suspected COVID-19 symptoms – had died in the facility in the past two months.
The Post’s claims prompted the state health department to open an investigation into the nursing home, make sure residents were tested for the virus – and review the records of every patient who died there since the epidemic began.
Hebrew Home CEO Daniel Reingold sent a letter to staff and other facilities run by the site’s parent company, RiverSpring Health Community, on Monday – and significantly increased the center’s tragic coronavirus death toll.
He said 63 COVID-related deaths – 35 confirmed and 28 positive – were reclassified at the Hebrew House from March 1 to May 8.
There is no explanation as to why there are only 20 Kovit-linked deaths in the state.
Hebrew Home spokeswoman Wendy Steinberg later told The Post, “Since you refer to the New York State website, we cannot specifically address the conflict. The Hebrew House in Riverdale has repeated its numbers [confirmed] COVID positive deaths from March 1 to May 8 were 35. “
Reinkold said in his letter that last week’s tests showed that 109 residents and 64 employees were positive for COVID-19 in the 751-bed facility. Most of them show no signs.
In the meantime, he defended the earlier, lower COVID death toll.
“As more information about the symptoms is collected, [state] The DOH and CDC guidelines have evolved. In view of this, we worked closely with the health department to go through records from every resident who died within that time, making sure we were reporting the most accurate figures, Reinkold said in the letter.
“Accordingly, we are reassessing that 28 of these residents” may be due to COVID-19. “
Locals have accused Nursing Home of covering its COVID-related deaths.
But Ringold stressed in the letter that the Hebrew home was “fully transparent and consistent in its reporting,” adding, “We comply with all federal and state rules, guidelines and guidelines.”
Hebrew Home has had enough personal protective equipment since the “early days of the epidemic,” closed all the premises to all visitors and created three dedicated COVID rescue sites to isolate infected patients and control the killer virus.
He also said that when administrators and medical managers are on site every shift, the temperature of nursing home staff and residents is taken daily.
“We do this because we are dedicated to our mission of providing the highest quality care to residents, especially in the midst of these unprecedented infections,” the CEO said. “We are grateful that the New York State Department of Health came in last week as part of Nursing Home’s statewide Cowitt Infection Control Survey.
“It is a joint effort to rigorously review our processes and enrich our best practices for managing the virus. It is very positive and constructive. Like us, the Department of Health is doing its best in this unnamed water.”
Critics, including some nursing-home operators, said the state’s Andrew Cuomo and the state Department of Health had contributed to the explosion of Kovit in nursing homes, and issued a controversial order on March 25.
Faced with a storm of criticism, the governor called for an independent inquiry, partially repealing the policy last week, preventing hospitals from sending patients back to hospitals unless they tested negative for COVID.
Chromo now requires nursing-home operators to test staff for coronavirus twice a week.
The deaths of more than 5,300 nursing home residents have been linked to COVID.
Regarding the Hebrew Home Inspection, Health Department spokesman Gary Holmes said, “As you know, we made an unannounced visit to the facility on May 10 for a special focus Kovit-19 study. We plan these visits to ensure that strong infection control procedures are in place and that the facilities are in compliance with the CDC support guidance provided by the State of New York. A thorough review of the records is also part of that process. We have not finished our investigation yet. “