Rockland COVID-19 cluster surfaces inside Spring Valley assisted living facility
A new cluster of COVID-19 cases in Rockland has hit the most vulnerable, surfacing inside the Pine Valley Center for Rehabilitation in Spring Valley.
Corinne Tavolacci says her 87-year-old father-in-law contracted COVID-19 at the assisted living facility.
The center is now posting a warning on its website, citing a positive case.
While the facility administrator tells News 12 it has "a few cases," News 12 has learned there are at least 13 cases - 10 residents and three staff.
Yehudah Serle, an administrator with the facility, told News 12 that they have a few residents in the assisted living program that have tested positive and all are being treated aggressively. He said they are all doing well, and they are contained in an isolated COVID-19 unit. He said they are continuing to monitor all other residents and staff every shift for any symptoms.
It's not just the number of cases that has families upset, it's the way the virus got inside the building.
One family tells News 12 while the facility prohibited them from visiting or their loved one from leaving, administration allowed residents to leave for Rosh Hashana - they then returned with the virus.
Two other families confirmed the same with News 12, including a resident who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation.
An administrator tells News 12 they urge residents not to go out, but they "have the choice to leave."
Rockland now has the highest percentage of positives in the state. The majority of cases are in Monsey, Spring Valley and Suffern. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is planning to meet with Orthodox community leaders Tuesday about the spikes.
"We have to reverse the trend very, very rapidly here because we don't want to have people getting sick," says Rockland County Executive Ed Day.
News 12 has reached out to the state Department of Health about the cluster inside Pine Valley and is waiting to hear back.