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Attorney denies that assisted living center interfered with coronavirus testing

The source also says there have been concerns about a lack of personal protective equipment for employees.

WORTHINGTON, OH (WBNS) - 10 Investigates is learning more about a raid conducted by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office on a Worthington assisted living center.

A source connected to the Bickford Assisted Living and Memory Care facility tells 10 Investigates that several patients in the memory care unit have recently died and that they were not tested for coronavirus despite the availability of testing. The source blamed the problem on administrators there.

The source also says there have been concerns about a lack of personal protective equipment for employees.

An attorney representing the facility is denying those allegations.

In an interview with 10 Investigates Thursday, Attorney Brad Koffel said, “Bickford never got in the way or interfered with coronavirus testing nor have they tried to intentionally, recklessly or negligently conceal any coronavirus. The reason they have low numbers is because they have not stuck their head in the sand .”

Attorney Brad Koffel also denied the allegation that personal protective equipment was unavailable for employees – saying it would be “illogical that they would not make that stuff available.” Koffel went on to state that the facility had plenty of personal protective equipment available.

The source told 10 Investigates that staffers have been told conserve PPE until it is no longer usable.

A spokesman for the Ohio Attorney General told 10 Investigates it had no updates to provide Thursday.

On Tuesday, agents with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office served a search warrant on Bickford of Worthington Assisted Living and Memory Care.

Agents spent several hours there removing materials and interviewing people. A 10 Investigates reporter also snapped a photo of an agent carrying out a computer tower.

A spokeswoman for the Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has said the investigation was based on a complaint about COVID-19.

When 10 Investigates asked for a copy of the complaint from the Ohio Department of Health, a spokeswoman denied it saying the complaints are confidential and not subject to the state’s open records laws. 10 Investigates also forwarded questions about Bickford of Worthington on to the Columbus Public Health Department.

A spokeswoman there said her office received a complaint on April 23 which it forwarded to the Ohio Department of Health.

When asked about coronavirus cases at the facility, a spokeswoman for Columbus Public Health said that it was notified of one confirmed case from Bickford on April 14, two confirmed cases on April 16, one confirmed case on April 20 and one probable case on May 3.

The facility has said it has reported its coronavirus cases.

There have been discrepancies over how many cases the facility has.

The Ohio Department of Health website showed as many as nine cases on April 22. The facility’s website on Thursday showed two active and three total cases. The ODH website on Thursday showed there were four cumulative cases and three current cases.

If you have information or tips you can contact 10 Investigates at 10investigates@10tv.com or by emailing Chief Investigative Reporter Bennett Haeberle at bennett.haeberle@10tv.com