Thousands of Texas nursing home residents have tested positive for coronavirus

Texas nursing home
Karen Jones' 61-year-old brother, who lives in a long-term care facility in southeast Dallas, has tested positive for COVID-19. – Photo courtesy of Karen Jones

 

By CLARE PROCTOR

The Texas Tribune

 

More than 3,000 Texas nursing home residents have tested positive for the new coronavirus, as well as nearly 400 assisted living facility residents, according to data released Friday by the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Among the reported 311 nursing homes with confirmed cases, 3,011 residents have tested positive, 490 have died and 494 residents have recovered. At 112 assisted living facilities in Texas with at least one confirmed coronavirus case, 382 residents have tested positive for the virus, and 95 have died.

Statewide, 1,272 people have died, but it was unclear late Friday if all of the long-term care facility patients’ deaths were included in that larger figure.

Dallas resident Karen Jones, whose 61-year-old brother who has diabetes and dementia is at a long-term care facility in southeast Dallas, said she had been trying to get her brother moved to another nursing home but keeps hitting roadblocks. Then she found out he had tested positive for the new coronavirus. She went on to find out that as many as 75 other residents of the Brentwood Nursing Center complex had contracted the virus as well. Seven of the residents have died, prompting a state investigation.

“Someone from the nursing home called me the first week in April, like April 2, it was a Thursday, to inform me that someone in the facility had tested positive for COVID-19. But that person has been put in the hospital. I wasn’t panicked. I was nervous. I was afraid. But I was like, ‘Oh my God, my brother better not come down with COVID-19.’”

She said they told her to stay calm and reassured her that he would not contract the virus.

“But he did,” she said, trying not to cry. “But I thank God he is asymptomatic. “… he’s not showing any symptoms, but the fact that he has it, I just – there are no words to describe how angry I am, after I’ve been trying to get him out of Brentwood Place One since he came there in November.”

The state had previously released only the number of nursing homes with confirmed cases and fatalities, not the number of people who have tested positive.

The state is still not releasing the names of nursing homes with COVID-19 cases. Many families remain in the dark about whether their loved ones in nursing homes are at risk of exposure.

Throughout Texas and across the nation, long-term care centers continue to arise as coronavirus hot spots.

Reported nursing home outbreaks have emerged in Texas City, Lubbock and San Antonio, among other locations, though the data reveals multiple nursing homes with confirmed cases in each public health region, and each region has at least one assisted living facility with a confirmed case.

This article was first published at https://www.texastribune.org/2020/05/02/coronavirus-texas-nursing-home-brentwood/ by The Texas Tribune where you can here the complete audio interview of Karen Jones.

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