Pearland - Friendswood Edition | June 2020

CORONAVIRUS

Health Care Edition 2020

Nursing homes grapplewith protecting vulnerable residents fromCOVID - 19 Seniors and older adults with underlying medical conditions basically on internal lockdown.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services BY MORGAN SLUTZKY COST OF TESTING

remain one of the highest-risk popu- lations for COVID-19, making nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities places for the coronavirus to spread more easily. Since the end of April, 98 cases have been a ffi liated with Brazo- ria County nursing homes, said Cathy Sbrusch, the county health department director. Because some of these cases are nursing home employees who are residents in other jurisdictions, not all of the 98 cases have been included in the county case count. Windsong Care Center, a nursing home in Pearland, reported its fi rst case April 30 when an employee tested positive, owner and adminis- trator Vicki Morel said. “We tested every employee who worked with her and her hall of resi- dents and got six positive cases from that,” Morel said. “Our residents are

recommend nursing homes have no visitors, communal dining or group activities. CDC and Brazoria County recommendations state facilities should retest all negative residents and sta ff once a week until 14 days pass with no new positive cases. “The fi rst round of testing the state did, but that’s only a one-time thing,” Morel said. “One-time testing isn’t helpful if this has been going on for months and will continue for months.” Tuscany Village Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation is also located in Pearland. Administrator Cecil Barcelo Jr. said the facility decided to test residents before the state mandated it. “The initial testing produced two positive patients, but our medical director was suspicious of those tests because there weren’t any signs

The Agency for the Health Care Administration looked at what it would cost to test every nursing home resident and sta ff member in Texas after Gov. Greg Abbott ordered this action in May. The data assumes tests cost $150 each.

1,219 nursing facilities

93,561 nursing home residents

99,780 nursing home sta ff

193,341 Total number of tests:

$29 million Cost of testing:

SOURCE: THE AGENCY FOR THE HEALTH CARE ADMINISTRATION / COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

or symptoms, so we retested and received negative results,” Barcelo Jr. said. Morel said people should stay

aware COVID-19 is still a pressing issue. “A lot of people’s perception is that this isn’t real, but it is,” she said.

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PEARLAND - FRIENDSWOOD EDITION • JUNE 2020

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