HOUSTON – Galveston County health officials announced that there are 83 residents and employees of a Texas City senior living facility who have tested positive for coronavirus Friday, which is up from 13 reported Thursday at the same facility.
Health officials tested 146 residents and employees for COVID-19 at The Resort at Texas City after 13 residents and employees previously tested positive for the virus. Some results are still pending, officials say.
“Galveston County Local Health Authority Dr. Phillip Keiser is in the process of issuing a Public Health Order enforcing restrictions on Galveston County long-term care facilities in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic,” officials wrote.
Most of the tests were conducted Thursday, said Keiser in a press conference. The results have come back in batches and they are waiting on some more test results to come through.
In order to help contain the spread, officials issued an order imposing restrictions on long-term care facilities and employees within the area.
“If a longterm care facility has a COVID positive resident, workers at that facility will be prohibited from working at other long-term care facilities,” Keisier said in a press conference Friday.
Keiser said that the virus may have come from employees who may have contracted it elsewhere.
“When we visited there we found that the staff was on top of things following all of the CDC guidelines. We believe that there were some employees who accidentally contracted COVID and then had gone to work,” Keiser said. “There are a lot more asymptomatic cases out there than anyone could have dreamed of. So, it shouldn’t be surprising that this could happen in a place, and I just view it as bad luck on their part. But, I think it’s important that given what we know today and given what we know now about the population in long-term care facilities and their vulnerability, that we double down and protect them as best we can.”
Read the full order below:
One man whose mother stays at the Resort at Texas City said he was alarmed at the number of cases and said he was only notified that his mother tested positive just after his visit with her.
Samuel Quinn had been wanting to visit his mother 87-year-old Peggy Smith at The Resort in Texas City for weeks. She has dementia and had not been doing well.
However, employees did not allow him to visit until Quinn said he was told that she did not have much time left. Friday, he came to the site and tried to share memories with her even though he said she was nonresponsive and had trouble breathing.
"She was my biggest fan. She came to all my boxing matches," Quinn said.
He had a hunch that something there was really wrong, and his suspicions were confirmed when Galveston County Health District officials announced the cluster of cases Friday.
"I asked (employees), ‘Does my mom have coronavirus?’ And they told me, ‘No.’ Right at the door,” Quinn said.
He visited and asked a worker to get her temperature checked twice.
“(My mom) wasn’t running a fever, so I let my guard down a little bit. Another nurse came in an hour later, and I asked her to take her temperature, and it didn’t show anything,” Quinn said.
So, he stayed a while.
"I was really close to her trying to get her to respond. Trying to tell her how much I love her," Quinn said.
It was only until later that he found out he, himself, now has been exposed to the virus.
“I was already walking to my truck and (employees) came out there and stopped me and let me know that my mom tested positive for the coronavirus,” Quinn said.
He was shocked. He said he is now worried for his own health and he was disappointed that his mother contracted the virus at the facility.
"I went from being really sad to being angry," Quinn said.
Quinn said he wished that he knew so that he would have taken even more precautions and would not have been so close. He said he is now watching his own health.
Quinn said he is worried about his mother, whom he loves very much. However, he said she will likely pass away from the virus.
“She will be greatly missed,” Quinn said.