PEARLAND, Texas – A senior living facility in Brazoria County has seen its number of confirmed cases of staff and residents infected with the coronavirus spike in recent weeks to 76, county officials confirmed Tuesday.
Windsong Care Center, located at 3400 E Walnut Street in Pearland, reported its first case on April 30. The patient was an employee.
“It’s a huge concern. It’s definitely a huge concern,” said Vicki Morel, the facility’s owner.
“Of course, we would like for there to be zero cases in the facility, but for the most part our residents and staff are asymptomatic,” Morel continued.
Numbers released by the office of Brazoria County Judge Matt Sebesta confirmed Tuesday that there were 76 COVID-19 cases at Windsong — 59 residents and 17 staff members.
Morel, who owns the senior living facility with her husband, also contracted COVID-19. She said she was in recovery.
“Most of the residents are doing really well. If they have any symptoms the families and doctors are being notified,” she said.
County officials said containing the virus at senior living favorites is a top priority.
“In the nursing homes, we don’t want to see this, period, and unfortunately it’s one of those environments where you’re apt to see a spread of it, said Brazoria County Judge Matt Sebesta.
Two rounds of testing have occurred at Windsong Care Center. While officials said more testing will take place, the facility’s owner said a date has not been confirmed.
“We would like to have two more tests but with the state testing all of the facilities I’m not sure how quickly we can do that,” Morel said, adding private testing isn’t easy.
“Doing it privately is cumbersome and actually expensive,” Morel said.
Still, Morel said the facility follows all federal, state, and local guidelines with staff beginning training earlier this year.
“We started gearing up for COVID on Feb. 13. It was our very first in-service on COVID and we have done over 15 staff in-services,” Morel said, adding the facility follows federal, state, and local guidelines for handling the virus.
A KPRC 2 news crew documented employees wearing personal protective equipment. Also, residents fighting the virus have been moved to a secluded area, Morel said.
Relatives of residents battling COVID-19 have relied on correspondences from Windsong to keep them abreast of the measures being taken to prevent the virus from spreading.
Carrie Atkins’ father-in-law is one of those residents.
“They had to put him in isolation,” Atkins said.
Doctors diagnosed Kenneth Atkins with coronavirus two week ago.
“He is recovering. The people of Windsong have been amazing. They call us every day,” Atkins said of the staff members.
Atkins said her father-in-law’s symptoms do not include respiratory issues.
“These senior living facilities, and I’ve actually worked in them, their staff is getting sick, too, and they’re doing that taking care of our family members,” Atkins said.