17 Brenham nursing home residents contract COVID-19 after getting shots

Seventeen residents of a Brenham nursing home contracted coronavirus after being vaccinated for the virus.
Seventeen residents of a Brenham nursing home contracted coronavirus after being vaccinated for the virus.

BRENHAM, Texas – Seventeen residents of a Brenham nursing home contracted coronavirus after being either partially or fully vaccinated against the virus with an inoculation created to prevent people from developing a severe illness.

Officials at Focused Care at Brenham said Tuesday that nine of the 17 residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 were fully vaccinated, while the remaining eight had received only the first of the two doses.

Nanette Riedell-Mendez said her 95-year-old mother, Francine Riedell, received her second dose of the Pfizer vaccine Jan. 28. She said she got a call March 1 from the nursing home telling her that her mother had tested positive. She said her mother collapsed Sunday and had to be hospitalized.

“She seems to be doing well,” Riedell-Mendez said. “Recuperating and she’s not intubated. She’s not on oxygen, from what I understand.”

In addition to the residents, six staff members have also tested positive. Two of the six had received one dose, while a third had received both doses. The remaining three had not been vaccinated.

Dr. Pedro Piedra, of the Baylor College of Medicine, said vaccines don’t prevent infection, but they work hard at stopping people from getting seriously ill.

“It doesn’t preclude you from getting infected, but the risks are considerably lower,” Piedra said.

Piedra said that’s what Pfizer’s 95% efficacy rate measured.

Statement from Focused Care

The written statement released by officials at Focused Care at Brenham follows:

“Focused Care at Brenham was conducting routine testing and began outbreak testing once a team member tested positive on February 22nd.  Outbreak testing occurs every 3 to 4 days and is required by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC).  The frequent testing will continue until no positive tests are returned in 14 days.  At that time, Focused Care at Brenham will continue its policy to test twice a week.  Also required by HHSC is the wearing of N95 masks by care providers in place of surgical masks during this time.

“Seventeen residents tested positive and 14 have been transferred to Focused Care at Baytown. Two positive residents have been transferred to Kruse Village that has a COVID unit, and one positive resident was admitted to Baylor Scott & White in Brenham.

“Six Focused Care at Brenham team members tested positive. All quarantined off site. Three were not vaccinated during the first two vaccination clinics at Focused Care at Brenham on January 7 and January 28 and are symptomatic. One of the three not vaccinated completed quarantine and returned to Focused Care at Brenham on March 8.  Another team member who tested positive received both doses of the vaccine and is not exhibiting symptoms.  The other two team members who tested positive each had one dose of the vaccine and are exhibiting mild symptoms.  The third vaccine clinic was scheduled, then postponed due the severe winter weather and was rescheduled for March 4th.

“Twelve residents received both the first and second vaccine shot.  Seventeen additional residents were vaccinated for the first time during the second clinic. On March 4th , nine out of 17 received their second shot as the CDC recommends those testing positive for COVID-19 not take the vaccine until they are cleared of the virus.

“There are currently no Focused Care at Brenham residents or team members on site who have tested positive for COVID-19.

“Focused Care at Brenham continues to update the HHSC daily in reference to test results and the residents and team members who tested positive.  Additionally, the long term care community is in close contact with the providers caring for their positive residents.

“Focused Care will continue operating with the same safeguards in place prior to Governor Abbott’s announcement until new guidance is issued by the Centers for Disease and Prevention Control (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).”


About the Authors:

Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. NOLA born and bred, though #HoustonStrong, with stops in Minnesota, New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut in along the way.

Aaron Barker has been a senior digital editor at KPRC 2 since 2016. As a meteorologist, he specializes in stories about the weather. He has covered Hurricane Harvey, the Astros first World Series win, the Santa Fe High School shooting, the ITC fire and Tropical Storm Imelda.