With the federal vaccine mandate for health care workers halted, Texas nursing homes dodge furloughs and fines
Texas’ nursing home staff vaccination rates are lower than half the country’s — but a judge’s decision last week to delay a vaccine mandate helped them avoid laying off a third of their employees.
State issues new guidance on nursing home visits as more receive COVID-19 vaccinations
AUSTIN – The Texas Health and Human Services Commission is expanding visitation statewide Tuesday in nursing facilities and other long-term care settings. While continuing to follow all protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including wearing face masks, Texas nursing facilities can now permit:AdClose/personal contact during any visitation for fully vaccinated residents. Nursing facilities no longer need to do the following:Request general visitation approval from HHSC. In addition to nursing facilities, HHSC expanded visitation allowed in assisted living facilities, intermediate care facilities, and home and community-based service providers. Click here to view the updated emergency rules for nursing facilities.
Not everyone thrilled about relaxed COVID-19 guidance for nursing homes
HOUSTON – Some folks are pumping the brakes on new relaxed federal guidance for family and friends visiting nursing homes. Thompson believes this type of guidance should not come until the nation has reached “herd immunity,” where about 85% of the population has been vaccinated. Or even take them with them.”Medical experts say the relaxed guidance is a sign the pandemic’s spread is slowing significantly. AdShay Tatum said since the onset of COVID-19 none of their 65 residents has contracted the virus and they want to keep it that way. Visitors are also discouraged from seeing residents who have COVID-19 or are in quarantine after having been exposed to the virus.
17 Brenham nursing home residents contract COVID-19 after getting shots
She said she got a call March 1 from the nursing home telling her that her mother had tested positive. Ad“Seventeen residents tested positive and 14 have been transferred to Focused Care at Baytown. “Six Focused Care at Brenham team members tested positive. “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.
Assisted living facility director says her residents have yet to be vaccinated for coronavirus
HOUSTON – A Houston area assisted-living facility director is sounding the alarm, saying her residents are not getting the vaccines they desperately need, despite her tireless efforts. Nixon Home Care is a homegrown business -- a network of assisted living facilities and an adult day care. The multiple assisted living facilities are next to or near each other and all located near the corner of Lynnfield and Bleker Street. Nixon Home Care has been operating for more than 20 years, despite being located in a neighborhood starved of resources. The Nixon Home Care Assisted Living facilities and Nixon Adult Day Care are a haven to dozens of elderly clients.
Record number of COVID-19 deaths hit Illinois nursing homes
“Until then and even after that much-anticipated day, nursing homes will continue to implore their neighbors to practice infection control measures in the community because our medically fragile seniors are so susceptible to this horrible disease,” director Pat Comstock said. “Nursing home staff will continue to do all they can to protect their residents, as they have throughout the pandemic, but we cannot do it alone.”chicagotribune.com
CVS Health, Walgreens begin providing COVID-19 vaccines at thousands of hard-hit nursing homes
CVS Health and Walgreens on Friday are beginning to offer COVID-19 vaccinations for residents and staff at those long-term care facilities, making them among the first Americans to receive the shots, CNBC reported. Walgreens said its pharmacists will administer the shots at nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Ohio, Connecticut and Florida. CVS said it will provide them at facilities in Ohio and Connecticut. Both companies will expand to facilities in other states next week. For more, go to CNBC’s full report.
Texas nursing homes seeing rise in coronavirus cases
HOUSTON – According to state data, the number of COVID-19 cases has been steadily increasing at nursing homes. “If I hear her voice I can tell if she’s OK or if she’s not feeling well,” said James Harvey. James Harvey said his wife had to be moved from her nursing facility in Webster to a facility in Baytown specializing in coronavirus-positive residents. “God, all the people out there that’s gone through this, I feel so sorry for them,” said James Harvey. As of Nov. 18, 4,243 nursing home residents have active COVID-19 cases.
Abbott’s loosened restrictions on nursing home visitors in effect. Here is what you need to know.
AUSTIN – Some nursing home restrictions will be lifted Thursday as part of the latest phase of the governor’s reopening plan. Instead, Texans must continue to heed the guidance of medical experts by wearing a mask, social distancing, and practicing proper sanitation strategies. General visitors are allowed to have no-contact, outdoor or indoor (with plexiglass safety barriers) visits with residents. Facilities must continue to meet all additional visitation requirements outlined in the emergency rules in order to remain eligible. Nursing homes in Victoria, Laredo and the Rio Grande Valley are not eligible to allow visitors because Abbott says hospitalization rates in those areas are still too high.
Texas to allow visitations at nursing homes, other long-term care facilities with active COVID-19 cases
Texas long-term care facilities— even those with active COVID-19 cases — can allow visitors beginning Sept. 24, Gov. Visitation will also be allowed at state supported living centers which house residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Long-term care facilities, including nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, have been among the hardest hit by the deadly novel coronavirus. More than 4,200 people in those facilities have died since March and more than 800 facilities reported at least one active case as of Wednesday. “They’re going to allow folks to potentially flooding these facilities with the virus,” Lee told The Texas Tribune.
Ask 2: When will nursing homes accept visitors again?
As part of our Ask 2 series, the newsroom will answer your questions about all things Houston. Question: When will nursing homes accept visitors again? Answer: The Texas Health and Human Services announced in August that nursing homes began limited visitations to loved ones, as long as certain requirements are met between facility staff and visitors. For nursing facilities, visitations are limited to outdoors only and there must be no positive cases reported among residents and staff. All visitors must be screened prior to visiting their loved ones at a nursing home and residents must be screened three times daily.
Multiple coronavirus-related deaths under investigation at Katy nursing home
KATY, Texas – Health officials are investigating a coronavirus outbreak at Heritage Park of Katy Nursing and Rehabilitation facility. Officials at Harris County Public Health said their initial investigation of the facility began on May 24, after three individuals tested positive for COVID-19. To date, there have been 14 deaths -- four confirmed COVID-19 deaths and 10 pending a medical record review. According to health officials, five residents and staff members are actively being monitored by HCPH for COVID-19. HCPH said they issued public health control orders to track the transmission of COVID-19 and deaths related to the virus.
Trust Index: Are nursing homes making more money for COVID-19 residents?
HOUSTON Are nursing homes denying critical, potentially life-saving hospital care to their COVID-19 residents to make more money? In Texas nursing homes, there are about 10,721 residents and employees that have contracted COVID-19, and 2,793 have died. The mortality rate for cases in Texas nursing homes is a whopping 26%. Is it true nursing homes have an incentive to not send COVID patients to the hospital i.e. He says Medicare does pay more to nursing homes who treat COVID patients, but that doesnt mean theres rampant abuse.
Texas nursing facilities to receive $1.1 billion for quality improvements, Gov. Abbott says
HOUSTON – Texas is investing $1.1 billion in federal funding to nursing facilities across the state, Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission announced on Friday. The Quality Incentive Payment Program has been approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to support facilities that provide care for individuals receiving Medicaid. Qualified facilities can use funds for quality improvements in staffing, infection control and other key long-term care quality indicators. “This funding will improve the quality of care and strengthen infection controls at Texas nursing facilities,” said Abbott in a news release.
‘It’s really getting out of hand': COVID-19 outbreak reported at Missouri City nursing home
MISSOURI CITY, Texas – Missouri City officials are sounding the alarm after an outbreak of the coronavirus is being reported at the Paradigm at First Colony. There’s been 38 COVID-19 cases, 19 deaths and 24 infected staff members at the nursing home, according to Fort Bend County. “It’s really getting out of hand,” said Moises Moreno, who lives at the facility. Medicare.Gov rates gave the facility one star out of five for their overall rating and their health inspection rating. Brown went on to say the investigation by Texas Health and Human services will show if the nursing home was following rules and regulations.
Creative device bringing families together at senior facility in The Woodlands
This device is being put to good use at Unlimited Care Cottages, an assisted living community in The Woodlands. There are tears shed and there are smiles,” said Steven Crenshaw, the creator of the device and owner of Handle With Care, a senior home safety business. “We felt that it was important that we designed something that there could be some interaction,” said Amber, the marketing liaison for Unlimited Care Cottages. “If you walk up to give somebody a hug that’s inside, you’re able to stick your arms through these holes like so,” said Steven. It’s just a wonderful blessing shared,” said Buck Buckholtz, the owner of Unlimited Care Cottages.
Dozens sick in COVID-19 outbreaks reported at 2 Houston-area nursing homes, officials say
HOUSTON – Two Houston-area nursing homes have reported COVID-19 outbreaks, public health officials announced. Officials are investigating an outbreak at Jacinto Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in east Harris County and Garden Villa Nursing Home in El Campo, Texas. Jacinto Nursing & Rehabilitation CenterThe investigation into Jacinto Nursing & Rehabilitation Center began on June 10 after the nursing home reported 12 positive COVID-19 patients and one virus-related death. So far, health officials reported four deaths at the facility and will determine if they were COVID-19 related. Health officials issued public health control orders to the nursing home on July 3 to ensure compliance with infection control and prevention.
Gov. Abbott announces $9M in federal funding to combat COVID-19 in Texas nursing homes
HOUSTON – Texas Gov. We must continue to protect our most vulnerable populations, mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Texas, and protect public health.”To apply, visit the Texas Health and Human Services website. As of Tuesday, 682 nursing homes and 267 assisted living facilities in Texas reported at least one case of coronavirus. The Houston Public Health Region reported:Facilities in Houston Public Health Region Cases Deaths Recoveries Nursing homes 1,693 222 586 Assisted Living Facilities 247 36 113Learn more about Texas’ public health regions here and the Houston public health region here. See more information on coronavirus in Texas nursing homes here.
Big discrepancies found in Houston-area data in new federal tool designed to track COVID-19 in nursing homes
HOUSTON – The federal government has launched a new database to track COVID-19 in the nation’s nursing homes. The national pictureAccording to CMS, there have been more than 95,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and nearly 32,000 deaths in nursing homes as of May 31. But when looking at the data for individual nursing homes, there are some discrepancies. Importance of tracking the virus in nursing homesIn Texas, roughly 40% of all COVID-related deaths have been in nursing homes. Both state and federal officials say those are just some of the reasons why tracking COVID-19 hotspots in nursing homes is crucial.
Nursing home resident: ‘I feel as though I am in #DeathCamp2020’
At first, few local governments released information about how Covid-19 was ravaging the vulnerable populations residing in nursing homes. Since the early days of the pandemic, nursing homes have been hit particularly hard -- grappling with supply shortages and accounting for tens of thousands of deaths. Mayberry, now 66, said she felt that local government officials weren't doing enough to protect residents in nursing homes. "As a nursing home resident, I feel as though I am in #DeathCamp2020 and we just got our first #COVID19 case 2 days ago," she wrote on April 12. Do you have anything to share about Covid-19 in nursing homes?
Harris County places Humble nursing home under quarantine order after at least 13 residents die from COVID-19
HUMBLE – A Humble nursing home was hit with a quarantine order after a rash of COVID-19 related deaths were reported. The order was issued Thursday by the Harris County Public Health Department against the Oakmont Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center of Humble. Dr. Umair Shah, the executive director of the Harris County Public Health Department, said he was particularly bothered by delays in reporting COVID related deaths. Shah said 56 residents and staff are also currently being monitored for COVID-19. Shah said both the county and state regulators addressed infection control issues at Oakmont during two visits.
A new way to fight COVID-19 in Texas: positive-only nursing homes
HOUSTON – Nursing homes have been hot spots for COVID-19, not just in Texas, but across the country. Nearly half of all COVID-19 deaths in Texas have been in nursing homes and senior living facilities. Now, there’s a new idea to treat the sick and protect the healthy — COVID-only nursing homes. “If other nursing homes or hospitals have an outbreak of cases, then they will transfer (patients) over here. For more information on The Medical Resort programs, click here.
Here are 3 COVID-19 hotspots Houston Mayor Turner is watching
HOUSTON – Mayor Sylvester Turner announced 183 new COVID-19 cases in the city of Houston Saturday. He said 77 of those cases involved people in homeless shelters, which is about 40%. Turner said homeless shelters are one of three Houston areas to monitor. “We are now testing people in our homeless shelter, and what we are finding is there are people who are infected with this virus,” Turner said. Houston officials have announced more than 6,300 COVID-19 cases since March, including 124 coronavirus-related deaths.
Here are the Houston COVID-19 hot spots as officials push residents to be tested
Fast forward to now, those neighborhoods are hot spots for COVID-19. KPRC 2 Investigations analyzed this data to locate the areas with the highest COVID-19 infection rates. In Manchester, a Latino community in southeast Houston, the COVID-19 infected rate is 44 per 10,000 residents. Other Houston hot spots need some context. The Texas Medical Center also has a high infection rate of 124 per 10,000 people.
Lawmakers, Texans call for testing, transparency as COVID-19 threatens Texas nursing homes
Nursing homes are not required to publicly disclose this information. Texas Health and Human Services Commission, which oversees these facilities, will only release raw numbers — 381 nursing homes and assisted living facilities are reporting COVID-19 cases. We reached out to nursing homes across Texas and filled in some of the blanks with reports from our NBC affiliates in Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio. Charles Brown is an attorney who specializes in holding negligent nursing homes accountable, but he is pledging not to take and COVID-19 related cases. “We’ve got to have the highest level of medical care which includes testing and reporting the data to know how we continue to handle nursing homes,” Jackson said.
Details on how to test all Texas nursing home residents, staff still being ironed out, officials say
HOUSTON – There are roughly 80,000 nursing home residents in Texas and more than double that in staff, according to officials with the Health and Human Services Commission. Governor Greg Abbott wants everyone in these facilities tested for COVID-19 —but the trick is how exactly to accomplish that feat. “What if several staff test positive and they have to let staff quarantine, who takes their place?” said Linial. Officials with the Harris County Health Department said nursing homes in the area have been testing since the middle of April. He was thrilled to hear the county will test his residents and staff.
19 deaths, 100+ cases at Brenham nursing home, health officials say
BRENHAM, Texas – A nursing and rehabilitation facility in Washington County has seen dozens of cases of coronavirus. As of Monday, 102 residents and staff members at Brenham Nursing and Rehabilitation Center tested positive for COVID-19, according to numbers posted on a county website. “The nursing home in town got hit really hard,” Dr. William Robert Loesch, the local health authority, said in a video update dated April 29. Karan Janes said her mother, Margie McCracken, 90, was a resident who died several days after learning she tested positive. We have implemented many protocols and procedures to reduce the risk to patients and staff at all of our facilities.
Houston to provide COVID-19 education to more than 300 local nursing homes, assisted living facilities
HOUSTON – The Houston Health Department announced Friday the expansion of its efforts to support nursing homes, assisted living centers, and similar facilities against COVID-19. Officials with the department will visit more than 300 facilities in Houston and provide a comprehensive education and technology assistance. (However), we know people with underlying conditions experience the worst outcomes,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said at a press conference Friday. Houston health officials previously worked with SouthEast Regional Advisory Council (SERAC) on a webinar, completed telephone assessments with nursing homes, and provided additional guidance upon request. Here is Mayor Turner’s full press conference on Friday, April 24:
Here are 8 things to know about coronavirus for April 12
Here is a list of things to know about the coronavirus for Sunday, April 12. False claims declaring that coronavirus has become the leading cause of death in the US have swirled as the US leads the world in coronavirus cases. Abbott extends disaster declaration for coronavirus pandemic in TexasTexas Gov. The declaration provides the state with many resources to effectively serve Texans against the fight to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, according to the governor’s office. Petition calls to allow Texas breweries to deliver beer directly to customersTexas breweries are struggling to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.