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COVID-19 kills 19 residents of Missouri City nursing home

The Paradigm at First Colony reported 85 residents, in all, have been infected with COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

HOUSTON — A nursing home in Missouri City reports 19 residents have died from COVID-19,  according to data from the Texas Health and Human Services.

In all, 85 residents and 24 employees at Paradigm at First Colony have tested positive for the coronavirus, Texas HHS records show. Eleven are currently being treated.

Stacie Walker, a spokesperson for Missouri City, said the city "was just notified of these numbers" on Wednesday.

"This harrowing development speaks to the severity of this pandemic and how everyone needs to take it even more seriously,” Mayor Yolanda Ford said in a news release. “The city is concerned about the individuals and families who are affected by the Paradigm cases and staff will continue monitoring the situation and working proactively to help flatten the curve."

On July 20, Paradigm reported seven resident deaths and 74 total resident cases, state records show. 

Those numbers shot up to 19 deaths and 85 total cases two days later.

The Texas HHS said in the following statement that they are investigating Paradigm: 

"Protecting the health and safety of the people in long-term care facilities we regulate is our top priority. We are working closely with long-term and acute care facilities in Texas to ensure they have up-to-date, clear information on preventing infectious diseases such as COVID-19.

We are actively investigating this facility to assess its compliance with all relevant health and safety rules. We are focusing in particular on the facility’s infection control practices; whether it has been properly screening all staff and providers of critical services to residents; and whether it has been following all COVID-19 related guidance from our state and federal partners, which includes the proper use of personal protection equipment for staff and residents. You can find guidance issued by HHSC to these types of facilities in our Nursing Facility Response Plan.

Once our investigation work is complete, the final investigation report can be requested upon completion. Please feel free to check back in with us in the coming weeks for an update.

Paradigm at First Colony sent the following statement Thursday evening:

"From the start of the pandemic, we have worked with Texas Health and Human Services and the Fort Bend County Health and Human Services to monitor and respond to COVID-19. Representatives from these agencies have inspected our facility to ensure best practices are followed consistent with ever-changing guidance from the CDC and CMS. With their oversight, we have created a COVID-19 Recovery Unit dedicated to caring for residents with COVID-19 as well as a Step-Down Unit and General Resident Units to separate residents with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19. 

Currently, there are 11 residents with confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Paradigm at First Colony who remain in stable condition. Our mitigation efforts include training staff based on the recommendations of the CDC and CMS on subjects such as: infection control protocols, handwashing procedures, thorough disinfectant cleaning procedures, and wearing gowns and gloves when appropriate. We are monitoring residents for signs of upper respiratory symptoms and other symptoms of COVID-19. Staff and essential healthcare personnel are likewise monitored for symptoms to restrict entry into the building for individuals with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. We have procured adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for our staff to care for the residents consistent with the most current guidelines. 

We appreciate the many individuals and institutions working together to care for residents at Paradigm at First Colony. We thank the dedicated staff at Texas Health and Human Services and the Fort Bend County Health and Human Services who continue to provide valuable support. Our community first responders, local hospitals, vendors, and their dedicated staff have been instrumental in coordinating patient care. Our Paradigm at First Colony frontline staff continue to inspire us daily as they provide patient care during this time."

The state has oversight of nursing homes, but the mayor asked that she be notified of deaths at facilities within city limits.

“This lack of city authority is a challenge, especially during a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mayor Ford said in the release. “We will only beat this virus if we all cooperate by following mandatory facial covering orders, practicing proper social distancing, following health safety guidelines and increasing communication among our local, county and state leaders.”

Data from HHS shows that Houston nursing homes have been hit particularly hard by COVID-19.

Records show Houston led the state in average resident deaths with about two per facility. An average of 17 residents per Houston facility has been sick with the virus.

In Houston, 150 nursing home residents infected with the virus have died, according to data as of July 14. The next highest city, Fort Worth, record 57 deaths.

KHOU has reached out to Paradigm at First Colony for comment and is awaiting a response.

If you have concerns about a long-term care facility, call HHSC’s long-term care complaint and incident intake hotline at 1-800-458-9858. Callers to our hotline can remain anonymous. In any emergency or life-threatening situation, call 911 or local law enforcement.

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