HOUSTON — Newly released data from the Texas Department of State Health Services gives insight into how COVID-19 is hitting nursing homes across the state, and Houston-area nursing homes are being hit particularly hard.
The data, recent as of July 14, reports figures from 1,223 different nursing homes across Texas, 65 of which are in Houston.
It shows one Houston nursing home and two other Texas nursing homes, one in El Paso and one in San Antonio, with 117 cumulative reported coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, which is the highest mark in the state.
It also shows a different Houston nursing home ranks tied for fourth-most COVID-19 deaths of residents in the state with 20.
According to that data, 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 at nursing homes there.
The data said 1,105 residents got sick with the virus at Houston nursing homes.
Brenham Nursing and Rehabilitation Center reported the most deaths in the state with 25.
Afton Oaks Nursing Center in southeast Houston tied for the highest number of reported infected residents in the state, with 117 cases. Staff posted a statement on the Afton Oaks' website on July 24, saying 46 residents were currently positive.
"Limits on visitation will continue, per guidance from the CDC, and we are working hard to make sure residents can still connect with their loved ones by phone, text, or video chat," the statement read.
Focused Care at Westwood, in the Alief area, has reported 20 deaths, the highest in the City of Houston.
"There is a palpable frustration among the public that protecting our elderly from this virus that comes with unprecedented contagion is so incredibly challenging," CEO Mark McKenzie wrote on the company website in June.
Focused Care's Founder said once Gov. Greg Abbott mandated testing of all residents and staff in Texas’ nursing homes, they ensured all staff members who were asymptomatic and unknowingly contagious stayed quarantined at home and filled their positions. They also purchased and put in MediClean Pro equipment that utilizes a proven application method to disinfect exposed surfaces and is registered effective by the EPA to treat the human coronavirus and provide maximum germ sanitization in all 31 of its communities.
"We have most recently contracted with a private lab so we can conduct on-site testing and receive results in a timely manner – again, at our own cost," the founder wrote.