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From The News-Courier staff—
All residents and staffs at the Munday Nursing Center and the Brazos Valley Care Home in Knox City were tested for the coronavirus last week. It’s part of a state-wide program that Gov. Greg Abbott announced last month to strengthen infection control measures in the state’s nursing homes.
“The tests are no fun and a little painful,” one staff member told the News-Courier.
Tests were conducted in Haskell and Knox City last Thursday and in Munday on Friday with the team spending Thursday night in Lubbock.
No test results were available at press time.
The Texas National Guard activated Facilities Disinfection Teams on May 13 to offer support to nursing homes to help limit the spread of COVID-19. The Facilities Disinfection Teams were formed in coordination with Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC).
“The Texas National Guard plays a crucial role in our ongoing response to COVID-19, and I am grateful for their work to address the unique challenges our nursing homes face during this pandemic,” Abbott said. “The training these Guardsmen have received will equip them with the knowledge and tools they need to provide this crucial assistance to these facilities.”
The Facilities Disinfection Teams were staffed by Guardsmen from Joint Task Force 176 and each team was supplied with advanced personal protective equipment, ionized sprayers and vital oxide. State officials say the teams also received special training from the Texas Military Department 6th Civil Support Team, which specializes in disaster assessment and rapid response in hazardous environments.
Meanwhile, residents at the nursing homes are isolated with no visitors allowed.
It appears that state-run homes for people with disabilities and state-run psychiatric hospitals — which collectively serve 4,703 vulnerable Texans and employ 18,873 full-time staff members — will not receive that same level of state support to test all residents, patients and employees. These facilities at this time are still only testing residents and patients who are symptomatic or have potentially been exposed, despite concerns raised by family members.