WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL)— North Texas State Hospital health officials have confirmed 33 positive COVID-19 cases.
According to Texas Health & Human Services Commission Chief Press Officer Christine Mann, sixteen of the confirmed positive COVID-19 cases are from patients and the other seventeen confirmed positive cases are from staff at the hospital.
View the following statement released from Mann below:
Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our patients and staff. We are working closely with the local health department and the Department of State Health Services and taking precautions to mitigate any spread of disease. There are 16 confirmed COVID-19 positive cases in patients and 17 confirmed positive staff at the Wichita Falls campus of North Texas State Hospital.
We’ve activated the hospital’s COVID-19 response plan, which was developed based upon CDC and DSHS guidance. We’re using dedicated spaces for any patient recovering from COVID-19 and ensuring they receive the care they need in a manner safe for them, other patients, and staff. Any patients who may have had exposure are isolated for monitoring. The hospital also has a dedicated area to serve any symptomatic patients. Staff are notified as soon as possible of a positive case within a facility. We also work to notify family members, with permission of patients.
At our state hospitals all staff on campus wear face masks. Staff working directly with COVID-19 positive patients are dedicated to treating only those patients, wearing full personal protective equipment, and are following all CDC guidelines to protect their safety and prevent spread. This includes face shield masks, N95 masks, gloves, and gowns. Additionally, we’re continuing to educate and train staff on infection control procedures.
On March 5, North Texas State Hospital began travel screening all staff on whether they had visited a country identified by the CDC as high risk or whether they had contact with someone who had. Visitation restrictions to our state hospitals were implemented on March 13. We continue to screen all employees for fever and respiratory illness prior to entrance into the facility. Temperature checks on staff and essential visitors before entry to North Texas State Hospital began on March 16 and remain in place. Any person with a fever or unexplained signs of respiratory illness is not allowed entrance to the hospital.
We are extremely grateful for the commitment and dedication of our staff to caring for our patients, especially during this challenging time. They are providing an outstanding service to Texas. Our commitment to patients and staff is to provide the best care possible and the safest possible working environment, at all times under any circumstances. This is a rapidly evolving situation and we will continue adapting our policies and procedures as necessary.