Gov. Greg Abbott orders all nursing home staff members, residents to be tested for COVID-19

Local News

VERNON (KFDX/KJTL) — Gov. Greg Abbott is hoping to halt the spread of COVID-19 in Texas nursing homes by requiring all staff and residents to be tested. That was announced in an order on Monday.

COVID-19 has become a big problem within nursing homes, in fact, more than a third of the state’s COVID-19 related deaths are residents of nursing homes. But this new rule does come with some concerns from nursing home staff members.

“We’ve been blessed so far,” Director of Nursing for Vista Living of Vernon Kristin Wilson said.

Although those at Vista Living of Vernon have been lucky by not seeing a positive COVID-19 case as of yet. Director of Nursing Kristin Wilson recognizes it is an issue statewide but said they are doing all they can to prevent the virus from coming to Vista Living.

“We are doing the best that we can and we are doing everything we can to keep the virus out of the facility,” Wilson said. “Just we are doing the best we can do right now and hoping we have enough PPE to last as long as this virus lasts

To help combat the spread, Abbott is directing the Texas Health Services Commission, the Texas Division of Emergency Management and the Texas Department of State Health Services to test all residents and staffers at nursing homes, “the state of Texas is working to rapidly expand our testing capacity, especially among vulnerable populations in Texas nursing homes,” Abbott said.

Wilson said they are thankful for all of the help they’ve received but they have some concerns about this new order that forces them to be tested, questioning where the money will come from.

“They have been implementing requirements, wearing the face masks and the protocols that we’ve got to follow but we don’t have the funding available to do so,” Wilson said. “I know they’ve still got things they’re lining out with it but that’s kind of where we stand with that.”

Wilson hopes when the plan is made some of these concerns will be lifted.

For statistics on COVID-19 in the state of Texas, click here.

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