State health officials investigating COVID-19 response at Nocona nursing home

Local News

NOCONA (KFDX/KJTL) — According to the Nocona News, a positive case of COVID-19 at Nocona’s Grace Care Center has triggered an investigation by state officials.

Kelli Weldon with Texas Health and Human Services said the agency is investigating this facility to assess its compliance with all relevant health and safety rules.

“Once our investigation work is complete, the final report for the investigation can be requested through our open records process,” Weldon said. “Our top priority is the health and safety of the people residing in the facilities we regulate. Texas HHSC has been closely monitoring long-term care facilities throughout the state and working to ensure that they have up-to-date, clear information on addressing infectious diseases such as COVID-19.”

Weldon said this happening with collaboration with local health and emergency officials. However, County Judge Kevin Benton told the Nocona News that he had not been contacted.

According to the Nocona News, the newspaper initially reached out to the Bowie physician when the National Guard was seen at the care facility Friday morning dressed in Tyvek suit to see if he knew what was happening. At that time, he noted he had no prior notification of the rapid response team’s visit to Bowie several weeks ago.

“The first I knew about it was about five days later when I got the report,” the physician told the Nocona News.

When asked what sparked the investigation, how many positive cases had been reported at the facility, or what local officials were contacted, Weldon didn’t comment.

Instead, Weldon said that the investigation is ongoing and to check back in the coming weeks to see if a final report from the investigation is available to request.

We are actively investigating this facility to assess its compliance with all relevant health and safety rules. Once our investigation work is complete, the final report for the investigation can be requested through our open records process.

Our top priority is the health and safety of the people residing in facilities we regulate. Texas HHSC has been closely monitoring long-term care facilities throughout the state and working to ensure that they have up-to-date, clear information on addressing infectious diseases such as COVID-19.

Texas HHSC continues to investigate all long-term care facilities in the state that report one or more positive case of COVID-19. We are also coordinating closely with local health authorities, the Texas Department of State Health Services, and other entities as we conduct these investigations. We continue to issue updated guidance on COVID-19 response to long-term care facilities throughout the state. 

In collaboration with local health and emergency officials, including TDEM and DSHS, we continue to engage daily with long term care nursing facility providers statewide through rapid response teams that include HHSC surveyors. Rapid Assessment – Quick Response Force (RA-QRF) resources are deployed based on needs identified by HHSC surveyors, and can include infection control assessments by epidemiologists, site assessments, testing, patient assessments, PPE distribution, and disinfecting services.

Kelli Weldon, Press Officer, Texas Heath and Human Services

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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