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COVID-19 outbreak reported at another local senior living community

A dozen residents and 8 staff members have been affected by the virus at a facility in Brenham.
More than 1,200 assisted living facilities and nursing homes in Texas have reported confirmed cases of the coronavirus.
More than 1,200 assisted living facilities and nursing homes in Texas have reported confirmed cases of the coronavirus.(KBTX)
Published: Jul. 14, 2020 at 3:24 PM CDT
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BRENHAM, Texas (KBTX) - Another local senior facility has reported a cluster of COVID-19 cases among residents and staff.

Kruse Village Senior Living Community in Brenham says a dozen residents and eight staff members have been diagnosed, despite attempts to prevent the virus from spreading in its community.

Washington County currently has 152 active cases. There have been a total of 365 cases confirmed in the county since the beginning of the pandemic.

More than 1,200 assisted living facilities and nursing homes in Texas have reported confirmed cases of the coronavirus. Click here to view that data broken down by regions.

Below is the full statement released on Tuesday to KBTX from Kruse Village Senior Living Community:

Kruse Village Senior Living Community cares deeply about the health, safety, and well-being of our residents and staff, and our commitment to providing the best possible care is our highest priority. The Coronavirus pandemic has required that we implement vigilant precautions and preventive measures due to evolving information as well as the vulnerability of the older adults for whom we provide care.

We have implemented changes in our operations to prepare for COVID-19, including enhanced infection control measures, monitoring residents and staff for symptoms, and restricting visitors except in end-of-life situations on a case-by-case basis. Despite our prevention efforts, we are sorry to share that in total, since the virus first entered our care community, 12 residents and 8 staff members have been diagnosed with COVID-19. At this time, there are no additional pending test results or individuals displaying symptoms. Our thoughts are with all those affected, and we are hopeful for their full recovery.

“Our team is committed to doing everything we can to stop the spread of this virus in our care community. We are working under the direction of our medical director and providers, are in close communication with the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) and Washington County’s Office of Emergency Management, and are following all Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) guidelines to ensure we are taking all appropriate steps at this time,” said Coy Fontenot, Executive Director at Kruse Village Senior Living Community.

Kruse Village’s clinical staff has conducted testing for SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19, for all residents and staff in the healthcare unit. The testing allowed us to identify asymptomatic carriers as well as other individuals with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis and take immediate actions to reduce further spread. Moving forward, Kruse Village will complete additional periodic testing of residents and staff as recommended by state and federal guidelines.

In addition to testing, residents and staff are actively screened for fever, respiratory, and other COVID-19 symptoms. We have established a designated area in the building for residents with a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 diagnosis and have quarantined these residents in their rooms and have designated staff to support and care for them. Our staff and residents have also been following the recommended preventative actions. We have restricted visitors from entering our building, have canceled all group activities, and will continue to do so until it is safe to resume regular operations. We are in contact with residents, families, and staff regarding any new or suspected COVID-19 cases in our building through a variety of communication methods such as phone, voice message services, emails and/or letters. We also continue to encourage and support families in using Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom to communicate with residents.

Fontenot adds, “As frontline health care workers, our team members continue their heroic commitment to caring for and serving our residents. Our staff has demonstrated great courage, and we are thankful for their compassion in these uncertain times. We have developed a comprehensive staffing and benefit plan, which includes several programs as a way of recognizing and supporting our staff for their hard work and dedication. We offer shift pick-up bonuses to qualified staff, provide eligible staff members and their families with meals each week, hold small group meetings to update staff and address questions, and ensure access to mental and emotional health resources. We are forever grateful for the ongoing support from residents, families, and staff during this time—we are truly all in this together. Their encouragement during this time is embedded in our hearts for many years to come.”

While we strive for transparency in everything we do, please know that we are bound by federal guidelines under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) as well as employment policies, which protect the privacy of our residents and team members. Thank you for your support and understanding.”

Copyright 2020 KBTX. All rights reserved.

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