Families of residents inside local assisted living center hope for more transparency

COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX)- The Brazos County Health District on Tuesday reported a total of 53 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and some of the patients are linked to an outbreak at an assisted living center in College Station.

A KBTX investigation on Monday confirmed several residents and staff members at the Waterford on Rock Prairie Road have tested positive for the virus.

The center has also been home to two seniors who passed away after contracting the coronavirus, including 91-year-old Estela Aguirre.

Her son, David, says he was never told about the other patients.

"No, they didn't tell us anything about any of the other residents who were experiencing similar symptoms," said David.

Waterford's corporate office, Capital Senior Living, tells KBTX it did issue notifications to families of residents, but only to those designated as primary contacts.

Cathy Lester's mom lives at Waterford and she said was notified but has been in touch with other family members who had no idea of what was happening.

"There were several people who said I'm the primary contact on my parent's account and I did not receive emails. The first they were hearing about it was on the news," said Lester in an interview with News 3's Rusty Surette.

Lester says she's been in touch with her mom on the phone and she feels some of the residents have also been left in the dark.

"She was like, 'Wow, I'm glad you told me that because that's what I was thinking was going on.' She was frustrated that she didn't have a little bit more information because she was in her room by herself speculating," said Lester.

Lester says her mother is doing fine at the moment, but she's still worried. However, she made clear she has no ill will against Waterford or any of its staff. She feels they're doing the best they can given the circumstances.

She just wishes she would have known about all this sooner.

"I think transparency is important with this because we need to know things for our families. Not everybody's family is in town. Not everybody's family is in the state. We need the information," said Lester.

On Tuesday, the Brazos County Health District said all staff and residents at the Waterford at College Station should be tested, but that could be easier said than done, considering there are still not enough testing kits in the area to go around for everyone who needs or wants one.

The agency also said prior to this, The Waterford was following all guidance from both its corporate office and the Texas Health & Human Services Commission.

The health department says its also trying to be as transparent as possible with everything happening in the county while at the same time protecting the privacy of those impacted.