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Six Austin long-term care facilities declined COVID-19 strike team support, City memo says

Six facilities declined strike team support and one didn’t respond. APH said staff provided additional surveillance and will continue to monitor those facilities.

AUSTIN, Texas — Austin Public Health (APH) released a city memo Friday with new details on its response to the coronavirus pandemic in the area. 

APH has developed a process to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes and long-term care (LTC) facilities. According to the City memo, the response will be conducted in phases and will be expected to be completed by July 3.

Here is a timeline of the COVID-19 response:

  • Phase 1: Investigation of A-M facilities
  • Phase 2: Investigation of other locations that have clusters (those added after the A-M facilities)
  • Phase 3: Investigation of remaining facilities – nursing and assistive living 

Among the details in the memo include: 

  • APH has given 2,408 test kits to long-term care facilities.
  • Strike teams have been deployed in six LTC facilities and one isolation facility, according to APH. One additional strike team will be deployed on May 21. The strike teams include registered nurses, licensed vocation nurses, certified nursing assistants and emergency medical technicians. 
    • Six facilities declined strike team support and one didn’t respond. APH said staff provided additional surveillance and will continue to monitor those facilities.
  • To date, of the 32 nursing homes: 
    • 13 facilities have completed all resident and staff testing (with 12 facilitated by APH)
    • Seven facilities will complete the testing without APH assistance
    • 12 facilities will complete the testing with APH assistance (kits or people)

The memo also stated that all LTC facilities have a standard process to order their own personal protective equipment (PPE). However, APH said its LTC Incident Management Team has given additional PPE to LTC facilities in the following manner: 

  • Six facilities experiencing clusters and the nursing home isolation facility receive a weekly supply of PPE to help manage their outbreak. 
  • By May 25, all LTC facilities will receive additional a one-time supplemental PPE pack to be prepared in case of an outbreak at their facility.

APH said in the memo its strike force team has and will continue to support the one nursing home isolation facility servicing Austin-Travis County with PPE. The isolation facility is not funded by the County, however, APH said. 

For more information about the City's COVID-19 response in Austin-area nursing homes and long-term care facilities, read the full City memo here.

WATCH: COVID-19 spreading in Austin nursing facilities

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