Williamson County Reports First COVID-19 Cluster at a Nursing Home
April 25, 2020 (Williamson County, TX) – The Williamson County and Cities Health District (WCCHD) had its first confirmed cluster of COVID-19 in a nursing facility. Control orders were sent to 43 facilities on March 16, 2020, by the Williamson County and Cities Health District Health Authority. Updated control orders were delivered on April 23 to 65 facilities, to include assisted living, nursing homes, skilled nursing, and long-term care facilities.
The updated control orders stipulate that if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in a facility, all patients, staff and next of kin must be notified. Additionally, in the event of a cluster at a facility involving two or more patients, the facility:
- will be restricted from receiving any new patients into the facility or any returning patients to the facility until the facility has been cleared by the WCCHD.
- will be required to make available for testing, if requested, all clinical staff, non-clinical staff, and contractors.
- a “Strike Team” of additional personnel and equipment may be deployed to supplement staffing at your facility until the facility outbreak is controlled as determined by WCCHD.
The investigation is ongoing, WCCHD is working closely with the facility to mitigate the spread among residents and staff. To date, this is the first cluster at a nursing home with 46 confirmed cases of staff and residents.
“Our top priority, from the beginning, has been to protect our most vulnerable residents,” said County Judge Bill Gravell. “We are putting all of the resources we have available into isolating this cluster so that no others will be infected.”
“It was truly a partnership to be able to immediately take action to test all patients and staff. We appreciate the support from the nursing home staff, Williamson County EMS, Sheriff’s Office and others," said Dr. Lori Palazzo, Williamson County and Cities Health District Health Authority.
The daily case count is available on the COVID-19 Dashboard that is updated each day shortly after noon at http://www.wcchd.org/COVID-19/dashboard.php. The Epi Curve on the dashboard shows the date of the onset of the disease and not the date reported.