81 positive COVID-19 cases confirmed at Round Rock nursing home

Investigations

ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) – San Gabriel Rehabilitation and Care Center, a nursing home in Round Rock, has confirmed 81 positive cases of COVID-19 — nearly all found in the past week.

This total includes 48 residents and 33 staff members, according to a company notification posted online Tuesday.

“Our facility conducted mass testing on July 8, 2020, which resulted in the positive cases,” said Leah Gage, the facility’s administrator, in a statement. “We continue to practice all of the enhanced safety precautions recommended by our local, state and federal health officials. In addition to the enhance safety precautions, our facility administered mass testing of all residents and staff to arm us with the knowledge to prevent further spread of the virus.”

The significant outbreak at San Gabriel Rehabilitation coincides with a spike in COVID-19 in Austin nursing homes in recent days. Austin Wellness and Rehabilitation Center, a nursing home in Northwest Austin, reported 52 cases of the virus in the past week, according to the company’s website.

The virus’ spread through those nursing homes shows how fast a facility with no cases can experience an outbreak.

Neither San Gabriel Rehabilitation nor Austin Wellness and Rehabilitation reported a single confirmed case of COVID-19 up until July 5, according to federal data released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Last week 240 cases were confirmed in Travis County long-term care facilities, while 48 were confirmed the week prior to that, said Austin Public Health Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott at a Travis County Commissioner’s Court meeting Tuesday.

Escott said it was a “very concerning trend” and that nursing home “defenses have been penetrated.”

San Gabriel Rehabilitation has a total of 143 beds and 102 were occupied, as of July 5, according to CMS records. The facility is located at 4100 College Park Drive in Round Rock.

There have been 9,609 cases in 851 nursing homes throughout Texas, which is 70% of all facilities statewide. At least 1,236 nursing home residents have died of the virus, and 3,487 have recovered, according to state data.

For months the Texas Health & Human Services Commission refused to disclose the number and locations of positive COVID-19 cases among nursing and living facilities. KXAN investigators have verified viewer tips and confirmed whistleblower accounts independently throughout Central Texas. On July 27, HHSC began posting facility-level data; however, KXAN will continue to independently verify and update this map as new outbreaks are brought to our attention.

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