Multiple COVID-19 cases confirmed at West Lake Hills assisted living facility

Investigations

Belmont Village Senior Living (KXAN Photo/Ed Zavala)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Belmont Village Senior Living, an assisted living and memory care facility in West Lake Hills, has reported eight people associated with the location have confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to a company statement provided June 29.

Belmont said an “outside healthcare worker” initially tested positive, which prompted the location to contact trace and get all residents and staff tested. Travis County Emergency Management administered 224 tests and confirmed three residents, one staff member and four essential care providers not employed by Belmont tested positive, according to Belmont’s statement.

“The health and safety of our residents are always our top priorities. From the start of this pandemic, we have sought and followed the guidance of the CDC, state and local health authorities, and leading experts in infectious disease,” according to a company statement released by Amy Self, Belmont’s vice president of communications and public relations. “We continue to follow the strict protocols we have in place to mitigate contagion and care for our entire Belmont Village family.”

Belmont verified the positive cases to KXAN, after we received a viewer tip and inquired. According to its website, Belmont operates over 30 facilities nationwide and in Mexico City, Mexico.

COVID-19, also called coronavirus, is most dangerous for elderly people and those with existing medical conditions. Texas has seen a surge in virus case and hospitalization in June. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission provides statewide case numbers at assisted living facilities and nursing homes.

There are 2,004 assisted living facilities in the state. As of June 29, HHSC reported 739 cases at 260 facilities, including 140 resident deaths and 307 recoveries statewide.

At Texas nursing homes, HHSC reported 5,907 cases at 673 locations, which is over 55% of the state’s nursing homes, including 923 deaths and 2,723 recoveries across Texas.

While HHSC releases statewide long-term care facility data, the agency has refused to release facility-level information. HHSC said it is barred from providing facility data due to medical privacy laws. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has, however, released data showing the number of cases in individual Texas nursing homes. The CMS data collection effort does not include assisted living facilities.

You can view a statewide map of nursing home cases here. KXAN’s map of independently confirmed nursing and assisted living facilities with cases is below.

Cases surge

Texas has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases in June, prompting Gov. Greg Abbott to slow the state’s reopening. On Friday, Abbott issued an executive order closing businesses that get a majority of their sales from alcohol. Those businesses can only offer take-out and delivery. Abbott also ordered rafting and tubing businesses to close, restaurants to stay below 50% capacity and outdoor gatherings of more than 100 people must get local government approval.

“As I said from the start, if the positivity rate rose above 10%, the State of Texas would take further action,” Gov. Abbott said in a statement Friday. “At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars.”

You can see a collection of data and charts depicting coronavirus statistics here.

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