South Austin assisted living and nursing facilities confirm COVID-19 cases

Investigations

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Two separate senior facilities in south Austin – Legacy Oaks of South Austin and Southpark Meadows Nursing and Rehabilitation Center – have confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 at their facilities.

A spokesperson for Legacy Oaks, which is located on U.S. 290 between Convict Hill Road and RM 1826, said two residents and two staff members tested positive recently. A spokesperson for Southpark Meadows Nursing did not specify how many cases have been confirmed at that facility located at the intersection of South First Street and Taft Lane.

KXAN contacted the facilities and confirmed the cases after receiving emails from concerned viewers. KXAN has independently confirmed COVID-19 cases at two dozen Central Texas senior facilities.

Cases of COVID-19, also called coronavirus, have surged in nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Texas. As of Monday, there have been cases confirmed in 16% of all Texas assisted living facilities with 151 deaths. In nursing homes, there have been 990 deaths and cases in over 60% of facilities throughout Texas, according to the Health and Human Services Commission.

Legacy Oaks Assisted Living

“With early, proactive interventions and mass testing, Legacy Oaks South Austin has been fortunate to not have any confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Community until recently. Legacy Oaks South Austin has had only 2 residents and 2 staff members that have tested positive for COVID-19,” said Misty Miller, chief operating officer of Civitas Senior Living, which operates Legacy Oaks.

Two employees and one resident have been asymptomatic, and the other resident is recovering in quarantine at the facility, according to Miller’s statement. All the individuals that tested positive have been quarantined, Miller said.

Miller said the facility is following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Civitas operates over 45 facilities in six states. Legacy Oaks is licensed for 122 beds, according to HHSC.

Southpark Meadows Nursing and Rehabilitation Center

Southpark Meadows Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (KXAN Photo/Ed Zavala)

A spokesperson for Southpark Meadows Nursing said the facility has confirmed “new positive cases,” but she did not indicate how many. The spokesperson said the company has notified health authorities, and she referred KXAN to data compiled by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS) for more information.

Southpark Meadows Nursing and Rehabilitation is licensed for 120 beds and operated by Regency Integrated Health Services.

Federal data

CMS has collected nationwide facility-level nursing home COVID-19 data since May and began releasing it publicly in early June. The federal records show dozens of data points including COVID-19 case numbers and deaths, as well as whether a facility has stocked different types of protective equipment. But the federal data is incomplete. It lacks information from April and March, and it is weeks old by the time it is released.

There is no federal collection of COVID-19 data for assisted living facilities that has been made public. State and local officials, citing medical privacy laws, have refused to release data that would identify specific nursing home and assisted living facilities with cases.

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