Staffer at Leander assisted living facility tests positive for coronavirus

Investigations

LEADNER, Texas (KXAN) – An employee of The Legacy at Crystal Falls, an assisted living and memory care facility for seniors in Leander, has tested positive for coronavirus, according to a company statement released Tuesday.

Crystal Falls is the first senior facility in Leander to confirm a positive case of coronavirus to KXAN. The company was notified of the positive test Sunday. All residents who were potentially exposed have been tested, and the facility is currently testing employees, according to a statement issued by LifeWell Senior Living, a Houston-based company that operates Crystal Falls.

“The Legacy at Crystal Falls took immediate action at the community upon being notified Sunday in addition to measures being practiced for several weeks including daily temperature checks, daily use of surgical masks, in-room dining practices, increased disinfection measures, asking residents to stay in their apartments, staff to stay home when they’re sick, suspension of all group activities, and continued restrictions around limitation of visitors,” according to Lifewell’s statement.

Lifewell operates nine facilities in Texas, Florida and New Mexico. The Leander location is licensed for 138 beds, according to Texas Health and Human Services Commission records.

KXAN has independently verified cases of coronavirus at 19 long-term care facilities in Central Texas since March. Local and state health officials will not release a list of affected facilities, citing health privacy laws.

Long-term care facilities, which include nursing homes and assisted living facilities, have been hot spots for the virus in Texas, and nationwide. Coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, is especially dangerous for elderly people and those with existing medical issues.

Texas nursing homes have been struck hard, with 3,205 cases in 326 facilities and 528 deaths. At assisted living facilities, there have been 428 cases at 118 sites and 103 deaths, according to HHSC data updated Wednesday. There are 1,224 nursing homes and 2,004 assisted living facilities in Texas.

In response to the surge of senior facility cases, Gov. Greg Abbott called for all nursing home residents and staff members to undergo coronavirus testing on May 11. However, that directive did not include assisted living facilities, according to HHSC.

(Clarification: This story has been updated to clarify The Legacy at Crystal Falls is licensed for 138 beds.)

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