AUSTIN (KXAN) – At least two cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed at Heritage Park Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in East Austin, according to a company statement released July 10.
Regency Integrated Health Services, which operates the facility, did not provide an exact number of cases.
“We do have new positive cases at Heritage Park Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center, and we have reported those to the appropriate agencies,” said Brook Ladner, senior vice president of business development.
Ladner referred KXAN to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for more information. All nursing homes have been required to submit COVID-19 statistics to CMS. The agency has been compiling those records and releasing them in weekly batches since early June. The records have been incomplete and delayed, and they are currently about two weeks behind.
CMS’ incomplete and delayed data spurred 15 Democratic congressmen, including U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, to call on the agency to produce answers and more complete information to help guide policy decisions.
In an interview Friday, Doggett called CMS’ data collection effort “totally botched” and said lawmakers need complete data to make informed decisions during the pandemic. Doggett also said he has been disappointed Texas continues to lead the country in the number of nursing homes that fail to submit required data to CMS on a weekly basis.
The latest CMS data from June 21 shows Heritage Park has reported only one case of COVID-19 in a staff member. CMS is expected to release more updated information later this week.
Heritage Park had 185 occupied beds, as of June 21. The facility reported no shortages of personal protective equipment or staff to CMS at that time, according to federal data.
Nursing homes in Texas have been slammed by COVID-19, also called coronavirus. The virus is most dangerous for elderly people and those with underlying health conditions. According to a July 10 HHSC update, 1,043 nursing home residents have died of the virus, which is about a third of all COVID-19 deaths in the state. The virus has been found in 64%, or 779, of the state’s nursing homes.