Nearly half of state’s ‘surge teams’ deployed to long-term care facilities

Nursing Home Investigations

Acting Executive Commissioner of the Texas Heath and Human Services Commission Phil Wilson speaks at a press conference with Governor Greg Abbott on Tuesday.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Several “surge teams” of staff and support were sent by the state of Texas to Austin-area long-term care facilities, but they are already leaving.

The acting Executive Commissioner for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission Phil Wilson said 47 “surge teams” have been deployed to high-risk locations around the state. He said around 20 of them have been sent to nursing and assisted living facilities.

“They’ll do things like provide more PPE, more testing supplies, and then we’ll work to enhance healthcare capabilities in those areas,” Governor Greg Abbott said in a press conference on Tuesday.

Austin Public Health officials said three of these surge teams have been working in local nursing homes for the past 10 days.

A city spokesperson told KXAN those teams will be “demobilized” on Wednesday, May 6, due to a “high demand” statewide.

The spokesperson went on, “We will begin working to fill this need through other contracts and local resources as there will be a continued need for these strike teams given the spread we have seen within nursing homes.”

Several Austin city council members said that’s why they have proposed a resolution to implement more testing and local ‘strike teams’ to respond to area homes.

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