WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — From the beginning, the impact of COVID-19 on Texas’ most vulnerable populations was one of the biggest concerns.
A Round Rock nursing facility has confirmed that one of its residents is among the eight total deaths in Williamson County.
The Round Rock Trinity Care Center was identified as Williamson County’s first nursing cluster over the weekend. Meanwhile, Williamson County is tracking another outbreak at a second nursing home facility.
“This morning in our release, we made you aware of our seventh fatality, ” said Williamson County Judge, Bill Gravell. “Just a few moments ago, we had our eighth death too.”
Williamson Co. Judge Bill Gravell disclosed this news during a Tuesday afternoon press conference. One of the latest deaths is 69-year-old Sue DeLeon.
DeLeon’s family confirmed she passed away early Tuesday morning due to COVID-19 complications.
She’d been hospitalized since Sunday morning. Saturday, Williamson County announced the COVID-19 outbreak inside the nursing facility where DeLeon was living.
“As a county judge, I am heartbroken by our families and their losses,” said Judge Gravell.
DeLeon was one of the 50 residents and staff members to test positive at the Trinity Care facility.
The facility released this statement in regards to her death:
“In a previous Trinity Care Center update, we indicated that several residents’ and team members’ COVID-19 test results came back positive. We are saddened by the news that one of our residents has died at the hospital,” said Caraday Healthcare, Operator of Trinity Care Center. “We extend our most sincere and heartfelt sympathy to our resident’s family and loved ones. As our nation, and the world, is challenged by COVID19, the personal grief that we share cannot be fully expressed.”
Williamson County health officials say all results have since come in for the more than 200 people tested at the facility.
“The nursing facility along Williamson County, and the Health District are working to support them,” said Judge Gravell. “The most precious resource we have in Williamson County is our most vulnerable.”
Judge Gravell says as soon as the county found out about the second cluster, overnight officials tested every resident and employee at the facility.
Now it’s a rush to secure a safe haven for those affected.
Williamson County opened up a wing inside the Hearthstone nursing and rehabilitation center to serve as an isolation facility at the beginning of April. There are 33 rooms available according to the facility. To date, 17 units are occupied, with incoming patients from both Williamson and Travis counties.
Williamson County hasn’t confirmed the name of the first or second facility cluster.
It’s also unclear if the eighth death in Williamson County is a result of the nursing home cluster. If necessary, Judge Gravell did announce the ability to open up a second isolation facility.
Last month, Governor Abbott signed an executive order banning visitors from nursing homes unless it was to provide critical assistance.
Correction: Updated information from Trinity Care Center’s parent company Caraday Healthcare explains that the company had not been allowing medically necessary visitors and restricting access to its facilities since March 12. A previous version of this article incorrectly suggested that this policy had only been in place for two weeks, Caraday Health told KXAN this information came from a company memo which was not correctly updated.