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County nursing homes tested for COVID-19

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    As of Friday morning, 391 cases have been reported in Bastrop County. Two additional deaths were reported the day before. This image will be updated regularly as the information on the dashboard changes. View the dashboard at www.co.bastrop.tx.us/page/em.coronavirus.

Federal data shows that Elgin’s nursing home has reported over two dozen confirmed cases of COVID-19 in residents.

In May, Texas Governor Greg Abbott directed state agencies to test each resident and staff in nursing homes across the state in order to quickly detect and contain any potential clusters of COVID-19 in these facilities. Earlier this month, the Texas Division of Emergency Management and the Texas Military Department conducted testing for COVID-19 at the four nursing homes in Bastrop and Smithville; the facility in Elgin had already been tested.

Also in May, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) began gathering and reporting data from nursing homes about the number of confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19 in residents and staff. As of Monday morning, data was available through the week ending on June 7 at data.cms.gov.

Three weeks of COVID-19 data are available for Elgin Nursing & Rehabilitation Center from the CMS website. As of June 7, the latest week of data, 26 residents had been confirmed to have COVID-19, and ten staff members were confirmed to have COVID-19. One resident has died due to COVID-19, the CMS data shows.

According to the data submitted, Elgin Nursing & Rehabilitation Center has no shortage of staff or aides, and they have at least a one-week supply of N95 masks, surgical masks, eye protection, gowns, gloves and hand sanitizer.

CMS reports data for Silver Pines Nursing Home and Bastrop Lost Pines Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Bastrop and Towers Nursing Home in Smithville. Silver Pines Nursing Home and Towers Nursing Home reported no confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases in residents or staff as of June 7.

Bastrop Lost Pines Nursing & Rehabilitation Center reported no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in residents or staff. However, during the week ending on May 24, 11 residents were suspected of having COVID-19, and three staff members were suspected of having COVID-19.

Data has not yet been published on the CMS website for Bastrop Nursing Center.

On Friday afternoon, the Bastrop County Office of Emergency Management provided an update on nursing home testing in the Bastrop and Smithville facilities. According to their announcement, 686 tests were conducted, one of which was a positive staff member and eight of which were still pending. The rest came out negative.

Emergency official gives county update

During Monday’s county commissioners court meeting, emergency management deputy director Christine Files gave an update on Bastrop County’s efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
Monday was the 99th day of the county’s declaration of a local disaster. Files said the county continues to operate its COVID-19 hotline and voluntary isolation center and continues to purchase and distribute personal protective equipment.

As of last Tuesday, emergency services provider Acadian Ambulance took over the county’s testing site in Mayfest Park. The online registration and patient portal through Austin Public Health is moving forward, and the county is planning for June 30 for an open test site. Agreements are also moving forward with St. David’s, Ascension Seton and Acadian for testing sites in Bastrop, Elgin and four other mobile sites across the county.

County Judge Paul Pape asked Files if there is a way to track and report the total number of tests being administered to Bastrop County residents.

“If the number of tests are increasing ten percent every week, then you would expect the number of positives to increase,” Pape said. “But if the number of tests are steady and the number of positives are going up, then that would be a red flag.”

Files said tracking that number would be impossible on a county level. Although that data is available on a statewide level, residents of Bastrop County are not only being tested here.

“We don’t get how many tests were done on Bastrop County residents in Travis County,” she said. “We also don’t get how many may have been done in Hays County or Williamson County. Because so many of our folks go to hospitals in Travis County, it would be impossible for us to pick up those figures.”

Bastrop County cases reach 356, with 121 recoveries

As of Monday afternoon, Bastrop County has confirmed 356 positive cases of COVID-19, according to the county’s dashboard. 

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) reports that 121 people have recovered from the illness in Bastrop County.

At the same time last week, the county’s total number of cases was 286, with 110 recoveries.

According to data from DSHS, 53 percent, or 188, of the cases are in females, while 47 percent, or 168, are in males. Twenty cases are children nine years old or younger, 31 cases are people between 10 and 19 years old, 57 cases are people in their 20s, 65 cases are people in their 30s, 52 cases are people in their 40s, 48 cases are people in their 50s, 44 cases are people in their 60s, 11 cases are people in their 70s, and 10 cases are people 80 years or older.

Out of the three cities in Bastrop County, Elgin still has the highest number of cases with 104 confirmed cases; Bastrop has 13 cases, and Smithville has 12 cases. The remaining 227 cases are from residents who live in unincorporated areas of the county.

Broken down by zip code, Elgin’s region has a total of 155 cases in Bastrop County, with 51 cases from the unincorporated part of the 78621 zip code area. According to the City of Austin’s COVID-19 dashboard, the portion of the 78621 zip code in Travis County has 58 cases.

The unincorporated portion of the 78602 zip code, which is the area surrounding the city of Bastrop, has 50 cases. This area includes the Camp Swift and Lake Bastrop regions. Including the cases within the city limits, the 78602 zip code has a total of 63 cases.

The unincorporated portion of the 78957 zip code, which is the area surrounding the city of Smithville, has nine cases, bringing the total for that entire zip code to 21.

The rest of the cases in the unincorporated regions of the county are found in the following zip codes:

  • 78612 (Cedar Creek): 55 cases
  • 78616 (Dale): 17 cases within Bastrop County
  • 78617 (Del Valle): 29 cases within Bastrop County
  • 78650 (McDade): four cases
  • 78659 (Paige): nine cases
  • 78662 (Red Rock): three cases

See the latest numbers at www.co.bastrop.tx.us/page/em.coronavirus.

The city of Austin’s COVID-19 dashboard, found at www.austintexas.gov/covid19, includes information about hospitalized patients in the five-county Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), in addition to the case numbers for Austin and Travis County. The MSA includes Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson County.

As of Monday morning, the MSA has 181 inpatients in the region’s hospitals, with 86 patients in the intensive care units (ICU) and 32 ventilators in use.

Last week, 129 people were in the hospital as inpatients due to COVID-19, 52 patients were in the ICU and 29 ventilators were in use.