Required Notification Delayed at North Texas Hospital Hurt by COVID-19

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NBC 5 Investigates has learned staffers at the Terrell State Hospital were not quickly notified, as required by state policy, when several patients there tested positive for COVID-19.

The state’s Health and Human Services Commission, which runs the psychiatric hospital, said in a statement it’s a requirement in its 19 hospitals for workers to be notified “as soon as possible” when someone tests positive for the virus.

The statement to NBC 5 Investigates said, “There is no record that the notification policy was followed and we’re quickly working to correct that. However, as soon as there was a positive case on campus, staff were provided additional PPE to prevent the spread of disease."

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission confirmed only one positive case at the Terrell hospital, saying it received consent from just one patient to release that information.

But state Rep. Keith Bell, whose district includes the hospital, said in a statement he had been told several residents, and staff, had come down with the virus.

“It is unfortunate to hear of the COVID-19 cases amongst several residents and staff at Terrell State Hospital,” Bell said. “I am confident that the Health and Human Services Commission has put proper precautions in place for quarantining and recovery.”

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