A senior living center in McKinney is dealing with one of the largest clusters of COVID-19 deaths statewide at an assisted living facility.
As of Tuesday, seven deaths have been reported at Oxford Grand Assisted Living and Memory Care, including an 86-year-old woman reported Tuesday. Wednesday, a representative with the center confirmed an 8th death and 13th positive case.
Oxford Grand Assisted Living and Memory Care is home to up to 95 residents, some of whom require limited medical help.
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But others require more assistance, like those in the memory care unit battling Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
So far, 13 people in the memory care unit have tested positive for COVID-19, including one confirmed Wednesday.
“That is a tremendous shock,” McKinney Mayor George Fuller said. “I imagine it rivals some of the worst that have happened across the country.”
The ages of the first seven people -- five women and two men -- who have died range from 80 to 93. The deaths were all reported between April 5 and 21. The age of the most recent victim remains unclear.
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Fuller said the city contacted the center after it learned about the first positive case in March.
“We put them in touch with our EOC staff and our fire department to assist the facility with obtaining the PPE through the Texas ‘STAR’ request system,” Fuller said.
The Texas Health and Human Services Commission said it's actively investigating the center, focusing on the facility's "infection control practices," whether it's properly screening all staff and critical service providers for residents, and whether its following CDC guidelines regarding the proper use of personal protective equipment.
In an email, an Oxford Grand representative said the facility is following all guidelines.
The representative said staff are being screened when they enter the building and residents are being screened three times per day.
The representative said the facility has implemented social distancing, canceled events and eliminated communal dining.
Staff members are wearing PPE, the representative said.
“No visitors have been allowed in the building since mid-March, although we have implemented a protocol in the event that a family needs to visit their loved one for any end-of-life situation,” the representative wrote.
The protocol includes screening the family member for any signs, symptoms or exposure to the virus. They are outfitted in full PPE and led to the resident’s quarantined room in the shortest route. At the end of the visit, staff assist with proper disposal of the PPE and lead the family member along the same route out of the building.
“Families have been extremely supportive of the precautions we are taking and the staff who are caring for their loved ones each day. Our team is grateful for the emails, gifts and notes of support we have received during the past several weeks,” the representative said.
So far, four Oxford Grand employees have tested positive for COVID-19.
As of Monday, the HHSC said it’s received reports from 238 nursing facilities and 69 assisted living facilities in Texas with one or more COVID-19 positive residents and/or facility staff. There have been 130 resident deaths related to COVID-19 in nursing facilities and 34 resident deaths related to COVID-19 in assisted living facilities in Texas, HHSC said.
*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.
**County totals below include all 32 North Texas counties, not just Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant.