Joint Task Force to Provide COVID-19 Testing in Texas Nursing Homes

The testing will be provided for facilities in Dallas, Collin, Ellis, Hunt, Kaufman, Navarro and Rockwall counties

A hospital staff member holds a coronavirus testing swab during the COVID-19 pandemic on May 4, 2020.
Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

A joint task force created with local fire chiefs in collaboration with the Texas Division of Emergency Management will provide COVID-19 testing in regional nursing homes.

The task force was created in response to Gov. Greg Abbott's order to have all staff and residents at nursing homes tested for the coronavirus, according to Dallas Fire-Rescue.

The testing will be provided for facilities in Dallas, Collin, Ellis, Hunt, Kaufman, Navarro and Rockwall counties.

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A soft launch for the program was held Friday and on Saturday teams visited five facilities in Dallas and Collin counties. Four additional Dallas County facilities were tested on Sunday.

Operations will be paused for Memorial Day unless any unscheduled assignments come up, the department said.

A total of 1,791 residents and staff have been tested at 11 facilities, with testing currently scheduled for 27 of the remaining 82 facilities, Dallas Fire-Rescue said.

Assisted living facilities have been hit hard by COVID-19.

In Rockwall County, at least 20% of the county's 168 cases of the coronavirus have been reported at Broadmoor Medical Lodge. The facility has had at least 35 cases of COVID-19 and all 11 of the county's deaths have been from Broadmoor.

Of the 211 deaths reported in Dallas County, more than a third have been associated with long-term care facilities.

In addition to Dallas Fire-Rescue, the task force includes fire departments from Cedar Hill, Plano Red Oak, DeSoto, Ovilla, Lewisville, Corsicana, Ennis, Frisco, Garland, McKinney, Richardson and Sachse and the Garland Office of Emergency Management.

*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.

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