Long-term care facilities are bracing for another surge of coronavirus cases, and reporting more outbreaks than ever.
When Midlothian Healthcare Center had an outbreak in November, owner, Greg Loudermilk, says nearly half his staff - and just under half of the residents got coronavirus.
“It started around Nov. 10, when we had one of our residents who was not feeling well hospitalized. He was positive,” says Greg Loudermilk, owner of Midlothian Healthcare Center.
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Cases are now slowly declining.
“We currently have 18 residents who are positive and 4 staff members,” said Loudermilk.
One of them is still fighting for their life after getting COVID-19.
“I have one of our staff members who is very ill in the hospital right now,” said Loudermilk.
The Texas Assisted Living Association represents assisted living communities statewide.
They say a vaccine can’t come soon enough.
“We know that our staff and residents will be in the priority population. There are a ton of logistics and details still being worked out, like will you be able to vaccinate all your staff and resident at the same time?” said Carmen Tilton, VP of Public Policy with the Texas Assisted Living Association.
Until then, Greg Loudermilk is reaching into his own pocket to keep morale up.
He says he’s given away $200 dollar Walmart gift cards, and cash bonuses to employees who can pick up extra shifts.
“We are fighting this battle day in and day out here. We don’t intend on giving up,” said Loudermilk.
We checked with Dallas County, it says nearly 100 long-term care facilities have reported active COVID-19 outbreaks.
Dallas County tells NBC 5 that is the highest number it’s seen since the start of the pandemic.
The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is recommending that health care workers and residents at long-term care facilities be among the first to receive a vaccine when the FDA authorizes one.
“I feel like it would at least give us a bit of an edge against this virus," said Loudermilk. "Right now we’re totally at its mercy and I feel like we would at least have the opportunity to protect some people.”