COVID-19 Situation Report: July 26, 2020
Sunday, July 26, 2020
LeadingAge Texas COVID-19 Situation Report
Updated July 26, 2020
Texas has the fourth highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States. The state currently ranks 10th in the nation for the number of deaths surpassing 4,000 this month.
As cases and hospitalizations began to surge in late June, Governor Greg Abbott scaled back reopening plans and instituted a statewide mandate requiring Texans to wear face coverings in counties with over 20 active cases. At the same time, cases continued to increase in long-term care organizations like nursing homes and assisted living communities.
Reported by the Texas DSHS and HHSC
Texas’ Older Population
- There are an estimated 3.5 million people in Texas age 65 and older; they make up approximately 12.3 percent of the total Texas population of 28.7 million.
- Over 90,000 Texans reside in over 1,200 nursing homes. In 2019, Texas HHSC reported over 2,000 assisted living communities representing approximately 75,000 beds.
- Thousands more live in independent retirement communities and affordable housing.
Texas COVID-19 Cases and Deaths
- 381,000+ cases
- 13.30 cases per 1,000 people statewide
- 13.8% positivity rate over last 7 days
- 5,000 + deaths
COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in Long-Term Care
- 15,971 cases reported among nursing home and assisted living residents (4.1% of all cases)
- 2,122 deaths (approximately 41% of all deaths)
- 5,777 reported recoveries
- A recent report highlighted the increase in cases in Long-Term Care facilities and statewide from 6/24/20
- As Texas cases increased by 89%, long-term care facilities experienced an increase of 49%.
- The two states with the highest overall increase in cases statewide, Texas and Florida, also report the highest increase in cases in long-term care facilities.
TEXAS AGING SERVICES CHALLENGES & EXPERIENCES
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- As of June 28th, CMS reported approximately 1 in 3 nursing homes reported a shortage in PPE, staffing, or both.
- PPE supply has improved, but providers are still facing significantly higher than normal prices, creating significant financial pressures. One Texas community reported paying $7.00 per gown compared to .60 cents normally.
- Many promised FEMA shipments of PPE have not arrived or have been substandard quality.
- Long-term care leaders expect the spike in cases will create new pressure on PPE supplies.
- On May 11th, Governor Abbott ordered all nursing home residents and staff be tested for COVID19. The one-time testing initiative was completed in mid-June.
- On July 10th, Governor Abbott announced a partnership with Omnicare to provide point-of care testing to nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
- At this time, nursing homes and assisted living communities continue to lack access to adequate and rapid testing.
- Over 150,000 staff face exposure to COVID-19.
- Staff burnout is being reported by a majority of providers.
- Growth in positive cases among staff threaten staffing levels and service delivery, drive additional costs for overtime and staff replacement.
- Dedicating staff to COVID-19 isolation units to care for infected residents further depletes available and already overburdened staff.
Residents & Families
- Since March 15th, visitation has been prohibited in nursing homes and assisted living communities separating residents from their loved ones.
- Isolating residents is bad for their physical and mental health. Recent studies have shown higher rates of depression, cardiovascular disease, worsening dementia and Alzheimer’s, and shorter lives.
Long-term care providers and residents are heavily impacted by the spread of COVID-19. To ensure resident and staff wellbeing, it’s crucial that all levels of government target necessary resources to these vulnerable communities. As revenues decline due
to decreases in admissions, costs continue to soar and are creating financial hardship for providers as they continue the fight against coronavirus.