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Elgin nursing home reports 31 positive coronavirus cases

Brandon Mulder
The Elgin Nursing and Rehabilitation Center has reported that two dozen of its residents and seven staff members have tested positive for COVID-19, the most casof any nursing home in Bastrop County.

Seven staff members and over 20 residents of an Elgin nursing home have tested positive for COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, according a spokesperson of the facility’s management company.

Last week, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released preliminary data showing the number of COVID-19 cases nursing homes throughout the country have reported.

The data shows that Elgin Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, at 1373 N. Avenue C, reported 18 confirmed cases and 20 suspected cases. However, Regency Integrated Health Services, which owns and operates the facility, says that testing last month identified seven employees and 24 residents who tested positive for COVID-19. A company spokesperson said that they are working with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to correct the data discrepancy.

“As per CMS and (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommendations, we have followed strict guidelines regarding the isolation and care of these individuals,” spokesperson Brooke Ladner said in a statement.

Regency Integrated Health Services owns and operates four of the five nursing home and assisted living centers in Bastrop County. Its Elgin facility is the only one reporting confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to CMS data. The Lost Pines Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Bastrop, also owned by Regency, recorded 11 suspected COVID-19 cases.

Regency’s Silver Pines Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Bastrop and Towers Nursing Home in Smithville reported no positive or suspected cases among its residents, the data shows. No data was reported for New Haven Assisted Living and Memory Care in Bastrop.

Regency began restricting access to its facilities in mid-March when it announced that all its facilities were implementing certain precautions to help combat the coronavirus outbreak. Beginning on March 13, visitation was barred without special permissions, and access to facilities became restricted to one entrance for all staff and vendors. All non-medical appointments and activities outside the facilities also became limited.

Elgin is Bastrop County’s city with the highest number of COVID-19 cases. As of Monday, 77 people in Elgin have been infected with the disease, or about 31% of all 251 cases recorded in the county. Elgin has also recorded two of the county’s three coronavirus-related deaths.

Last month, Bastrop County conducted its own coronavirus survey of two nursing home facilities in the county. Ninety-four tests were administered and yielded one positive result, which was linked to a staff member. No nursing home residents returned positive results, according to the Bastrop County Office of Emergency Management.

Officials have not disclosed in which nursing home the staff member works, nor at which facilities testing was conducted.

Nationwide, 95,515 nursing home residents have tested positive for COVID-19. Of those, 31,782 residents have died, according to CMS data.