LUBBOCK, Texas — Bender Terrace Nursing and Rehabilitation Center was reported to have 33 cases of COVID-19 in its facilities last week.
Tim W. Daniel Jr., the administrator at the nursing home, said 14 of those were employees and 19 were residents.
Daniel said at the start of the pandemic, Bender Terrace took all precautionary measures to keep its residents safe by limiting access to the facilities. He said the nursing home went four months without one reported case of the virus.
In this instance, Daniel said it’s important to recognize the nursing home has two separate area facilities. One is its memory care unit and the other is its traditional nursing unit. He said the area that was hit with the virus is the memory care unit.
“The memory care side is a variety of dementia and Alzheimer patients, who obviously cannot practice social distancing, who cannot or will not wear any kind of face masks for any extended period of time,” he said.
Daniel said the two areas of the facility are being sectioned off by a wall to prevent spread of the virus.
Right now, he said no one knows how the virus might have been brought into the facility and that it are complying with guidelines set forth by the Lubbock Health Department and Texas Health and Human Services.
“We do have two residents that go out for dialysis so three days a week. They go out and they come back so we don’t know if that was part of it,” he said. “We don’t know if it was an employee at this particular time.”
Katherine Wells with the Lubbock Health Department said in just a couple of months, the health department has changed the way it investigates outbreaks in high risk areas like nursing homes.
“If we see it in a high risk facility the goal is to get everyone tested as soon as possible,” she said.
Wells said that these times are challenging on everyone but that due to the high risk of the virus, individuals in nursing homes must be protected as much as possible.
“I know it’s kind of hard for people not to have visitors in the nursing homes but it’s so easy to bring the virus into one of these places and it’s very difficult to control once it gets there,” she said.