All patients, residents and staff at Texas' 23 state hospitals and supported living centers are to be tested for coronavirus, according to a May 21 announcement from Gov. Greg Abbott.
The Texas Health and Human Services Commission will expand testing in state hospitals and supported living centers to “assess the scope and extent of possible infections at facilities statewide.”
The state previously tested residents and patients if symptoms were shown or if there was a risk of exposure, according to the release. Testing will now include asymptomatic people and those who have not been tested within 30 days.
There are 4,700 patients and residents and 18,000 employees at state supported living centers and hospitals. As of May 20, 161 patients and residents have tested positive across seven facilities, and 107 have recovered. There are less than 10 coronavirus-related deaths among residents and patients in the 23 facilities.
Some testing kits have already been sent to the facilities, and THHSC is working with the Texas Department of State Health Services for more tests. Local health departments have also offered help.
THHSC operates 13 supported living centers with residential care, medical services and vocational training and 10 state hospitals with acute psychiatric care for adults and children, according to the release.
“Many patients and residents in our care are medically fragile and rely on our frontline healthcare heroes for the important care they receive. By expanding testing to everyone in our facilities, we will increase our ability to further protect everyone who lives and works in our facilities and prevent the spread of the virus throughout our system,” THHSC Executive Commissioner Phil Wilson said in the release.