Frisco Fire Department to test local nursing home residents, staff for coronavirus as part of statewide effort

The Frisco Fire Department will be overseeing coronavirus testing at local nursing facilities and assisted living facilities in the coming weeks. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
The Frisco Fire Department will be overseeing coronavirus testing at local nursing facilities and assisted living facilities in the coming weeks. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

The Frisco Fire Department will be overseeing coronavirus testing at local nursing facilities and assisted living facilities in the coming weeks. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

As part of a statewide effort to test nursing home residents and staff, the Frisco Fire Department will oversee coronavirus testing at local facilities in the coming weeks. The department will also serve as the collection hub for testing data from all other Texas fire departments that are doing the same.

Chief Mark Piland said testing at the city’s nursing facilities and assisted living facilities for COVID-19 will begin May 21. With 18 such facilities in Frisco, Piland estimated the department will be testing about 1,300 residents and 750 staff members.

“That is our most vulnerable population in this city and any city—these nursing facilities,” Piland told Frisco City Council during its May 19 meeting. “I think it's important that we're part of the initiative to go in and make sure that we identify positive cases.”

The Frisco Fire chief said members of the department’s COVID testing team will be screened to ensure they are free of the coronavirus before going into the facilities. Identifying residents who test positive will allow management at the facilities to separate those with the virus from patients who test negative, he said.

The city’s Emergency Operations Center will have dedicated staff taking calls from fire departments across the state to collect the testing data, Piland said.


“The testing that we do in the nursing facilities and the additional help that we're giving them on data collection is funded by the state,” Piland said. “I feel real proud of the fact that they had the confidence in our department and our city to take on this task.”

Piland said he expects the city to be collecting data from fire departments for at least the next two months.

“We're good partners with the state in terms of emergency management,” Piland said. “And I think that's one of the reasons why they leaned on us to get the job done.”

He also told council the testing could lead to an increase in positive cases throughout the state.

“Anytime you have increased testing, you have increased numbers, so we will probably see some increased positive cases in the state and also possibly in our counties,” Piland said. “Obviously, some of these patients will be non-symptomatic, but nevertheless will possibly test positive.”
By William C. Wadsack
William C. Wadsack is editor of the Frisco edition of Community Impact Newspaper. He previously served as managing editor of several daily and weekly publications in North Texas and his native state of Louisiana before joining Community Impact Newspaper in 2019.


MOST RECENT

Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath announced in a June 30 State Board of Education meeting that students will be taking the STAAR in the 2020-21 school year. (Courtesy Pixabay)
Education organizations call for STAAR requirements to be waived another year

Gov. Greg Abbott waived the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, testing requirements in March of earlier this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

coronavirus graphic
Denton County officials confirm COVID-19-related death of Frisco man in his 40s

Denton County Public Health reported the death of a Frisco man in his 40s as a result of COVID-19 on July 10.

With a clinical background in internal, pulmonary and critical care medicine, Corry has been with BCM for 20 years. He now focuses primarily on inflammatory lung diseases, such as asthma and smoking-related chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. (Graphic by Ronald Winters/Community Impact Newspaper)
Q&A: Baylor College of Medicine's Dr. David Corry discusses immunity, vaccine production amid COVID-19 pandemic

Rapid development and distribution of a vaccine worldwide and successful achievement of herd immunity will be key players in determining the lifespan of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Dr. David Corry, a professor of Medicine in the Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology Section at Baylor College of Medicine.

The new partnership will provide on-site, same-day testing and results for assisted-living facility staff and their residents. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
State announces partnership for increased COVID-19 testing for patients, staff at assisted-living facilities, nursing homes

These test sites will help the state work toward the goal of processing up to 100,000 tests in the first month.

Frisco confirmed a fourth mosquito pool in the city had tested positive for West Nile Virus on July 10. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Frisco to spray for mosquitoes after fourth pool tests positive for West Nile Virus

Frisco plans to spray for mosquitoes July 11-12 near Cottonwood Creek Greenbelt after a fourth local mosquito pool tested positive for West Nile Virus.

The Weihenstephaner Pils, a hoppy pale lager, is one of the German beers Bavarian Grill serves straight from the tap. (Courtesy Bavarian Grill)
Lewisville school plans, police reform talks and other popular DFW stories from this week

Here are five recent updates from Greater Dallas on restaurants opening and closing, community conversations about policing and more.

With just three months of housing inventory available, local Frisco Realtor Meredith Held, with RE/MAX DFW Associates, said the city is a seller's market at all price points. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Frisco's growth remains driver for housing market

“All housing demand is driven by job growth and population growth. The Dallas [area] has enjoyed a pretty, strong job growth market for the last decade. But [now] that’s reversed,” said Matt Enzler, senior managing director for Trammell Crow Residential.

If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, establishments are encouraged, but not required, to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state guidelines. (Katherine Borey/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas restaurants, businesses not required to disclose positive COVID-19 cases

If an employee of a business or restaurant tests positive for COVID-19, establishments are encouraged, but not required, to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state guidelines.

Effective July 9, hospitals in more than 100 counties across the state must now postpone elective surgeries unrelated to COVID-19. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
MAP: Governor expands restrictions on elective surgeries to more than 100 Texas counties

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott expanded the restrictions that initially required only hospitals in Bexar, Dallas, Harris, and Travis counties to postpone all non-medically necessary surgeries and procedures that are unrelated to COVID-19.

Frisco Police Chief David Shilson spoke at a Frisco town hall on June 15 on race relations and policing. (Courtesy city of Frisco)
'You can always get better': Frisco police chief reflects on department diversity, procedures

Over the last month, the Frisco Police Department has looked inward to improve its diversity and use of force procedures, according to the police chief.

(Cherry He/Community Impact Newspaper)
Frisco's latest monthly sales tax revenues down almost 7% year-over-year

The $6.56 million sales tax allocation for Frisco in July was based generally on purchases in May, the Texas comptroller’s office reported. In July 2019, Frisco received more than $7.05 million in sales tax revenue.

According to the Denton County Elections Office, 13,394 county residents cast ballots in the first week early voting from June 29-July 5. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
DATA: More than 13,000 Denton County residents cast ballots in first week of early voting

Although the deadlines to register to vote in this election and to apply for an absentee ballot have passed, Denton County residents can cast ballots at any early voting center through July 10.