We'll be updating this story throughout the day Tuesday with the latest local news on the coronavirus pandemic. If you'd like to go through a roundup of COVID-19 news from Monday, read it here. If you have a news tip or question, email us at news@KUT.org.
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Update at 5:45 a.m. — Bastrop County nursing home survey results in one positive case out of 94 tests
A recent COVID-19 survey of nursing home facilities in Bastrop County resulted in one positive test out of the 94 tests administered.
“This is very good news,” County Health Authority Dr. Desmar Walkes said in a press release. “Based on other facilities in the MSA, we are pleased that there appears to be no epidemic of the virus in our local elder-care facilities.”
The person who tested positive is now being monitored and is in isolation, according to the release. The county is asking the Texas Department of State Health Services to now test all residents and employees of the facility where the positive case was found as soon as possible.
Bastrop County’s health authority and Office of Emergency Management have been monitoring local nursing homes, which in some cities have become hotspots for COVID-19. The survey was conducted last week. The county is not releasing the names of the facilities included in its survey “for the confidentiality of those being tested,” according to the release.
The county says, in all, it has conducted 890 tests so far. There are 112 confirmed cases of the virus in Bastrop County, with 35 recoveries and two deaths.
Catch up on what happened yesterday
Abbott directs state agencies to test all Texas nursing home residents and staff
Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday he’s directing the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, the Texas Division of Emergency Management and the Texas Department of State Health Services to test all residents and staff in Texas nursing homes.
Abbott has instructed these entities to “develop and implement a plan based on the guidance of Vice President Mike Pence and Doctor Deborah Birx,” according to a press release.
“The State of Texas is working to rapidly expand our testing capacity—especially among vulnerable populations in Texas nursing homes,” he said in the release. “This important collaboration among HHSC, TDEM, and DSHS will ensure that any potential clusters of COVID-19 cases in nursing homes are quickly detected and contained.”
Other local coronavirus news from Monday:
- The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds say they will honor frontline COVID-19 responders and essential workers with flights over San Antonio and Austin on Wednesday, starting at 2:40 p.m. in Austin and lasting 25 minutes. The event was originally scheduled for Tuesday but was posptoned due to expected bad weather.
- Capital Metro is partnering with the Austin Independent School District to provide Wi-Fi to neighborhoods in need.
- While a lot of businesses are seeing few, if any, customers right now, bike shops are an exception. Many are reporting that they’re backed up for days or even weeks on repairs, as more people turn to cycling during the pandemic.
- Two voting rights activists have asked the district attorney in Dallas to investigate Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton for election fraud after he sent letters to local election officials telling them not to administer mail-in ballots to people who do not feel safe voting in-person due to the coronavirus.
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