Nursing Homes

West Oaks Nursing and Rehabilitation Center has the most COVID-19-related deaths in Austin, according to nursing home data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released data Thursday on the number of reported cases of COVID-19 in nursing homes across the country. The data includes specifics on which facilities have cases — information that both Texas and Austin officials had previously refused to release, citing privacy laws.

With the coronavirus hitting long-term care facilities especially hard, a growing number of state leaders are mandating universal testing of all nursing home residents and staff.

Courtesy of Felicia Dodson Hill

Maurice Dotson died April 17, weeks after contracting COVID-19. The 51-year old worked as a nurse’s aide at West Oaks Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in South Austin, and that’s where his family believes he contracted the coronavirus.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

At least 335 positive COVID-19 cases and 30 deaths have been reported among staff and residents of Austin-area nursing homes and long-term care facilities. But testing levels remain low, and health officials say they don't have a good estimate of how many tests would be needed for that entire population.

911 calls indicate West Oaks Rehabilitation and Health Care Center in Southwest Austin has had a cluster of COVID-19 cases.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

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"Tengo un residente. Su temperatura está subiendo y su oxígeno está bajando bastante, por lo que el médico quiere sacarla[del hogar]", dice quien llamó desde el Riverside Nursing and Rehabilitation Center en una llamada al 911 el 21 de abril. "Ella es COVID-positiva. ... Tiene una temperatura de 102. Su nivel de oxígeno está bajando".

911 calls indicate West Oaks Rehabilitation and Health Care Center in Southwest Austin has had a cluster of COVID-19 cases.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

"I have a resident. Her temperature is going up and her oxygen is dropping quite low, so the doctor wants to send her out," the caller from Riverside Nursing and Rehabilitation Center says in a 911 call April 21. "She’s COVID-positive. ... She’s running a temp of 102. Her oxygen level’s dropping."

Michael Minasi / KUT

Staff working at multiple facilities is contributing to an outbreak of COVID-19 in the region’s nursing homes, Interim Austin-Travis County Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott said Wednesday.