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Traveling therapist tests positive - Odessa American: Local News

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Traveling therapist tests positive

Nursing homes testing in Crane, Odessa and Monahans

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Posted: Thursday, May 21, 2020 11:38 am

A therapist who has worked this week at nursing homes in Odessa and Crane and possibly in Monahans is positive for COVID-19.

A representative of Focused Care at Odessa nursing home confirmed in a phone interview that the traveling therapist was tested at their facility Monday and that since then all other employees and residents have tested negative.

Rebecca Reid, who provides communication for Focused Care at Odessa, said that all family members of those at the nursing homes have been notified and the therapist was asymptomatic.

This is the second case regarding Ector County nursing homes and the same case that was reported during Wednesday’s hospital press briefing.

Thursday afternoon Reid sent out a press release from Focused Post Acute Care Partners regarding the May 18 testing in Odessa that revealed the positive therapist.

The release detailed that the therapist had also provided services the same day in Crane prior to being tested and that the therapist was also at the Focused Care at Monahans where those residents are in quarantine and are showing no symptoms.

All residents and employees at the Monahans nursing home are scheduled to be tested Tuesday and OFR is testing the Crane nursing home Friday.

Focused Care has 31 communities throughout Texas and they are following CDC recommendations and preventative procedures, the release detailed. They have multiple facilities throughout the Permian Basin including in Crane, Odessa, Midland and Monahans.

Focused Care has now restricted therapists from treating residents in person at more than one facility aside from virtual care.

Ector County Judge Debi Hays said Wednesday that the Ector County Health Department was unaware of where the traveling healthcare worker was tested or where she had traveled.

Odessa Fire Rescue had tested Focused Care in Odessa Monday as part of Gov. Greg Abbott’s order to test nursing homes workers and residents.

OFR Assistant Fire Chief Joey White said he wasn’t made aware of that positive until Thursday and that he wasn’t expecting the tests to come back so fast.

Regarding the Crane nursing home that had a resident test positive, the Focused Care release detailed that symptomatic residents were given rapid tests by Crane Memorial Hospital and, “quarantine for all who came in contact with the therapist, regardless of showing symptoms.”

Rapid result tests have been difficult to come by for Ector County hospitals and earlier this week Abbott labs reported their rapid tests can produce false negatives.

It is unclear if the rapid tests used in Crane were from Abbott Labs.

The positive therapist will not be able to enter Focused facilities until she tests negative twice, “in keeping with Focused Care Covid-19 protocols for team members who test positive,” the email states.

The release detailed that the therapist underwent screening processes before going to facilities, but was asymptomatic.

The Ector County Health Department sent out a press release Thursday afternoon reporting that they received results on Wednesday from the May 18 Focused Care at Odessa testing.

When ECHD was called Wednesday about the incident, they did not return phone calls.

Instead, in a previous phone interview Wednesday afternoon Hays said she wasn’t aware of the case and upon calling the health department added that she and the health department weren’t aware of what facilities the therapist was tested at or what facilities the therapist worked at, but that contact tracers were reaching out to the therapist for more information.

Hays didn’t return phone calls Thursday by press time.

Ector County reported having 19 more COVID-19 positives Thursday than Monday. Ector County reported that there have been 134 positives, 99 pending while 13 drive-thru tests have been positive and one is pending. As of Thursday, 42 cases are active and 88 positives have recovered.

The Ector County Coliseum Drive-Thru testing has received 341 calls and has conducted 155 tests.

Medical Center Hospital officials also detailed that they had a fifth employee test positive. They are a pharmacy tech and their last day at work was May 19.

Odessa, TX

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