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HHS confirms positive coronavirus case at North Texas State Hospital

The Texas department of Health and Human Service released the following information on Tuesday related to a positive Covid-19 case at North Texas State Hospital.

“Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our patients and staff. We recently received confirmation of a positive case of COVID-19 at the Vernon campus of North Texas State Hospital. We’re working closely with the local health department and the Department of State Health Services and taking precautions to mitigate any spread of disease. We are also coordinating closely with county jails and the Texas Commission on Jail Standards prior to admitting patients to identify any potential exposure, symptoms, or positive test of an individual.

“We’ve activated the hospital’s COVID-19 response plan, which was developed based upon CDC and DSHS guidance. We’re using dedicated spaces for any patient recovering from COVID-19 and ensuring they receive the care they need in a manner safe for them, other patients and staff. Any patients who may have had exposure are isolated for monitoring. The hospital also has a dedicated area to serve any symptomatic patients. Staff are notified as soon as possible of a positive case within a facility. We also work to notify family members, with permission of patients. Staff who have direct exposure to a COVID-19 positive individual receive instructions on symptom monitoring.

“At our state hospitals all staff on the campus wear face masks. Staff working directly with COVID-19 positive patients are dedicated to treating only those patients, wearing full personal protective equipment and are following all CDC guidelines to protect their safety and prevent spread. This includes face shield masks, N95 masks, gloves, and gowns. Additionally, we’re continuing to educate and train staff on infection control procedures.

“On March 5, North Texas State Hospital began travel screening all staff on whether they had visited a country identified by the CDC as high risk or whether they had contact with someone who had. Visitation restrictions to our state hospitals were implemented on March 13. We continue to screen all employees for fever and respiratory illness prior to entrance into the facility. Temperature checks on staff and essential visitors before entry to North Texas State Hospital began on March 16 and remain in place. Any person with a fever or unexplained signs of respiratory illness is not allowed entrance to the hospital.

“We are extremely grateful for the commitment and dedication of our staff to caring for our patients, especially during this challenging time. They are providing an outstanding service to Texas. Our commitment to patients and staff is to provide the best care possible and the safest possible working environment, at all times under any circumstances. This is a rapidly evolving situation and we will continue adapting our policies and procedures as necessary.”

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