Nursing homes are considered breeding grounds for COVID-19, but not one nursing facility in the Brazos Valley is set to receive the point-of-care testing device promised by the Trump administration.
The Trump administration’s plan to provide every nursing home in the country with a point-of-care testing device to fast track virus testing for staff and residents is not happening as promised.
“The point was to get testing in every facility as quickly as possible and start doing regular testing,” said George Linial, President of LeadingAge of Texas.
There are about 15,400 nursing home facilities across the country. Texas itself has over 12,000 facilities, and not every nursing home is receiving a device as of now.
“The last figures that we saw was that about 200 plus facilities in Texas are slated to get this testing equipment,” said Linial.
In Central Texas, five nursing homes in McLennan County fit the criteria to receive a testing device. The Trump administration has also said they are only providing two weeks worth of test kits, which has nursing facilities scrambling to find more testing kits to actually be able to use the device.
“We’ve talked to some distributors, and they tell us it could be weeks, months before there is ample supply of test kits available for some of the equipment being shipped,” said Linial.
Roughly 40% of COVID deaths in Texas have been in nursing facilities, which go along with national trends. LeadingAge Texas says the point-of-care device is a great step at preventing COVID-19 from infiltrating into nursing homes.
“We think that anything that can be done to prevent the spread of the virus into facilities is a great step, but there’s got to be some guarantee or some way to make sure that the equipment is useful," said Linial.