2 Cooke Co. healthcare workers test positive for COVID-19

GAINESVILLE, Tex. (KXII) - At least two North Texas COVID-19 cases this week involve health care workers in Cooke County.

On Thursday an employee at Gainesville Nursing and Rehab tested positive in Dallas County. The company says the man immediately self-isolated when he began showing symptoms Monday, and that none of their residents or other staff have shown symptoms of infection.

Gainesville Nursing and Rehab said in a news release:

Gainesville Nursing & Rehab has been exercising the highest degrees of diligence in daily screenings of all our staff personnel as they enter our building to reduce the risk of communication of the COVID 19 corona virus. We have been using special cleaning equipment on all surfaces- focusing on points of frequent contact inside and outside, for example door handles, countertops, handrails. We curtailed meal service in the dining room and other communal activities - which are provided in the residents' rooms personally. As you know, the significant challenge with containment of the virus is that symptoms lag days or weeks after exposure. Further, we are only allowed to request testing for the virus after the onset of symptoms. There simply are not enough test kits available to us or even in the county and state for testing of non-symptomatic individuals. Yesterday, one of our employees notified us that he had just been tested positive for COVID-19 by the Dallas County Health Department. Pursuant to our policy and practices, the employee had been screened for symptoms of the virus when he reported for work on Friday, March 20, 2020 and did not exhibit any symptoms at the time. Based on clearing our screening procedures, he then worked the shift from Friday night to early Saturday morning and then went home. Based on a number of reported positive cases in Denton, and as he was beginning to experience symptoms of fever and cough on Monday, he wisely pursued getting screened and that returned positive for COVID-19 corona virus. He has not been in our facility since his shift on Friday. The employee is under the care of his physician and is isolated from others. After learning the diagnosis, we immediately contacted the Cooke County Emergency Manager and the Cooke County Health Department to determine any additional protocols to help ensure the safety of our residents and employees. We continue to follow guidance from the Department of Health.

Fortunately, none of our residents or other staff, have shown symptoms of infection from the COVID-19 virus. We continue to maintain the highest measures of safety and vigilance. Gainesville Nursing & Rehab has been, and continues to be, extremely cautious in all regards in performing daily screenings, use of recommended personnel protective equipment and closure of the facility to all visitors -following all recommended guidelines, including guidance from the Department of Health, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Our screening protocol requires that Employees are screened before they begin their shift and again six hours into their shift. In addition, staff are screening residents twice daily for corona symptoms- in addition to usual health monitoring.

Protecting the health and well-being of our residents and employees remains our top priority. We continue to be on high alert and will take every precautionary measure possible.

Please, for your personal safety and the safety of your family and your community, please encourage all members of your family and relatives and friends, to wash their hands regularly with soap for 20 seconds, avoid touching your face and practice social distancing of 6' or more. Avoid unnecessary travel and avoid contact with other people or surfaces. This pandemic is growing, and will not pass quickly, regardless of any voices suggesting otherwise. Listen to the guidance from the medical personnel.

Neither our resident’s nor employees are showing any symptoms, we our following our State, County, and local Health Department guidelines and will continue to do so. We will update you as additional information is available.

Gainesville Nursing & Rehab"

And a healthcare provider at Cooke County Medical Center tested positive for the virus Tuesday in Collin County after initially testing negative last Monday. The clinic was closed and cleaned immediately Wednesday and resumed normal hours Thursday.

North Texas Medical Center, which owns and operates Cooke County Medical Center, addressed the case Thursday on its Facebook page: