Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins announced new measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes on Sunday after several facilities had outbreaks.
Jenkins also recommended that anyone who can take care of an elderly relative should do so. Nursing homes affected included Edgemere senior living, Skyline Nursing Center and Monticello West senior living.
“I want every family to really question whether they could take care of [an elderly relative] and maybe try to get them home,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins’ comments come after Dallas County reached 488 cases and 10 deaths. The tenth death was a woman living in a nursing home who had other chronic health conditions, said Dr. Philip Huang, Dallas County Health and Human Services director.
The new measures will include notifying all staff of any positive COVID-19 cases, Jenkins said. Cases should also be reported to Dallas County.
Nursing home facilities are closed to new admissions if there is a case in that home. Workers must wear masks and have their temperature taken on site. Employees who have a high temperature are to be sent home.
Nursing home employees may only work at one facility at a time and may no longer take part-time jobs at other facilities, Jenkins said.
The new measures are effective immediately.
“When these things get into the nursing homes, they spread, and they spread rapidly,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins also made remarks about greater enforcement of social distancing because people aren’t following guidelines. He suggested possibly closing parks and giving fines to people who violate the shelter-in-place order.
“It’s like my momma used to say, a few of you screw it up for the rest of us,” he said.