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Texas HHS Offers Coronavirus Recommendations and Resources for Long-Term Care Facilities

Date: 03/05/20

Texas Health and Human Services (HHS) recently posted a news release highlighting its commitment to monitoring the novel coronavirus outbreak. HHS is also committed to providing guidance to licensed long-term care facilities to prevent the spread of respiratory infection in Texas.

In an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), HHS recommends that long-term care facilities (such as nursing and assisted living facilities) follow the same general strategies used to detect and prevent the spread of respiratory viruses like the flu. Long-term care facilities are required to maintain infection prevention and control programs to prevent the spread of communicable diseases.

If a facility believes a resident, visitor or employee has been exposed or infected with COVID-19, they should contact the local health department or the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) immediately.

Helpful Recommendations

HHS offers the following recommendations to continue preventing the spread of COVID-19.

  • Post signs at the facility entrance instructing people NOT to visit if they have symptoms of any respiratory illness.
  • Ensure facility sick leave policies allow employees to stay home when ill.
  • Monitor and isolate residents with fever or acute respiratory symptoms to their rooms.
  • Provide infection control training, and appropriate supplies for personal protective equipment.
  • Require frequent handwashing.

For more information on guidance for long-term care facilities, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

HHS is currently developing additional infection control guidance for licensed health-care facilities, child care operations and other regulated entities. The agency is working closely with DSHS, the Texas Department of Emergency Management and other agencies to monitor and assess the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S.

For up-to-date information on the COVID-19, visit the DSHS website and CDC's Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage.