Area state living center staff, residents to be tested for COVID-19

All residents and staff at the Mexia State Supported Living Center and at a dozen others around the state will be tested for COVID-19 under an order Gov. Greg Abbott issued Thursday. (File)
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AUSTIN, Texas (KWTX) All residents and staff at the Mexia State Supported Living Center and at a dozen others around the state will be tested for COVID-19 under an order Gov. Greg Abbott issued Thursday.

Abbott also ordered patients and staff tested at 10 state-operated inpatient psychiatric hospitals.

"By expanding widespread COVID-19 testing to our state hospitals and state supported living centers, we are better equipped to identify and mitigate these potential hot spots and protect our most vulnerable populations," Abbott said.

Before Thursday’s order, staff and residents were tested only if they exhibited symptoms or had been exposed to the virus.

The centers and hospitals serve a total of about 4,700 residents and patients and employ a total of about 18,000 workers.

As of Wednesday, 161 patients and residents had tested positive for the virus and 107 of them had recovered.

Fewer than 10 died.

A staff member at the Mexia State Supported Living Center tested positive for the virus in early April.

In late March dozens of residents of the Denton State Supported Living Center were diagnosed with COVID-19.

“Many patients and residents in our care are medically fragile and rely on our front-line health care heroes for the important care they receive. By expanding testing to everyone in our facilities, we will increase our ability to further protect everyone who lives and works in our facilities and prevent the spread of the virus throughout our system,” Texas Department of Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Phil Wilson said.