The latest data released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services this week showed only a handful of positive cases reported at nursing homes within Hidalgo County among both the nursing home residents and staff.
Among the nursing homes throughout Hidalgo, Starr, and Willacy counties, only six reported new confirmed cases during the week ending on June 7.
Of those positive cases, six were among nursing home residents and five were among the employees.
The data comes from CMS which released the figures on Thursday in an online dataset compiled with information submitted by those nursing homes.
Briarcliff Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center at 3201 N. Ware Road reported one confirmed case of COVID-19 among their residents the week ending on June 7.
In Edinburg, Windsor Arbor View at 218 Baltic reported two of their staff members tested positive for the disease during the week ending on June 7.
Meanwhile, Edinburg Nursing and Rehabilitation Center at 5215 S. Sugar Road reported admitting one COVID-19 positive resident that week but reported a total of two positive residents.
Facilities had the option to report retrospective data going back to Jan. 1 so the total number of cases could be from as early as the beginning of the year.
San Juan Nursing Home Inc. at 300 N. Nebraska reported one staff member tested positive for COVID-19 that week.
The Heights of Alamo at 1214 S. Alamo Road reported four of their residents and one employee tested positive.
Touchstone Communities, a San Antonio-based company that owns and operates The Heights of Alamo, confirmed those test results in a statement June 5.
A community spokesman for the nursing home, Dr. Melody Chatelle, said at the time that there was no evidence the disease was spreading among their community.
Alamo Nursing and Rehabilitation Center didn’t report any positive cases that week but had previously reported that three of their staff members had tested positive.
In Mercedes, Mid Valley Nursing & Rehabilitation at 601 N. Mile 2 West reported one of their staff members tested positive that week for a total of two employees that had tested positive since January.
No cases were reported in Weslaco, though it should be noted that Orchard Park Post Acute Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and Weslaco Nursing and Rehabilitation Center did not submit data to CMS.
The nursing homes are expected to report their data every Sunday to CMS. Following a grace period, facilities that do not report data will be fined $1,000 the first time and $1,500 the following week. The fine will continue to increase from there until they start reporting, CMS Administrator Seema Verma said during a conference call with media on June 4.
None of the Starr County nursing homes, both located in Rio Grande City, reported any new coronavirus cases and neither did the Retama Manor Nursing Center in Raymondville.
The results follow the mandate by Gov. Greg Abbott to test all nursing home residents and staff throughout the state.
The low number of cases locally, at least through June 7, matches the report from Dr. Emilie Prot, regional director for the Department of State Health Services, in which she said results from nursing homes were not the largest contributing factor to the recent spike in cases throughout the Rio Grande Valley.
Before the state-mandated testing, nursing homes in Cameron County began reporting cases within their nursing homes following outbreaks in a few of the facilities there and county health officials continue to provide daily updates.
On Friday, the county reported that at the Veranda Nursing Home in Harlingen, 34 employees and 63 residents tested positive so far, including 11 individuals who have died.
At the Windsor Atrium, also in Harlingen, 39 employees and 61 residents had so far tested positive, including 16 individuals who died.
In Brownsville, Spanish Meadows had six employees and 11 residents test positive, including one who died.
At The Rio at Fox Hollow, five employees and 13 residents tested positive, and in Alta Vista, one employee and three residents tested positive.
Nationwide, there are more than 107,000 positive cases in nursing homes as of June 7 and nearly 29,500 deaths.