Family says nursing center took too long to stop spread of COVID-19

Melanie Singleton and her siblings believe the nursing center where their elderly mother was staying in failed to act quickly enough to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Beatrice Lewis was staying at Park Manor Quail Valley Nursing Center in Missouri City. Now, she's in the intensive care unit at a local hospital after testing positive for the virus.

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"It matters where it came from. It matters how they dealt with it. They didn't deal with it. That they did was try to get one more person out from under them," Melanie told FOX 26.

She says a staff member told her on March 31st a patient at the center tested positive, and the center would soon formally notify families.

"Nobody called that day," recalled Melanie. She and her sister say they learned about the extent of the spread from news reports days later.

Instead, Melanie says the center tried to discharge her mother from their care the following Friday. The family pushed the center to test their mother. They feared to bring her home and to continue to spread the virus.

"No, we're not going to test her because she's not showing any symptoms," Melanie says the facility told her. 

However, according to her family, Lewis is immunocompromised. She has leukemia, diabetes, hypertension, and multiple strokes. 

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Melanie says her family got a call on Monday to inform them Lewis was rushed to the hospital. They say Lewis was diagnosed pneumonia and tested positive for COVID-19 at the hospital. 

HMG Healthcare, LLC CEO Derek Prince said in a statement:

"Ensuring the health and safety of our nursing facility residents and employees is our greatest priority. We learned of our first confirmed case of COVID-19 in our Park Manor Quail Valley facility on Monday, March 30th. To effectively address the introduction of this virus into our population, we requested through local health authorities that all patients and staff be tested. Due to the lack of availability of test kits, we were turned down. The facility was able to purchase test kits from a private contractor on Tuesday, April 7th, and all patients and clinical staff were tested. The results of that testing confirmed that Park Manor Quail Valley has sixteen COVID-19 positive patients and twelve COVID-19 positive employees. Ten patients are receiving treatment in the hospital and 6 patients are being treated at the facility. Our twelve team members are under the supervision of their primary care physicians and are quarantined at home. We began specific measures to reduce the risk of this virus spreading through the facility on March 9th. Those measures included no visitors, no group activities, no communal dining, as well as increased employee monitoring including a travel ban. Our policies and procedures regarding COVID-19, including infection control, are based on CDC guidelines. We remain committed to keeping our residents safe and protected during this novel virus and have been in contact with Dr. Jacquelyn Johnson-Minter, with Ft. Bend County Health and Human Services, as well as the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services. We will continue to work with local and state health officials as this situation progresses." 
Regarding Lewis' case, he added:

"Patient was scheduled and ready for discharge from Park Manor Quail Valley on April 3rd. The patient’s family requested COVID-19 testing prior to discharging home. Park Manor Quail Valley informed the family that testing kits were unavailable through local health officials. The facility advised the patient’s family to contact the local health authority directly. The family elected to have the patient remain in the facility. We empathize with all of our patients and family members during these challenging times."
Melanie and her family believe the facility took too long to help her mother, and possibly others.

"I think that they all should be held responsible. I don't know to what degree but there needs to be some responsibility taken," she concluded.
FOX 26 reached out to Fort Bend County about the request for tests by HMG Healthcare, LLC. We are still waiting to hear back.