On March 13th, Texas Health and Human Services (HHSC) suspended nonessential visitation and on-campus events at state supported living centers across the state. According to a media release, on-campus events such as family association meetings, volunteer services council meetings and express hiring events were canceled until further notice.


On May 11, 2020, Governor Greg Abbott directed the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM), and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to test 100 percent of residents and staff in licensed nursing facilities.


As of June 1, all licensed nursing home facilities have been tested in Ellis County.


On March 13, HHSC suspended nonessential visitation and on-campus events at state supported living centers across the state. According to the release, on-campus events such as family association meetings, volunteer services council meetings and express hiring events were canceled until further notice.


On May 11, Governor Greg Abbott directed the three state agencies to test 100% of residents and staff in licensed nursing facilities.


Local fire departments and DSHS have been working with local licensed nursing facilities across Ellis County to provide adequate COVID-19 testing to all residents and staff. Facilities that have been tested include Bluebonnet Rehab of Ennis, Ennis Care Center, Focus Care, Legend Oaks of Waxahachie and Ennis, Midlothian Healthcare Center, Pleasant Manor, Red Oak Health & Rehabilitation, and Trinity Nursing & Rehabilitation of Italy.


DSHS region 2/3 actively monitors COVID-19 in Ellis County and currently oversees 37 other counties in north Texas. As of today, DSHS has notified the Ellis County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) that more than 1,278 residents and staff of Ellis County nursing facilities have been tested for COVID-19. Of these tests, DSHS has identified 68 cases of COVID-19 to include residents and staff associated with Bluebonnet Rehab of Ennis, Ennis Care Center, Focus Care, Legend Oaks of Waxahachie and Ennis, Pleasant Manor, and Trinity Nursing & Rehabilitation. As of today, 41 of the 46 cases at nursing facilities have been reported in the Ellis County COVID-19 updates.


As results are delivered to OEM by the Local Health Authority, the release says, they will continue to be transparent in reporting new COVID-19 cases.


“Before our first COVID-19 case, Ellis County began working with nursing facility leaders across the county to ensure these facilities were adhering to the guidelines and protocols provided by HHSC to mitigate the risks of COVID-19,’” said County Judge & Emergency Management Director Todd Little. “Although we never hoped this day would come, we understood it was imperative that we took the necessary preventative actions to protect our residents. The health of the most vulnerable and those committed to serving our community will continue to remain the highest priority.


“It is with a heavy heart that we announce 10 of our 15 COVID-19 related deaths are from residents of nursing facilities. This includes the recently reported loss of life of a 92-year-old male of Ennis TX, who was a resident at Ennis Care Center. I ask that you join us in lifting the families of these residents in your thoughts and prayers.”


The Ellis County Office of Emergency Management continues to work with local jurisdictions in monitoring these reported cases, and coordinating with the state of Texas to acquire additional personal protective equipment (PPE) and resources to reduce the spread of COVID-19.