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Harlingen nursing home employee voices concerns about lack of protection

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HARLINGEN - A Rio Grande Valley nursing home employee voices her concerns after the Cameron County Judge confirmed infections among employees of a different nursing facility.

Those three positive cases were employees from Veranda Rehabilitation and Healthcare, a nursing home in Harlingen.

She works as a nurse at Retama Manor Nursing Center in Harlingen, less than a mile away from Veranda. She says they found out about the positive results a few days ago and management hasn't made any changes.

She claims none of the nurses at this nursing home have personal protection equipment. The only protection they have available are surgical masks which she says are stored away.

CHANNEL FIVE NEWS reached out to Retama Manor Nursing Center about these concerns.

They sent us the following statement:

Ms. DeAnda: I understand that you had some questions regarding personal protective equipment and staff at Retama Manor Nursing Center/Harlingen ("Harlingen").

First, let me assure you that Harlingen has the necessary personal protective equipment the Center needs to care for its residents.Ensuring residents and staff have protection to keep them safe during this pandemic is of utmost importance to us. In the event that the supply begins to run low, our suppliers stand ready to provide additional supplies to keep residents and staff safe. In addition, our local and state health departments have supplies that we can access if necessary.

We are following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control ("CDC") regarding conservation of equipment and supplies if equipment and supplies continue to be difficult to obtain.

Second, we are aware that two of our staff members worked at another center that has residents who have tested positive for COVID-19. Once we were alerted to this fact, we immediately removed the employees from the schedule. We are following CDC guidance regarding when they can safely return to the Center.

Harlingen continues to work diligently to ensure that infection prevention and control protocols are in place and functioning appropriately. We screen all staff members for respiratory illness prior to each shift. In addition, we screen all outside essential health care professionals prior to entering the facility. We are restricting visitation at this time based on guidance from the CDC and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

We continue to monitor the situation closely and provide information and education to the Center, staff, patients, residents and families, in real time as updates become available. We appreciate the continued support of the long-term care community, and the agencies and associations that support us in our efforts.

Annaliese Impink

Spokesperson for Retama Manor Nursing Center/Harlingen

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