The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will test all residents and staff at an Arlington retirement home where a man died after after contracting COVID-19, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Wednesday.
The man, Patrick James, lived with his wife at Texas Masonic Retirement Center in Arlington. James was hospitalized Thursday. He died Monday, two days after hospital staff conducted a test for coronavirus. On Tuesday, the results of that test came back positive.
James' death is the third coronavirus-related death in Texas and the first in Tarrant County. Officials think James contracted the disease as a result of community spread.
Speaking at a news conference Tuesday afternoon in Arlington, Abbott said a CDC team was headed to Arlington to test everyone who lives and works at the retirement home for coronavirus, as well as anyone who may have had contact with James. James and his wife lived in an individual cottage on the retirement center's campus, Abbott said, but they had contact with other residents through group activities.
The CDC team will also work with administrators at the home to implement procedures designed to keep the disease from spreading further, including limiting the number of people going into and out of the facility. Under normal circumstances, a retirement home wouldn't have those procedures in place, Abbott said, but as the coronavirus pandemic spreads across Texas, those precautions are essential.
Abbott said the state is quickly ramping up its testing capabilities. By week's end, he expects the state will be able to test 15,000 to 20,000 people per week for coronavirus.
There are now 83 confirmed cases of coronavirus in 23 counties across the state, Abbott said. By Wednesday, Texas had seen three deaths from the disease. A man in his late 90s died Monday in Matagorda County, southwest of Houston. A Collin County man who died Tuesday has also tested positive for the disease.
During the news conference, Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley said he expected the county to enact an order closing all bars and restaurants for in-house service on Tuesday afternoon. Dallas County adopted a similar order last week.
Abbott said he expected to make an announcement about new statewide restrictions on Thursday.
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