The coronavirus pandemic continues to have an especially big impact on the long-term care facilities in Dallas County where at least eight facilities have confirmed COVID-19 positive cases. Skyline Nursing Center in Oak Cliff has the most with 30, followed by Brentwood Place One in East Dallas with 17.
Skyline has had problems recently. According to a government website, they are a one-star facility – one star out of a possible five stars with one being the lowest.
According to records, they’ve been fined more than $27,000 in the last two years and their most recent inspection in November listed 20 health citations. The report highlighted issues like the facility failed to provide consistent showers or bed baths.
Marjorie Sullivan is the former Director of Texas Advocates for Senior Care.
“To get a one star rating in the state of Texas, where the surveyors tend to err on the side of nursing home administrators, you must have a horrendous facility,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan looked at the records on the government website and spoke of concern about Skyline’s low rating when it comes to staffing.
“The bottom line is when you don’t have enough staff to care for your seniors, then when something like this happens the outbreak is going to go through the community like wildfire,” Sullivan said.
Skyline did not return repeated calls for comment, but in a statement on their website they said they took every precaution to prevent the spread of COVID-19. They say the are in constant contact with the necessary people.
“We remain in daily communication with the appropriate individuals, and appreciate everyone’s support,” Skyline added in a statement. “Rest assured if your loved one has been presumed positive or is exhibiting a change in condition, the resident representative will be contacted immediately.”
Norma Barrientos’s mother lives at Skyline. So far she has not tested positive, but she is concerned about her safety.
“She was out of the hospital maybe two days when I started hearing about Skyline having many infected people there,” Barrientos said. “I just want it to be over with, I just want to see that she’s ok.”
Barrientos said she’s experienced problems with the nursing center before.
“The first floor is pretty clean but when you get upstairs and get out the elevator all you smell is feces and urine,” Barrientos said. “And you see people just running around and it looks like a psych ward. People are just wandering around, fighting with each other.”
She said she doesn’t have anywhere can safely move her mom with the shelter-in-place ongoing, but she said she will make plans once the outbreak ends.
“It’s very disturbing,” Barrientos said. “If I could take my mother out I would, I don’t have a place to take her at the moment.”
There have been many cases of coronavirus at senior living and long-term care facilities in North Texas. There were 23 employees and 50 residents who tested positive at a Denton facility. In Arlington, 12 people tested positive. On Sunday, an elderly woman died. She was a resident of the Heartis Arlington senior living center.