'I had 102 fever and couldn’t get tested’: Floresville veteran’s home nurse aide positive for coronavirus; others still waiting

‘Staff are taking care of sick patients and still haven’t been tested,’ the Frank M. Tejeda Texas State Veteran’s Home employee said.

First death in Wilson County reported at a Veteran's Home. (KSAT)

Floresville, TEXAS – The Frank M. Tejeda Texas State Veteran’s Home in Floresville has been dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak that so far has infected at least 10 people and killed one resident at the state-run facility. But the extent of the outbreak is unknown because of a lag in testing.

While all of the 150 veteran residents have been tested for the deadly virus — with eight confirmed positive so far — dozens of their results are still pending.

But testing has been much slower for the 176 staff at the long-term care facility. As of Thursday, less than 20 percent of the staff had been tested and most of those results were pending. The state agency that oversees the facility says they’re trying to get access to more tests “as soon as possible,” but that’s left caretakers scrambling to try find their own in the meantime.

One certified nursing assistant (CNA) inside the facility told KSAT 12 that after the first resident got sick, they started to feel symptoms as well.

“I had 102 fever and couldn’t get tested, it’s ridiculous that I had to drive myself to other places,” the CNA said. Besides fever, the CNA said they also experienced severe cough, headache and shortness of breath.

The staff member asked to be kept anonymous because they are not authorized to speak to the media.

With underlying health conditions, the CNA decided they couldn’t wait for tests to be conducted for staff and went to Mission Trails Baptist Hospital in San Antonio on April 11, about a 30-minute drive from the Floresville nursing home.

“I was denied a test at Mission Trails Baptist Hospital and told to go Metro Health and then they sent me to the Freeman Coliseum,” the CNA said. Finally, on Monday, a test was conducted at the drive-thru site at Freeman and came back positive the following day, the person said.

On Friday, a spokesperson for the Texas General Land Office, which oversees the facility, confirmed to KSAT that two staff members had tested positive along with the 8 residents.

Since then, the CNA has been under self-quarantine at home, but he’s concerned about the other employees who have yet to be tested.

“Staff are taking care of sick patients and still haven’t been tested,” the CNA said.

The spokesperson said on Thursday: “We will finish testing the rest of the staff as soon as possible and all tests for staff are being paid for and conducted by our operator, Touchstone Communities.”

Currently, the CNA is still dealing with the effects of COVID-19 and anxious to get better.

Late last week, city officials learned of the first positive case of COVID-19 at the Frank M. Tejeda Veterans Home, which has the capacity to provide long-term care for more than 150 people. On Sunday, the 75-year-old resident died just days after testing positive. He was hospitalized in San Antonio on April 9 and died April 12.

Majority of staff still waiting for tests at veterans’ home

About the Author:

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with more than 12 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter.