Nineteen people at a Texas nursing home have died due to the coronavirus and 24 employees have been infected, officials said. Missouri City said it received notification Wednesday about the deaths and infections at Paradigm at First Colony Nursing Home after Yolanda Ford, the city’s mayor, sent a letter to the state’s health department requesting notice about cases in the Houston-area city.
“The city is concerned about the individuals and families who are affected by the Paradigm cases,” Ford said.
Nursing homes have been hit hard by the pandemic. Residents and staff represent a tiny share of the U.S. population but account for as many as 4 in 10 coronavirus deaths, according to some estimates.
“This harrowing development speaks to the severity of this pandemic and how everyone needs to take it even more seriously,” Ford said of the nursing home outbreak.
Texas on Wednesday reported 236 new coronavirus deaths, pushing the total death toll to nearly 7,500. But hospitalizations in Texas dropped to 8,455, the lowest mark in a month.
CBS affiliate KHOU-TV reports that Texas’ seven-day average positivity rate jumped from 13.88 percent on Aug. 3 to 15.58 percent on Aug. 4, which means for every seven people tested, more than one is positive for coronavirus.
The United States has seen a 9% decrease in new COVID-19 cases over the past week compared to the previous week, a federal official confirmed to CBS News. But in that same period, there has been a 24% increase in deaths compared to the prior 7-day period. The figures are based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Data collected by the COVID Tracking Project shows there have been over 1,000 deaths per day most days since July 21, when 1,038 fatalities were reported nationwide. The toll of 1,447 deaths on July 29 was the highest number since mid-May. Deaths have been steadily increasing since the end of June.
Audrey McNamara contributed to this report.