8 residents and 2 staff at nursing home test positive for COVID-19

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Ten people have tested positive at The Buckingham, a sprawling senior living facility in Houston's upscale Piney Point community.

According to a notice on The Buckingham's website, eight residents and two staffers contracted the disease after an outbreak stemmed from one floor of the Plaza, a mid-rise building within the complex.

"Like any other situation, it started off with one case, and then there's a second case, and so we're now testing," said Dr. David Persse, head of the Houston Health Department. "It's not a huge surprise, we've seen this elsewhere in the nation that nursing homes are particularly vulnerable locations for the virus to have an advantage."

According to the facility's website, there is now a full quarantine of the Plaza building.

In addition, residents and staff are required to wear masks in public areas.

The facility is also no longer admitting new residents, as it continues to test all current residents and staff.

Mayor Sylvester Turner says city officials have been reaching out to all nursing homes and senior living facilities to take an account of the COVID-19 impact on this vulnerable population. The mayor is also preparing a directive with specific protocols required for these facilities.

"Number one, we don't want the employees of a senior living facility, a nursing home, to go from one facility to another," said Turner. "We want everybody's temperatures to be taken. That's going to be critically important. We want all of the employees to be wearing masks. So there are certain protocols that we want in place."

The mayor has not given a specific date for the directive, but it is expected soon. Meanwhile, The Buckingham has issued its own extensive statement on its website.

Follow Miya Shay on Facebook and Twitter.
Copyright © 2020 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.