At a press conference Monday, Bell County Judge David Blackburn announced that the Bell County Public Health District has confirmed a total of 24 cases of COVID-19 among staff and residents of Weston Inn Nursing & Rehabilitation in Temple.

Judge Blackburn said 10 members of the staff at Weston Inn and 14 residents have tested positive.

Late last week, county officials reported that six residents of the facility were recently hospitalized after being diagnosed with the disease. Sadly, one of those patients passed away over the weekend.

At Monday's press conference, BCPHD Director Amanda Robison-Chadwell said the deceased was a woman in her 90's. She added that 18 tests of Weston Inn staff and contractors are pending, and that those individuals will not be allowed back to the facility until they've received negative results.

Chadwell said Weston Inn currently has a COVID-19 wing dedicated to isolating and monitoring residents who've tested positive, and that they facility is taking precautions to protect residents and staff. In fact, she said, members of the National Guard were at the facility Monday to conduct a full decontamination.

At the 8:18 mark in the video above, Chadwell gives a brief timeline of recent events at the facility. At the 13:42 mark, audio unfortunately drops as Jude Blackburn takes the podium again, so don't think you're going crazy or that your speakers have stopped working.

The death of the Weston Inn resident brings Bell County's COVID-19 related deaths to a total of 4. According to the latest county numbers, Bell County has confirmed 367 positive cases of the virus since the pandemic began. 206 of those cases have recovered. Of the 367 cases, 57 have been hospitalized, with 35 being admitted to the ICU.

Weston Inn's Parent Company, Caraday Healthcare, issued a statement about the precautions they're taking, and said they are " helping facilitate virtual communications and social connectedness between our residents and their families and friends."

We certainly wish the residents and staff at Weston Inn and all our senior care facilities all the best as they work to protect those most vulnerable to this virus. Please keep them in your prayers and try to follow safety protocols if you could be in contact with anyone who works at a senior care facility. We've got to protect and honor our elders during this trying time.

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