A nurse at the Timber Ridge Nursing and Rehab Center here in Jasper tested positive for the Coronavirus on Tuesday, April 7th, 2020.

Residents and staff of two local nursing homes will be tested for Coronavirus this week. The tests will be administered on Thursday at Shady Acres Health & Rehabilitation in Newton, and on Friday at Timber Ridge Nursing & Rehabilitation in Jasper.

This follows a May 11th directive from Texas Governor Greg Abbott that all residents and staff of nursing homes should be tested.

Shady Acres Administrator Ross Hines says that he hopes that this will be the first step for nursing homes to begin returning to normal and in the future allow family and friends to once again visit their loved ones. Hines said “I cannot confirm, but I believe this testing is the bedrock for getting facilities back to allowing visitation”. Hines went on to say “We are ready to open back up. The residents miss their families, and we miss them too”.

Hines also noted that the facility has been rewarding their staff for their loyalty during the worldwide pandemic. Hines said that Shady Acres has paid out more than $24,000.00 in hazardous duty bonuses, and he says they will continue to do so at least through the month of May.

There was concern in early April when a certified nurse’s aide at Timber Ridge tested positive for the illness. However, the facility administrator said that the nurse immediately quarantined herself and did not return to work when she discovered that she had possibly been exposed to the virus the day before.

Meanwhile, although several nursing facilities across the country have reported outbreaks of the illness, fortunately there have been no reports of any nursing home residents in this immediate area being infected with Coronavirus.

Broadcast journalist & on-air personality - Rayburn Broadcasting Company - KJAS 107.3 FM in Jasper, TX and KFAH 99.1 FM in Pineland, TX