HARLINGEN – The Health Authority for the City of Harlingen, Dr. Michael Mohun, issued an amended Health Control Directive to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the community. The directive was issued under Section 81.082 of the Texas Health & Safety Code.

In a press release from the city, the Directive requires that all nursing homes and long term health care facilities in Harlingen immediately initiate screening procedures and protocols. Maintain related documentation, require testing 24-72 hours before admitting patients into their facility.

Once the patient has been admitted, the patient must undertake and complete a five-day isolation and observation period. After the isolation period is completed, the facility must perform a second test before moving the patient into the general admission area.

This directive also nullifies the original order issued on April 5, 2020, prohibiting the sharing of health care staff and support staff among facilities.

Mayor Chris Boswell says Dr. Mohun’s directive is a result of the recent spike in COVID-19 positive cases which the City has reason to believe is being caused by the movement of patients between different nursing homes, hospitals, and long-term care facilities, as well as to and from local health care facilities.

“The nursing home outbreaks have been a top priority of the City since the onset of the first case. We have been in daily contact with all of the nursing homes in the City to support them in their efforts to stop the spread. This directive is in direct response to their request for support.” said the mayor.

The city added that this directive is effective immediately. Failure to comply could result in civil and criminal enforcement action.

In the meantime, the city said they continue to take pro-active measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

The city encourages residents to continue practicing social distancing, washing their hands frequently, wearing facial coverings, and staying home if not feeling well.

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