2 residents at senior living center die of COVID-19

Two people from a senior living community in The Woodlands have died after testing positive for COVID-19. These mark the first two deaths in Montgomery County. 

Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough issued a two-week shelter-in-place order for the complex after 12 residents tested positive for COVID-19. The order was issued for the Conservatory at Alden Bridge, located at 6203 Alden Bridge Drive. It’s a community for those 55 years of age and older.

Montgomery County health officials say the two men that died were in their 80s and 90s. Both cases were community spread, not travel related. Health officials said they have tested several more residents at The Conservatory at Alden Bridge but would not reveal a specific number. 

Judge Keough says although residents at the Conservatory are at least 55 years old or older, it is not a nursing home or an assisted-living facility, therefore, previous orders did not apply to them. 

"What we did is basically put them under the same order as we did for nursing homes and assisted care. This is a at-risk population, no questions," Keogh said. 

Security and law enforcement have now set up a check-point at the front entrance to ensure no visitors except essential healthcare workers come in-and-out of the center.

In an effort to contain the virus, 250 residents were ordered to self-isolate, meaning all common spaces were shut down. Residents are not allowed to leave their individual units - not even to exercise or go to the grocery store. 

Keough said all essential healthcare workers entering the community must undergo a temperature check and be equipped with PPE, including a mask and gloves. 

"Families come and go out of the center. Why? Because they wanna see grandma and grandpa, mom and dad. They spend time together and then they leave. If there is an infection, they don't know it so that’s how community spread happens," Keough said.

RELATED: Montgomery County issues "Stay Home, Stop The Spread" order

According to the community’s Facebook page, their Early Identification Protocols identified 19 residents who came in direct contact with one resident who tested positive almost two weeks ago. 

The order will remain in effect until Monday, April 13, unless the Montgomery County Judge decides to extend it. 

Judge Keough said there are currently 110 COVID-19 cases in Montgomery County. Two people have died. 78 are currently self-isolated, 15 are hospitalized and 15 have recovered.

The complex released the following statement on Wednesday night in response to the two deaths:

Our Enhanced Operational Protocols will continue to remain in effect throughout Conservatory At Alden Bridge, Independent Living community, in an effort to fully eradicate the spread of this easily transmitted infectious disease.

Our residents are obeying the Shelter In Place Order placed into effect under Montgomery County, beginning March 31, 2020. Only 25 residents opted to shelter in place outside the community with other individuals or family members.

We currently have 10 positive COVID-19 individuals in quarantine both in and outside the community. We will continue to work in close partnership with the Montgomery County Public Health District and United Memorial Medical Center and are truly appreciative of their willingness to support our aggressive approach to eliminate the further spread of the virus within our community.

We learned today from family members that two of our residents who had previously tested positive have passed away. The families did not disclose to us the specific cause of death. Given the close relationships between our community team members and our residents, it saddens us greatly that two of our friends and neighbors have passed away and we send our deepest condolences to their families.

We thank our residents and families for their continued confidence in us and for their support, as well as heartfelt thank you to our courageous team members for their tireless efforts during this difficult time."