State reports 65 new ‘mild’ cases of COVID-19 at LaSalle Veterans home

A veterans home in Illinois, where 36 veterans died during the pandemic, is experiencing another COVID-19 outbreak, state officials said Monday.

The Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs said 23 staff members and 42 residents at the Illinois Veterans Home in LaSalle have tested positive for COVID-19. .

The Veterans Home, about 95 miles southwest of Chicago, is the same facility where 36 veterans died of COVID-19 between November 2020 and January 2021.

The department said all current cases are “mild,” with staff and residents exhibiting flu-like symptoms. Residents have been vaccinated and are undergoing COVID-19 treatment regimens, the department said.

A team that includes a senior infection prevention expert, state medical officer for the Illinois Department of Public Health, and veterans’ commissioner Terry Prince is providing advice and support at home, officials said.

The latest cases came after state officials drew criticism for how they handled outbreaks at home in 2020 and 2021. It is the largest collective care facility in the state.

A report released in May by Illinois State Comptroller General Frank Moutino found that two resident cases of COVID-19 on November 1, 2020 had led to 82 positive cases of COVID-19 in 82 residents by November 12. We concluded that the alert flag was well documented as it ballooned rapidly to cases and nine resident deaths. 2020.

It took 11 days to visit the Illinois Public Health Department of Public Health site, Mautono reported, recognizing a number of issues, including inadequate masks, alcohol-free hand sanitizer, and “staff complacency.” should have been.

Governor JB Pritkzer ousted two senior officials in December 2020, including the home’s nursing director.

“It couldn’t have been this bad,” the governor told reporters at the time. The governor later blamed former state veterans administration director Linda Chapa Lavia for her department’s handling of the crisis. LaVia said she resigned before a scathing report by the Inspector General of the Illinois Department of Social Services was released.

Governor JB Pritzker; Linda Chapa Lavia

Pat Nabon; Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times File

The governor’s office on Monday said procedures were different during the peak of the pandemic, when infection protocols included checking in by phone, and it was not recommended to send additional staff to homes as part of efforts to contain the spread of the virus. said. According to the governor’s office, the peak of veterans’ home outbreaks occurred even before the vaccine was launched.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey addresses veteran’s COVID-19 death at home At last week’s televised debate, Using it as an example of what he called Pritzker’s “incompetent and arrogant leadership”, he described the children who died in the care of the State Department of Child and Family Services and the lives lost in Chicago’s street violence.

“We have 36 patrons at LaSalle’s veterans’ home. It’s your fault,” Bailey said. “He has nine children in DCFS. It’s your fault. In Chicago he has over 600 deaths and it’s your fault. It’s time for a change.”

Bailey’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment on the latest outbreak. State reports 65 new ‘mild’ cases of COVID-19 at LaSalle Veterans home

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