Illinois veterans home – where 27 residents have died from COVID-19 in just four weeks – ‘allowed staff to work while infected with the virus and provided hand sanitizer with no alcohol in it’
- COVID-19 outbreak at the Illinois Veterans Home at LaSalle was detected on November 1
- By the time state officials arrived to inspect the facility 12 days later, seven residents had died from the disease and more than 100 others were infected
- Inspectors compiled two reports revealing disturbing practices at the nursing home
- The facility did not provide alcohol-based hand sanitizer and at least five employees continued working there after testing positive for the virus
- It’s theorized that a Halloween party attended by several staffers may have helped fuel the spread
- As of Wednesday, nearly 200 residents and employees have tested positive to COVID-19
Illinois officials have ordered an investigation into a COVID-19 outbreak at a veterans nursing home following a revelation that employees continued working at the facility after testing positive for the virus.
Nearly 200 residents and staff members at the Illinois Veterans Home at LaSalle have tested positive to the coronavirus since the beginning of this month. 27 veterans living at the facility have died from the disease in the past four weeks alone.
On Tuesday, The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs ordered the investigation in the wake of two reports that uncovered shocking practices that took place at the nursing home – including the fact employees were not provided with alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
‘The tragedy of what has unfolded at the veterans’ home cannot be understated,’ state senator Sue Rezin said in a statement.
‘There that there are lesson to be learned from this terrible outbreak that has claimed the lives of 27 of our nation’s heroes.’
Nearly 200 residents and staff members at the Illinois Veterans Home at LaSalle have tested positive to the coronavirus since the beginning of this month. 27 veterans living at the facility have died from the disease in the past four weeks alone
According to the reports, the outbreak at the home was detected on November 1, after a resident was found to be COVID-19 positive while undergoing a medical procedure for an unrelated illness.
Subsequent testing revealed that 22 residents and two staff members had the coronavirus by November 3.
The virus spread quickly through the facility in the next week, infecting dozens more residents and employees.
By the time the Illinois Department of Public Health and Department of Veterans’ Affairs visited the home on November 12, seven residents had already died.
Inspectors raised concerns about the fact alcohol-free hand sanitizer was stocked throughout the facility. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says sanitizers should contain at least 60 percent alcohol in order to be effective in preventing the spread of the virus.
The virus spread quickly through the facility in a period of days, infecting dozens of residents and staff
Meanwhile, inspectors observed employees eating within six feet of each other and touching multiple patients without changing gloves.
They additionally failed to ‘perform hand hygiene’ on multiple occasions, according to the reports.
It’s theorized that a Halloween party attended by several employees may have helped fuel the spread, as several staffers who were present at that festivity subsequently became infected with the virus.
Meanwhile, the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs noted in the report that at least five employees continued to work at the facility after testing positive to COVID-19.
COVID-19 cases are exploding across Illinois, and the situation is particularly alarming in LaSalle County, where the positivity rate stands at 20.8 per cent
That assertion has startled government officials, and is the main catalyst behind the upcoming independent investigation.
‘The idea that COVID positive staff was allowed to continue working in the home is alarming and unacceptable,’ Senator Rezin stated.
COVID-19 cases are exploding across Illinois, and the situation is particularly alarming in LaSalle County, where the positivity rate stands at 20.8 per cent .
Governor J.B. Pritzker told WLS that it is becoming difficult to keep nursing home residents safe given increasing community spread.
‘When there is massive, widespread community spread, you just, there’s no way to keep it out of every facility,’ he stated.
Hospitalizations and deaths are both on a rapid increase across Illinois