Cook County nursing homes hit hard by COVID-19

Gov.+J.B.+Pritzker.+Pritzker+said+during+a+Monday+press+conference+that+he+prioritized+transparency+and+intended+to+hold+nursing+homes+accountable+for+adherence+to+state+guidelines.

Daily file photo by Emma Edmund

Gov. J.B. Pritzker. Pritzker said during a Monday press conference that he prioritized transparency and intended to hold nursing homes accountable for adherence to state guidelines.

Sneha Dey, City Editor

New data from the Illinois Department of Public Health shows long-term care facilities have been hit hard by COVID-19.

In Cook County, 804 out of 21,272 total confirmed cases come from nursing homes. Meanwhile, 144 out of 977 COVID-19 related deaths were from nursing homes.

The IDPH data reported cases at five nursing homes in Evanston: Albany Care, Aperion Care, Symphony Evanston, Three Crowns Park, and Westminster Place. Three Crowns has had 10 confirmed cases and four deaths; Albany Care has two confirmed cases, Aperion Care has three confirmed cases, Symphony Evanston has one confirmed case and Westminster Place has three confirmed cases.

In total, nursing homes in Evanston reported a combined total of at least 19 cases, accounting for 8.3 percent of confirmed the city’s cases. The four deaths from nursing homes, all within the Three Crowns community, account for half of COVID-19 related city deaths.

The COVID-19 data went public Sunday and will continue to be updated on a weekly basis.

Previously, the Pritzker administration has provided little information about COVID-19 outbreaks in nursing homes. The state had declined to identify nursing homes with outbreaks.

At a press conference Monday, however, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he prioritized transparency and would hold nursing homes accountable for failing to adhere to state guidelines.

“Facilities seem to have been responsive to IDPH guidance and complaint with IDPH teams on the ground,” Pritzker said. “That said, we will not hesitate to hold any bad actors at the management level accountable.”

The governor also plans to expand testing for all residents and staff at nursing homes without known cases, an effort to “identify early the presence of COVID-19… and isolate those cases before widespread transmission.”

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