Covid outbreak in Illinois veterans home sparks concern

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A COVID-19 outbreak at a state-run veterans home in northeastern Illinois has spread to 22 residents and staff members, a state agency said.

The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs said Wednesday that 16 residents and six staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Illinois Veterans’ Home at Manteno, about 50 miles (80.5 kilometers) south of Chicago, and the majority of the residents have shown no symptoms.

However, a “small number” of residents are showing mild symptoms, the department said.

One resident who had already been under hospice care “and completely asymptomatic” died Wednesday morning, hours after testing positive for the virus and getting a booster shot, officials said.

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“All the residents who have tested positive have received at least two doses of the vaccine and 15 are up to date with their boosters,” the department said in a statement.

A veterans home in Illinois has recently had a Covid-19 outbreak with 22 infected. 

A veterans home in Illinois has recently had a Covid-19 outbreak with 22 infected. 

The residents who tested positive are now in isolation at the home and are being closely monitored by staff, it said. Communal dining and activities have also been curtailed until the outbreak ends.

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The facility’s COVID-19 outbreak comes about a month after Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration was criticized by the state auditor general for its handling of a November 2020 coronavirus outbreak that killed 36 military veterans at the LaSalle Veterans’ Home.

A state audit blamed sluggishness, poor compliance with existing rules and other factors in the administration’s response to that outbreak.

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