LASALLE, Ill. (NewsNation Now) — State officials are investigating a coronavirus outbreak at a veterans nursing home in rural Illinois that has infected nearly 200 residents and staff, and killed 27 veterans.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office and the state’s Department of Veterans Affairs are attempting to determine what caused the outbreak at the state-run LaSalle Veterans Home in LaSalle, about 90 miles southwest of Chicago.
The department on Tuesday requested an independent probe into the facility, which was the focus of a state Senate committee virtual hearing on the outbreak.
Illinois officials launched an investigation after a COVID-19 outbreak at a nursing home killed 27 residents. https://t.co/0CsdKKzfow— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) November 25, 2020
“The tragedy of what has unfolded at the veterans’ home cannot be understated,” said state Sen. Sue Rezin, who represents the district where the home is located. “I’m glad that the director has called for an independent investigation and agree that there are lessons to be learned from this terrible outbreak that has claimed the lives of 27 of our nation’s heroes.”
Officials in Illinois have ordered an investigation into a coronavirus outbreak that killed 27 people at a state-operated veterans' home.— NPR (@NPR) November 25, 2020
More than 85% of the residents have tested positive since the outbreak began.https://t.co/hHRL8fkg1C
The current outbreak was identified in late October when a staff member and a resident tested positive for the virus. Since the beginning of November, two-thirds of residents and employees have tested positive, according to the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs (IDVA).
State lawmakers are demanding answers Tuesday following a deadly outbreak of COVID-19 at an Illinois veterans home.https://t.co/SgwKnAIceV— WGN Morning News (@WGNMorningNews) November 25, 2020
Dr. Avery Hart, a consultant for the state’s public health department, said at the hearing that all 16 long-term care facilities in LaSalle County have had outbreaks.
“This virus attacks quickly,” LaVia said. “I feel our staff moved as quickly as they could.”
NewsNation affiliate WGN reported inspections revealed several issues at the home, including challenges with timely return of testing and breaks from protocol in coronavirus prevention and containment including wearing masks and social distancing.