As of March 19, public health officials in Illinois have recognized four long-term care facilities in the Chicago area reporting COVID-19 cases. This includes a possible coronavirus outbreak inside a nursing home in west suburban Willowbrook involving 46 people, including 33 residents and 13 staff.
As public health officials wait on additional test results to come back related to Willowbrook, two residents have tested positive for COVID-19 in Evanston at Three Crowns Park, there is one confirmed case at Admiral at the Lake facility in Chicago’s Edgewater, and a staff member at the Church Creek Senior Living Center in Arlington Heights is also infected. Nursing home advocates and family members of residents are only left to wonder how the viral spread might make its way into other facilities around the state.
Levin & Perconti founder and attorney Steven Levin joined ABC7 to talk about how an already understaffed long-term care system continues to weaken the care of our most vulnerable citizens due to COVID-19.
Research from the Nursing Home Abuse Center indicates that as many as 95 percent of nursing home-type facilities in the U.S. are understaffed. And a 2019 analysis of data from Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare website concludes that nurses and support care staff such as nursing assistants and aides are grossly understaffed at some of the most troubled homes in Illinois. This proves something the nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys of Levin & Perconti know all too well. Understaffed care facilities put unnecessary pressures on employees that often lead to mistakes, injuries, and now the deaths of nursing home residents in their charge due to coronavirus dangers.
Recognize the Symptoms of COVID-19
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said that older adults carry the characteristics that put them at greater risk of illness and death related to the virus. Although this list is not inclusive, the CDC has identified these symptoms and emergency warning signs of coronavirus to watch for:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- Confusion or inability to arouse
- Discoloring (bluish) in the lips or face
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has created a hotline at 1-800-889-3931. More information can be found at the IDPH website and the Chicago Department of Public Health website.
To be sure of any long-term care facility updates related to COVID-19, review the Guidance for Infection Control and Prevention of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Nursing Homes (REVISED) memorandum released by CMS on March 13, 2020.
Illinois Nursing Home Negligence Related to Coronavirus
If a loved one has sustained a serious infectious disease complication resulting from neglect or missed medical treatments provided by a nursing home, or due to an understaffed workforce, we can help. Please reach out to Levin & Perconti, a Chicago-based law firm ready to provide you with a free nursing home negligence consultation at (312) 332-2872.