Long-Term Facility COVID-19 Outbreak Among Residents and Staff: 27 Veterans Die at LaSalle Veterans Home in LaSalle County

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LaSalle Veterans Home, 1015 Oconor Avenue in LaSalle, Illinois (Image capture August 2019 ©2020 Google)
LaSalle Veterans Home, 1015 Oconor Avenue in LaSalle, Illinois (Image capture August 2019 ©2020 Google).

State health officials from Illinois during late November 2020 are investigating a Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak at the LaSalle Veterans Home in LaSalle, Illinois that suddenly infected almost 200 residents and staff, and killed 27 veterans. The outbreak was identified in late October 2020 when a staff member and a resident tested positive for the virus. Since early November 2020, two-thirds of residents and employees have tested positive, according to the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs. “November 4th, there were only four cases of COVID within the home,” Illinois State Sen. Sue Rezin said Monday. “Very quickly within the past 20 days, we’ve had almost 200 cases.” State Sen. Sue Rezin represents the district where LaSalle Veterans Home is located.

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. LaSalle County is just south of DeKalb County.

“The tragedy of what has unfolded at the veterans’ home cannot be understated. 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.”

— State Sen. Sue Rezin

The Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs on Tuesday, November 24, 2020 requested an independent probe into the facility, which was the focus of a state Senate committee virtual hearing on the COVID-19 outbreak.

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.

“It is no coincidence that cases within the home began to rise just as cases rose dramatically within the surrounding community,” Veterans Affairs Director Linda Chapa LaVia testified Tuesday at the hearing.

State officials have increased staff testing at the facility, and Gov. J.B. Pritzker said an infection control team was sent to LaSalle Veterans Home.

According to the IDPH long-term facility outbreaks data page Illinois Veterans Home in LaSalle County had 187 Outbreak Reported Cases, 24 Deaths, and the facility status was open.

Eight other facilities have been closed in LaSalle County. Among the closed facilities with death statistics …

Aperion Care Marseilles had 42 Outbreak Reported Cases and 10 Deaths

Heritage Health Mendota had 116 Outbreak Reported Cases and 24 Deaths

LaSalle County Nursing Home had 39 Outbreak Reported Cases and 7 Deaths

Parker Nursing and Rehabilitation Center had 32 Outbreak Reported Cases and 1 Death

Streator Unlimited Inc. had 36 Outbreak Reported Cases and 1 Death.

One open facility, Liberty Village of Peru – Manor Court, reported 139 Outbreak Reported Cases and 20 Deaths.

The LaSalle Veterans’ Home opened in December 1990 and is located in a residential area on the northeast side of LaSalle in LaSalle County near the I-80 and I-39 interchange. The state-run LaSalle Veteran’s Home consists of a campus of slightly more than four acres, and provides skilled nursing services for veterans with capability to provide care for up to 184 Veterans, including 40 special needs veterans.

The latest data reported November 21, 2020 for Test Positivity 7-Day Rolling Average in LaSalle County was 16.2. The latest Daily Test Positivity reported November 21, 2020 in LaSalle County was 18.5.

Comparing data, Region 10 for Suburban Cook County Test Positivity 7-Day Rolling Average was 14.8, and latest Daily Test Positivity reported November 21, 2020 was 14.6.

In Cook County, there are several long-term health facilities reporting a number of deaths in the 20s, a few in the 30s and one in the 40s.

See also …

IDPH | Long-Term Care Facility Outbreaks COVID-19

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LaSalle Veterans Home, 1015 Oconor Avenue in LaSalle, Illinois (Image capture August 2019)
LaSalle Veterans Home, 1015 Oconor Avenue in LaSalle, Illinois (Image capture August 2019 ©2020 Google).

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