CHICAGO — Gov. JB Pritzker says testing will increase in nursing homes as COVID-19 cases spread fast in those facilities.
Nearly a quarter of all deaths due to the virus can be traced back to nursing homes or long-term health care facilities in the state, according to state of Illinois numbers.
With more than 80 cases and 26 deaths, Symphony of Joliet has been one of the hardest hit by COVID-19. The nursing home has called in outside experts to help manage the crisis.
The Illinois Department of Public Health is also trying to help, not only in Joliet, but in nursing homes and long-term heath care facilities around the state.
A large part of the plan is to aggressively ramp up testing at those facilities with and without confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Along with testing, the state says it has and will continue going into health care facilities with a strike team of experts and advisers — including infectious disease doctors.
The state’s latest statistics show close to 2,000 confirmed cases tied to long-term health care facilities, and nearly 300 deaths.
This despite efforts to limit the number of people who are visiting and entering long-term care facilities in early March.
The governor also making it clear that staff members at the facility should be considered frontline healthcare workers in the fight against COVID-19. Pritzker said he has and will continue to get personal protective equipment available from the state stockpile to staff members at these facilities.
The governor also said he has no patience for any facilities not adhering to proper protocols.
Over the weekend, the federal government recommended that all care facilities report COVID-19 cases to the CDC to try and get a more accurate count.
They also want the health care facilities to notify the family within a week.