PARK FOREST, Ill. — Dozens of Illinois National Guard members began health screenings Monday at two state-run developmental centers.
A total of 44 Air National Guard members reported for duty to help relieve the pressure at the facilities.
Twenty-two of those guard members arrived to the Elisabeth Ludeman Center in Park Forest.
The campus is a residential facility for adults with development disabilities, run by the state’s Department of Human Services.
Eighty-two residents and 28 employees have tested positive for the virus at the Ludeman Center. Two residents and one employee have died.
The guards’ job will be to take the temperature of staff before they enter the building and to perform health screenings.
“Their presence here on campus will enable our staff members who were once staffed with the duties of taking temperatures of other employees and will allow them to get back to the most critical work of taking care of the people who live here,” facility director Lisa Robinson said.
The guard is expected to be at the facility for a week or two weeks.
The mayor of Park Forest appealed to the governor and state lawmakers for help.
Elsewhere in Illinois
Another 22 airmen also reported to a similar facility in Kankakee on Monday.
Members of the 126th Air Refueling Wing from Scott Air Force Base are now reporting to the Shapiro Developmental Center.
Shapiro is dealing with nearly 100 positive cases of COVID-19.
The two campuses are providing personal protective equipment, or PPE like masks, gloves and gowns, to those airmen.
The Air National Guard is expected to serve at the two facilities for about a week.
So far, 825 Illinois National Guard members have been activated to support COVID-19 response operations.