COVID-19 Cases Surge in Illinois Nursing Homes Again


Nursing homes in Illinois have had the biggest surge in coronavirus (COVID-19) infections in almost six months, according to newly released state public health data.

As of November 6, 2020, Illinois has reported 2,412 new cases among residents of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other congregate-care centers. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) also recorded 126 nursing home deaths in the past week—more than twice the weekly average reported in September. 

The sudden increase in numbers is unsurprising given the surge in cases across the U.S. in recent weeks. The daily tally of positive infections in Illinois exceeded 10,000 for the first time Friday. The state also topped 10,000 deaths since the pandemic began, and 52.1 percent of those fatalities are tied to nursing homes. 

Illinois has so far had 36,690 COVID-19 cases in nursing homes, and 5,253 have been fatal. The numbers have gone up from October 23 of this year, when there were 33,440 nursing home cases and 5,019 deaths. However, the percentage of nursing home residents among the state’s coronavirus victims has been much lower in recent months than during the first surge last spring. Nursing home residents accounted for 34.2 percent of the reported deaths this past week; in May and June, they accounted for 62.3 percent of the state total.

The communal nature of nursing homes as well as the age and physical condition of the population served puts those living in nursing homes at higher risk of infection and severe illness from COVID-19. Nursing home providers must follow state-mandated infection prevention and control practices to protect themselves and the older adults in their care from the virus. Facilities that don’t take precautions may be held liable for any resulting health complications or deaths

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