Lawmakers Request Investigation into LaSalle Veterans Home after COVID-19 Outbreak Infects 183, Kills 15
Lawmakers in the Veterans Affairs Committee are demanding an investigation into a severe COVID-19 outbreak at the LaSalle Veterans Homes that has claimed over a dozen lives since November 1.
“We must quickly investigate how and why a recent outbreak occurred and what steps are being taken by the Pritzker administration to stop the spread of COVID-19 at all state-run veterans homes and health care facilities,” said Rep. Stephanie Kifowit, D-Aurora, who serves as the chair of the committee, in a letter. “Our veterans now depend on us, and we cannot let them down. We stand ready to get to work to assist in providing the highest quality healthcare for all Illinois veterans.”
The committee members who signed the letter requesting a public hearing are questioning if the facility followed state-mandated protocols.
The LaSalle Veterans’ Home is located on the northeast side of LaSalle. It provides care for up to 184 veterans, including 40 special needs veterans. As of November 15, 93 residents and 90 employees have contracted the virus, according to the facility’s administrator Angela Mehlbrech. There have also been 15 coronavirus-related deaths since the outbreak began on November 1.
“We are following the latest medical guidance and are working with state, federal, and local health officials to ensure the continued care for all our residents and testing and protection of anyone potentially exposed,” Mehlbrech wrote in a letter issued Sunday.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is reportedly investigating the outbreak together with the state and federal Department of Veterans Affairs.
Nursing homes must have infection prevention and control practice in place to protect residents and staffers from COVID-19. Facilities that don’t take precautions may be held liable for any resulting health complications or deaths.
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