5 Bloomington Nursing Home Residents Get COVID-19 | WGLT

5 Bloomington Nursing Home Residents Get COVID-19

May 11, 2020

Five residents of a Bloomington nursing home have contracted COVID-19.

McLean County Health Department administrator Jessica McKnight said the department is investigating the outbreak at the Bloomington Rehabilitation and Health Care Center at 1925 S. Main St.

“There are some questions we are trying to answer just in terms of how going forward we can keep the residents and the staff safe," she said.

Two of the residents are hospitalized in good condition; the other three are isolating at the home. McKnight said no staff has contracted the virus.

“Long-term care facilities continue to be a high priority,” McLean County Health Department Communicable Disease Supervisor Melissa Graven said in a statement. “As the community moves through the phases of Restore Illinois, protecting this vulnerable population will be key.”

The company that owns the nursing home, Petersen Health Care, said it has been "vigilant" in monitoring residents and staff and will continue to do so.

“We have taken extraordinary steps in all facets of our daily operations to keep our residents safe and we have done everything in our power to educate all our staff on the best ways to remain safe and avoid contracting the Coronavirus while out in the community, or at home,” said Tonya Hill, Petersen's corporate director of census development.

Hill said Petersen had already boosted sanitation and infection-control practices and has been health screening workers before and after each shift. It has also restricted nonessential visitors and canceled all internal and external events.

“Although disruptive and uncomfortable and thought to be premature by some, our efforts were effective, swift, and resolute with the singular goal of keeping our residents safe,” Hill said.

Those five cases mark the largest outbreak at a long-term care facility in McLean County. Nursing homes across Illinois and the country have been among the facilities hardest hit by the coronavirus.

McKnight said there’s no evidence of sanitation problems at the facility.

No New Cases

McLean County health officials announced no new COVID-19 cases on Monday, after experiencing a 22% increase in cases over the last week.

The McLean County Health Department reported no new COVID-19 cases on Monday.
Credit McLean County Health Department

McKnight said it’s hard to tell if the rise is a reflection on increased testing or fewer people practicing social distancing as the weather has warmed in May.

“I couldn’t verify where our cases were coming from, if they are coming from people breaking a stay-at-home order or if they are coming from having to go about their daily life,” McKnight said. “That’s why we encourage everyone to take those measures to social distance.”

Monday marks the first day without any new confirmed cases since May 3. The McLean County Health Department reports 121 coronavirus cases. The department reported two additional patients have recovered, while 24 remain in home isolation, and four are hospitalized. Approximately three-quarters of the county’s COVID patients have recovered, while three patients have died.

The health department said Friday seven recent cases were linked to one private gathering and that as many as 12 additional people may have been in contact with those who contracted the virus. All seven of those cases were ISU students. McKnight said the department hasn’t been able to link any additional COVID-19 cases to that gathering.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reports 3,486 McLean County residents have received either the diagnostic or anitbody test. That's about 2% of the population. 

The state of Illinois announced 1,266 new COVID-19 cases and 53 deaths on Monday. The state has 79,007 total cases and 3,459 deaths.

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