COVID-19 cases increase at Quincy Veterans' Home
The state is reporting the Illinois Veterans' Home at Quincy is experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases among its veterans and staff.
Testing has determined 16 residents and 10 staff have tested positive. While most have experienced minor symptoms, four veterans were taken to the emergency room out of what was called “an abundance of caution.” Two veterans remain hospitalized for conditions unrelated to COVID-19 symptoms.
Officials say those who tested positive were moved to the negative pressure isolation unit and are being closely monitored and cared for by Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) personnel. All positive residents have received at least two doses of the vaccine, and 11 of the 16 veterans are up to date with their boosters. A staff physician is assessing residents’ need for anti-viral post exposure medication.
Officials say Quincy staff are in close communication with the families and loved ones of the residents in the isolation unit.
“Our top priority remains the health and safety of our military veterans and the dedicated IDVA staff who care for them,” said IDVA Director Terry Prince. “The Department continues to adhere to current regulations and is receiving assistance from the local health department and the IDPH. We are grateful to our team for remaining highly vigilant for signs or symptoms of COVID-19 and for responding swiftly, appropriately, and professionally to any potential cases.”
A news release says protocols include continuing daily health screenings of our veterans, rapid COVID-19 testing of staff at shift change and regular testing of residents, use of N-95 respirator masks with eye protection, maintaining social-distancing practices, using gloves and gowns, and intensified cleaning and disinfection protocols. During an outbreak, residents are encouraged to stay in their rooms to minimize movement within the facility. It adds IDPH and the Department’s Infection Control Specialist have been on site, working with the Quincy team to ensure staff compliance with infection control directives, COVID testing, and care of veterans.
Communal dining and activities have been curtailed in the affected areas until the outbreak ends. Activities and social services staff continue to provide leisure activities, in accordance with social distancing practices. Visitation is allowed to continue, per CDC guidelines however, families have been notified that rescheduling visitation should be considered.