Coronavirus death at Stateville, more in Will County

An inmate at Stateville Correctional Center has died from coronavirus, and the total number of cases in Will County doubled over the weekend.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) reported Monday that one inmate at Stateville has died and 100 others at the prison have been hospitalized or isolated because they show symptoms.

The Stateville cases are not included in the coronavirus counts in Will County, where two more people died and the total number of cases reached 224.

Stateville is located in Crest Hill, but the coronavirus cases and deaths that occur there are reported separately from the Will County numbers, said Steve Brandy, spokesman for the Will County Health Department.

The county health department provides daily reports from Will County, which on Monday included the death of one man in his 50s and another man in his 60s. Six people in Will County have died from coronavirus.

IDPH reported the death of a Kendall County woman in her 60s, the second death in that county.

The total number of confirmed cases in Will County jumped from 110 on Friday to 192 on Sunday. On Monday, the number of cases was reported at 224.

At Stateville, 12 inmates with COVID-19 have been hospitalized and several are on ventilators, according to IDPH.

Also, 77 Stateville inmates with symptoms have been isolated and are awaiting results from coronavirus tests. Eleven staff members have been isolated.

Stateville is not the only state prison dealing with coronavirus cases, although it was the only one singled out in the daily news release from IDPH.

"The Illinois Department of Corrections is taking a number of steps to control the spread of COVID-19 in its correctional centers," the release stated. "Staff who work with individuals in isolation and quarantine, as well as in the health center, are wearing full personal protective equipment (PPE) and all staff are wearing some PPE. Staff are also having their temperature checked daily as they enter the facility."

State prisons with confirmed cases are on lockdown, according to the IDPH.

Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. at the daily state briefing on coronavirus developments on Monday devoted many of her comments to the situation at Stateville and "clusters of cases" at nursing homes, including one in Joliet.

Ezike pointed to "a greater population of older incarcerated individuals" at Stateville as one of the risk factors in an outbreak of coronavirus at the prison.

"Incarcerated individuals who show symptoms are being tested for COVID-19," Ezike said.

Ezike also pointed to coronavirus cases at nursing homes and assisted living centers in Joliet, Evanston, Belleville and Taylorville, saying they "have all seen clusters of cases."

She did not name the nursing homes.

But on Friday Symphony Care Network confirmed the death of a patient at its Symphony Joliet nursing home.

Symphony spokeswoman Laurynn Allison would not comment Friday on whether there have been other coronavirus cases among patients and staff. Allison on Monday did not return a phone call and email seeking information about conditions at Symphony Joliet.

A news release from Symphony on Friday said the nursing home was "focusing all efforts to stop the spread of this disease within the center."

Statewide, there were 461 additional confirmed cases of coronavirus in Illinois reported as of Monday bringing the total to 5,057 in 52 of the state's 102 counties.

Eight more deaths were reported bringing the total to 73.