Administrator: 2 deaths this weekend at La Salle Veterans Home

12 more COVID-19 cases; now 93 residents have tested positive for the virus

Two residents died this weekend from complications related to COVID-19 at the Illinois Veterans Home in La Salle.

In total, there have been 15 COVID-related deaths since an outbreak began Nov. 1 at the Veterans Home.

There were 12 additional coronavirus cases announced Sunday, increasing the number of infected individuals to 93 residents and 90 employees, according to a letter issued Sunday by Administrator Angela Mehlbrech.

"We are following the latest medical guidance and are working with state, federal and local health officials to ensure the continued care for all of our residents and testing and protection of anyone potentially exposed," Mehlbrech wrote.

Anyone who has a loved one affected by the virus can request to visit them in person.

"Please understand this is a risk to your health and safety and though we will provide all the appropriate PPE, we cannot guarantee you will not contract the virus," Mehlbrech said. "We continue to offer virtual visits and you can schedule those by calling the Activity Department."

Lawmakers in the Veterans Affairs Committee have said they would like to investigate the outbreak to better understand it. Employees who reached out to Shaw Media questioned testing and some gaps in infection control.

Since Nov. 1 when it was announced there were two positive employees and two positive residents, there have been 179 positive cases there among residents and staff.

Derek Barichello

Derek is a Streator High and University of Illinois graduate. He worked at the Albany-Herald in Albany, Ga., and for Sauk Valley Media in Sterling, before returning to his hometown paper. He's now news editor for both the NewsTribune and The Times.