5 new positive COVID-19 cases at La Salle veterans home

IDVA confirms 2 residents, 3 workers positive from July 29-31

Five people recently tested positive for COVID-19 at the Illinois Veterans Home at La Salle. They include two residents and three staff members.

The Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs said Wednesday it recorded “a series of positive tests from disparate locations around the facility” from July 29-July 31.

“These were found as a result of routine testing and the facility has been in outbreak status with increased testing and other protocols since the initial positive on July 29,” said Maureen Hartigan, public information officer for the agency.

Asked if the positive results were from the delta variant, she replied, “We do not have this information.”

Notably, a majority of the staff and virtually all vaccine-eligible residents have been vaccinated. IDVA disclosed 70% of the 239 staff members and 98% of the 92 eligible residents have been vaccinated.

Hartigan said the agency has “consistently utilized” long term care guidelines issued by the Illinois Department of Public Health, which which the agency is in “frequent, almost daily communications.” She further noted guidelines for long-term care facilities were updated on Thursday.

In November, the veterans home had an outbreak of 109 cases among residents, which resulted in 36 resident deaths. Additionally, there were 116 cases among employees at the veterans home. The outbreak brought scrutiny to the veterans home. The head of the state’s veterans administration has since resigned and the administrator of the La Salle facility was removed from her post.

Tom Collins

Tom Collins

Tom Collins covers criminal justice in La Salle County.