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Manteno Veterans’ Home COVID-19 outbreak: 18 residents, 14 staff have tested positive

WGEM News at Six
Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 5:32 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD (WGEM) - The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs reported that 18 residents and 14 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Manteno Veterans’ Home as of Friday.

The department explained none of the veterans or staff are hospitalized at this time. Senior staff for the department said the residents and staff are asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic.

A doctor at the veterans’ home is providing appropriate anti-viral and monoclonal antibody treatments when deemed appropriate by medical staff.

“We have ample supply of both oral and IV treatment options,” said Jenny Franklin, assistant to IDVA Director Terry Prince.

On Wednesday, the department reported that 16 veterans and 6 staff had tested positive. A spokesperson for the department noted that positive residents were quickly moved to a negative pressure solution unit and would be closely monitored and cared for by IDVA staff.

“Our top priority is the health and safety of our military veterans and the heroic staff who care for them,” Maureen Hartigan said on Wednesday. “We take this very seriously. We are following recommendations from local health officials, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and the IDPH to safeguard everyone at the facility.”

An asymptomatic veteran already under hospice care passed away early Wednesday morning. That veteran had only received a booster shot and tested positive for COVID-19 hours before his death.

Hartigan noted that the department is conducting daily health screenings for the veterans, routine COVID-19 testing for staff and residents, using N-95 masks with face shields, maintaining social distancing and using gloves and gowns. Staff is also cleaning and disinfecting the facility frequently. Residents have been encouraged to stay in their rooms to minimize movement among others.

IDPH staff was on-site to respond to this outbreak hours after the tests came back positive. The department provided IDVA staff with full protection, testing and additional care for those testing positive and any close contacts. Communal dining and other activities in the Manteno home will not resume until the outbreak has ended. Staff encouraged veterans to stay in their rooms to minimize movement among others.

The Manteno facility was one of several veterans’ homes across the state with COVID-19 outbreaks in 2020. 36 veterans living in the LaSalle Veterans’ Home died from COVID-19 complications.

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