Older Adults in Illinois Long-Term Care Settings Should Be Vaccinated with Sense of Urgency
It’s been nearly three months since COVID-19 vaccines have been made available for Illinois nursing home residents and staff, making them a priority in the long line of vaccine recipients across the state. Officials from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) say approximately 414,900 doses total have been allocated to the federal government’s Pharmacy Partnership Program for Illinois long-term care facilities. A total of 361,971 vaccines have been administered to residents and staff as of Mar. 21, 2021.
Unfortunately, Chicago’s WGN9 reports that Illinois’ largest skilled nursing facility, City View Multicare Center, located at 5825 West Cermak Road in Cicero, has not made it a priority to have residents and staff vaccinated. Employees of the facility, and SEIU Healthcare, one of the fastest-growing union of nursing home workers in the Midwest, says management failed to enroll in the federal program designed to partner skilled nursing facilities like City View with major pharmacies to vaccinate residents and staff to reduce the number of coronavirus cases and outbreaks.
Nursing home residents, rehabilitation patients, and those dependents on assisted living services account for nearly half of all COVID-19 deaths in Illinois. Studies reveal that the vaccines were safe and provided protection from COVID-19 in adults age 65 and over. If you have questions about COVID-19 vaccines or concerns about a nursing home facility or long-term care center not following CDC’s recommendations, please be sure to ask to speak with the facility administrator as soon as possible. Your loved ones have rights designed to protect them from nursing home negligence related to infectious disease control.
Cook County Health Department Aids in City View’s Vaccine Response
Due to the failure in initiating the coronavirus vaccine program at City View, the Cook County Department of Health (CCDPH) released the following statement regarding a recent mobile vaccination team visit to the facility that began on Mar. 14. However, it is currently unclear how many residents and staff were infected with the coronavirus since the vaccinations could have been offered.
“The Cook County Department of Public Health recently launched a mobile vaccination program to equitably and efficiently vaccinate the residents of suburban Cook County. On Sunday, Mar. 14, 2021, a mobile vaccination team from CCDPH partner Chicago Internal Medical Practice and Research (CIMPAR) will begin vaccinating the residents and staff of City View Multi-Care Center. All residents and staff of City View are expected to be vaccinated by Sunday, Mar. 21.”
The nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Levin & Perconti are saddened but not surprised by the slow distribution of vaccines at some Illinois nursing homes. Just weeks after the pandemic began, City View MultiCare Center released alarming outbreak data on May 15, 2020. These statistics confirmed that as many as 242 infections and ten deaths had occurred at the facility over the course of just weeks. According to IDPH’s latest numbers, City View has had 259 Covid cases and 19 deaths since the pandemic began.
City View MultiCare Center: A Documented History of Nursing Home Negligence
COVID-19 vaccines are serving as an essential tool to help stop the pandemic. However, everyone, including long-term care facility staff and residents, should follow all current guidance, including facility policies on visitation, to protect themselves and others. This can be difficult for homes that have a history of failing to provide safe and adequate care. In an annual recertification survey conducted by IDPH as recently as Aug. 15, 2019, City View MultiCare Center was found to be in violation of several regulations, including those dealing with the facility’s administration of several infection and control procedures.
Inspection surveys from 2019 have also noted several instances involving the staff’s hand hygiene and the wearing of gloves. In one prominent inspection example, a staff member dropped two gloves while walking in the hallway, which he proceeded to pick up and put in his pocket. The staff member then entered a resident’s room where he did not perform hand hygiene and used the same gloves he had previously dropped on the floor to complete the test. Further, after the test, the staff member also failed to perform hand hygiene.
Based on observations, interviews, and record reviews performed as a part of the same 2019 survey, officials also noted that the facility failed to ensure that staff performed hand hygiene while administering medication, failed to ensure that the care team did not perform multiple tasks with the same gloves, and failed to provide hand hygiene before dining.
Founding partner and attorney at Levin & Perconti Steve Levin had previously described the ongoing care issues at this facility, stating, “For many years before the pandemic even began, City View MultiCare Center operated with insufficient staff and with a lack of adherence to recognized infection control protocols. It is not surprising that they were ill-equipped to handle COVID-19 challenges.”
The facility most recently faced these quality care issues:
- Overworked and underpaid employees of the facility went on strike for 12 days in November 2020.
- Last spring, the town of Cicero sued City View, accusing it of not following COVID-19 guidelines.
- Workers have been asking for better pay, working conditions, and access to resources to fight the spread of COVID, such as PPE and additional support staff.
Our team has made it a priority to follow stories like this to ensure accountability measures will be in place that provides further protection to residents and staff from abuse, neglect, and failures in COVID-19 prevention and care.
Chicago Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorneys
If you suspect disregard for infectious disease control was the cause of a nursing home resident’s illness or untimely death, please contact Levin & Perconti. We take extreme pride in being one of the nation’s most recognized and respected leaders in the areas of elder abuse and nursing home negligence litigation and have been working with families since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020.
Please, contact us now for a FREE and confidential consultation at 312-332-2872 in Chicago, or reach us toll-free at 1-877-374-1417.