Public Health Officials Quickly Reverse New COVID-19 Reporting Method for Nursing Homes After Outcry from Families
On Friday, May 22, officials from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) introduced a new COVID-19 reporting system in hopes to curb new COVID-19 outbreaks. But the new method was quickly dismissed after backlash was received from long-term care advocates and family members of residents who say they need more consistent information on facilities to decide whether it is safe for their loved ones. The new reporting system was only to involve data on long-term care facilities with at least one new case in the past 28 days versus providing an overall risk measurement for all facilities in Illinois.
IDPH then decided to continue with original reporting methods that include logging all homes with cases on the IDPH website, including those that are not currently experiencing an outbreak. The Illinois Department of Health (IDPH) has a map of the state’s long-term care facilities in Illinois with cases of COVID-19 among residents and staff on its website. The numbers are provisional, and the list is updated weekly to show lab-confirmed cases and cases meeting the Centers for Disease Control and Infection (CDC) outbreak case definition. Visit the IDPH website here and scroll down to locate the county in which the facility you are looking.
In a released statement, IDPH spokesperson Melaney Arnold said the effort was made to begin reporting only those facilities that are currently experiencing an outbreak, however, all long-term care outbreaks will now be documented and published on the IDPH website, including those that are not currently experiencing an outbreak.
Why It’s Important for Nursing Homes to Report Cases
Reporting cases is one way to hold nursing homes accountable for substandard care so they can be cited for inadequate infection control procedures. When reporting becomes relaxed, more residents become at risk and inevitably result in increased resident deaths.
If you have concerns about a facility’s infection control practices:
- Make it a point to talk to the Director of Nursing.
- Share your feedback with an Illinois local long-term ombudsman.
- Call the IDPH hotline at 1-800-889-3931 to report issues related to COVID-19 infections at long-term care facilities.
- Find out more information by visiting the IDPH website.
You can also request a free consultation with a nursing home abuse and neglect attorney at Levin & Perconti. Our attorneys are currently investigating over 100 complaints involving assisted living, long-term care, and skilled nursing facilities that have failed to uphold adequate safeguards and responsibility related to the COVID-19 outbreak in the greater Chicago area and surrounding communities in Illinois.
As of Tuesday, May 26, a total of 14,882 cases of COVID-19 and 2,402 related deaths were reported by Illinois long-term care facilities to IDPH.
Levin & Perconti: Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorneys in Chicago
As longtime advocates for nursing home residents and their families, the attorneys at Levin & Perconti understand the extra care and precautions required to care for nursing home residents during this unprecedented time. Still, infection disease can never be ignored or disregarded. If you suspect elder neglect or abuse of any kind related to COVID-19, please contact us for a free consultation with one of our nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at 312-332-2872 or toll-free at 877-374-1417.