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Governor reports COVID-19 outbreak at Anna Veterans' Home; Union County sees spike in cases
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Governor reports COVID-19 outbreak at Anna Veterans' Home; Union County sees spike in cases

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Anna veterans' home

The Anna Veterans' Home is pictured in a photo from the state of Illinois' website.

ANNA — Five residents of the state-run Anna Veterans’ Home have tested positive for COVID-19, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Wednesday afternoon.

All residents and staff at the state's four Adjutant Illinois Veterans' Homes were tested, the governor said during his daily press conference. Results were returned Tuesday for the Anna home’s 51 residents and most employees. No staff members were found to be positive, though a handful are awaiting results.

At the Manteno veterans’ home, 30 of 220 residents, and 19 of 307 employees, have tested positive since April. One resident of that facility who tested positive has died. The individual had been on hospice care prior to the COVID-19 diagnosis, the governor said.

At the LaSalle veterans’ home, one resident tested positive earlier in May. In subsequent testing, no additional residents or staff tested positive.

Recent testing revealed no known COVID-19 cases to date among patients or staff at the Quincy veterans' home.

Pritzker said Wednesday that the state is making tests available to nursing homes around the state to test all staff in places with outbreaks, to ensure the people who are positive are isolating, and all residents and staff in facilities with no reported cases to date. But this is not happening all at once, as there are still limitations in accessing test kits. The governor said that facilities with the most vulnerable populations, including people of color, are being prioritized.

According to the Southern Seven Health Department, Union County has reported a total of 100 cases to date, 38 of which were newly reported Wednesday. Of the county’s total cases, 15 have recovered. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, the rate of infection in Union County is the highest downstate, behind only the counties of Cook, Lake and Kane in northern Illinois.

COVID-19 in Southern Illinois: Here are today's local case numbers.

Union County is now reporting outbreaks in three long-term care facilities: The Anna Veterans’ Home, Integrity of Anna and Integrity of Cobden. At least part of the spike reported Wednesday for the county is likely attributed to more widespread testing of residents and staff at one or more of these places.

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COVID-19 outbreaks reported at two Union County nursing homes

The Southern Seven Health Department has declined to provide any specific information about the outbreaks at these facilities or its response. A spokeswoman did say that, generally, the agency is communicating with facilities that have had outbreaks to answer questions and pass along guidance from state and federal health agencies.

The agency’s daily press releases include the following line in bold type: Southern Seven Health Department will not release specific information about individuals with COVID-19 beyond their sex and age range, unless ordered by the court. A spokeswoman has repeatedly cited this line when The Southern has asked for general information about outbreaks at congregate facilities where numerous people work and live. Other area health departments have provided some limited information, including overall case numbers, when there have been outbreaks in congregate settings in their jurisdictions.

Administrators from the two Integrity facilities have also not responded to emails from The Southern seeking additional information.

In a press release, the health department provided a demographic breakdown of Union County's new cases. The individuals who tested positive ranged in age from the 10s to the 90s. Three additional cases were also reported Wednesday for Pulaski County, and one for Johnson County.

The Pulaski County Detention Center has been the center of an outbreak in that county that has also resulted in positive cases of employees from other nearby counties. To date, Pulaski County has reported 30 total cases. According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, 17 of those individuals are in ICE custody at the Pulaski County jail.

Officials tight-lipped on Pulaski County Detention Center outbreak as detainees fear for their lives

Employees have also tested positive, but ICE’s website does not say how many because jail staff are employees of the county rather than the federal government. Southern Seven Health Department reported Wednesday that of the 30 people in Pulaski County who tested positive, 18 have recovered.

COVID-19 numbers in Southern Illinois

This information will be updated daily with the latest numbers from local health departments in Southern Illinois. The numbers reflect new lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases reported in the last day, total cases, new COVID-19 deaths reported in the last day, total COVID-19 deaths, and recoveries. Some health departments don't report numbers on weekends or holidays.

County New Cases Total Cases New Deaths Total Deaths Recovered
Alexander 4 239 1 147
Franklin 15 1916 22 899
Gallatin 2 206 2 119
Hamilton 3 368 4 329
Hardin 8 136 0 61
Jackson 42 2542 32 2085
Jefferson 38 1788 47 1503
Johnson 13 679 2 386
Massac 17 499 2 172
Perry 21 1014 20 719
Pope 5 76 1 43
Pulaski 8 380 2 242
Randolph 22 2108 27 1831
Saline 21 1160 1 25 495
Union 8 1094 21 646
Williamson 46 3380 74 1662
White 20 606 9 261

Empty classrooms, churches, bars and stores: Southern Illinois COVID-19 impact, in photos

molly.parker@thesouthern.com

618-351-5079

On Twitter: @MollyParkerSI ​

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