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16 veterans and 3 staff at Manteno Veterans’ Home recover from COVID-19

The veterans' home in Manteno, Illinois.
The veterans' home in Manteno, Illinois.(Mike Miletich)
Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 6:21 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD (WGEM) - The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs says there are still 10 veterans and 11 staff members positive for COVID-19 at the Manteno Veterans’ Home.

IDVA director Terry Prince said those people have either had mild symptoms or are asymptomatic. Prince said no veterans or staff have been hospitalized.

Meanwhile, 16 veterans and 3 staff members who previously tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered since the start of the outbreak in the Manteno home last week.

All staff are going through rapid COVID-19 testing before their shifts and veterans are still being tested at regular intervals.

“All the residents who tested positive were moved to the negative pressure isolation unit and are being closely monitored and cared for by dedicated IDVA personnel,” Prince said.

An asymptomatic veteran already under hospice care passed away on June 15. That veteran had only received a booster shot and tested positive for COVID-19 hours before his death.

Prince said the department will continue to follow recommendations from local health officials, the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs, and the Illinois Department of Public Health to safeguard everyone at the Manteno facility.

“This includes continuing daily health screenings of our veterans, use of N-95 respirator masks with protective face shields, maintaining social-distancing practices, using gloves and gowns, and intensified cleaning and disinfection protocols,” Prince said.

26 veterans and 14 staff members had tested positive for COVID-19 by June 21. All of the veterans who tested positive were quickly moved to a negative pressure isolation unit. IDVA spokesperson Maureen Hartigan explained positive residents have been closely monitored and cared for by dedicated IDVA personnel.

IDPH staff was on-site to respond to this outbreak hours after the tests came back positive. Hartigan explained last week that IDPH 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.

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