The town of Cicero filed an emergency motion Friday to force the state to enforce COVID-19 safety regulations at City View MultiCare Center — or transfer all residents from the nursing home, where 10 people have died and 216 have been sickened.
The motion for a temporary restraining order and injunction wants City View “to immediately come into compliance with all federal, state and local rules, orders and regulations related to COVID-19.”
That includes transferring residents to an alternate care hospital or requiring City View to separate and isolate all residents who have tested positive, and have all staff, employees and residents wear personal protective equipment. The motion also seeks daily inspections by the town of Cicero and the public health department.
The town names the long-term care facility, the Illinois Department of Public Health and Gov. J.B. Pritzker in its motion, filed Friday in Cook County Circuit Court.
Cicero spokesman Ray Hanania said the town filed the lawsuit because it had run out of options.
“We’ve issued citations, we’ve called on (the state health department) to correct this, but they haven’t,” Hanania said. “That’s why we had to go to court to fix this.”
He said the worst-case scenario is that nothing changes.
“We can’t just shut the place down. (The residents) need to be moved to another facility and be taken care of,” Hanania said.
The filing claims the home has “disregarded COVID-19 orders and guidelines and has ignored the Town’s repeated requests with said orders and guidelines,” resulting in 10 deaths — nine residents and one employee — and 216 confirmed cases.
“Despite letters, site visits, Code citations, complaints to the Illinois Department of Public Health, and continuous increases in COVID-19 cases and deaths at its facility, City View simply refuses to comply with the directives, orders, and guidelines meant to save lives” and protect against COVID-19, the suit says.
Besides state regulations issued in executive orders, Town President Larry Dominick has also issued executive orders for the town that require law enforcement and health officials to wear masks.
The 500-bed home has 325 residents and more than 300 staff, according to the suit. The filing claims the town has observed a pattern of employees and residents not adhering to safety guidelines set forth by orders from Cicero and Pritzker.
The Cicero Health Department has issued 10 recent citations to City View, mostly for issues regarding the use of masks, gloves and other PPE, or protective personal equipment, Hanania told the Sun-Times this week.
In her daily briefing Friday, Illinois Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike was asked about the lawsuit, but didn’t directly address the allegation that IDPH had failed to enforce its rules at City View.
“It’s a very unfortunate situation. It’s a major issue. We’re looking into it,” Ezike said.
City View has been quarantining all patients who test positive for COVID-19 to three floors of the facility, Hanania said.
City View administration did not immediately return a request for comment.