No ‘serious red flags’ found in state inspection of Cicero nursing home hit by coronavirus
The state report did note concerns over the sanitation of laundry machines and the spacing of residents at mealtimes.
A Cook County judge Friday denied a request to transfer patients from a west suburban nursing home where nine residents and one worker died from complications related to coronavirus.
But although a court-ordered inspection by state health officials uncovered no “red flags” at City View MultiCare Center, Judge Alison Conlon said she remained worried about the 200-plus confirmed COVID-19 cases there and allowed Cicero’s public health department to make two unannounced visits at the facility within the next 28 days.
“I see a visit as an outgrowth and a limited outgrowth of the powers to regulate the public health, safety and welfare that the town director of public health already has,” Conlon said in her ruling.
In court filings last week, Cicero accused the center of not following state and federal guidelines to protect residents and staff from COVID-19, and reported that residents were not practicing social distancing and staff members were seen without personal protective equipment.
Both City View and the Illinois Department of Public Health, which was also named in an emergency petition for an injunction and temporary restraining order against the facility, argued that Cicero had no authority to conduct inspections.
Conlon said the visits by the Cicero public health department would not be compliance inspections, but simply a way for the town to monitor conditions at the facility, at 5825 W. Cermak Road.
The state inspection ordered by Conlon “found no serious red flags,” according to Katherine Snitzer, an assistant attorney general representing the state. City View was also found to be in compliance with state and federal guidelines, Snitzer added during Friday’s hearing via a video-streaming app.
The state’s inspection report did, however, raise concerns about the sanitation of the facility’s laundry machines and the spacing of residents when meals were served — matters City View officials said they’ve since addressed.
City View maintains that its residents were tested at a very early stage after the coronavirus pandemic hit Illinois, resulting in more positive cases.
“The numbers are big and scary, because we’re in a big and scary pandemic,” City View attorney Jason Lundy said.
IDPH officials said the number of coronavirus-related deaths at City View were not outside the norm in the state’s more than 1,000 longterm care facilities.
According to state records, other nursing homes in the state have reported similar numbers of COVID-19-related deaths. Some facilities have had double that amount, records show.