Cicero officials cannot conduct additional “surprise visits” at a nursing home where 13 died from complications related to the coronavirus after the facility accused the town of launching “a raid” on its premises last week.
Cook County Circuit Court Judge Alison Conlon issued the order Tuesday in response to an emergency motion filed by City View MultiCare Center claiming Cicero health officials violated the rights of its residents by barging into their rooms without knocking and recording them in various states of undress.
Conlon said Cicero officials violated the “letter and spirit” of an order she gave last month, allowing them to make two unannounced visits to the facility after the town claimed staff and residents weren’t following proper guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The judge said during a visit last week, Cicero police officers were “standing guard” outside the facility, officials did not provide identification and recorded video at the facility — an action City View say violates federal and state privacy laws.
Conlon, in her order, said that the Cicero officials had no legal right to take video of the residents in their homes.
Conlon denied Cicero’s request to move the residents after a court-ordered inspection by the Illinois Department of Public Health found no serious violations at the facility at 5825 W. Cermak Road, but allowed a member of Cicero’s health department make two unannounced visits to observe if health guidelines were being followed.
Cicero spokesman Ray Hanania said town officials were “fine” with not being allowed a second visit, saying, “We believe that we have made [our] point that City View must take the needed measures to protect their residents and require the wearing of [personal protective equipment].”
Nine residents and a staff member died from complications of the virus at City View, according to earlier reports. But as of Tuesday, state public health records show 13 deaths related to COVID-19 at the facility. City View on Tuesday said they were “unable to verify the state numbers” about the additional three deaths. City View Administrator Michael Perl recently announced independent testing showed no positive cases at the nursing home.
Long-term care facilities account for more than half of all deaths attributed to the virus in the state, the Chicago Sun-Times has reported.