No new coronavirus cases, deaths at Lake Zurich center since March outbreak

  • A COVID-19 outbreak at Cedar Lake Assisted Living & Memory Care in Lake Zurich has stabilized since it began in late March, officials said.

    A COVID-19 outbreak at Cedar Lake Assisted Living & Memory Care in Lake Zurich has stabilized since it began in late March, officials said. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer, March 2020

 
 
Updated 4/6/2020 6:09 PM

Two weeks after a rapid and deadly outbreak of COVID-19 cases hit a Lake Zurich assisted living center, the situation there has stabilized, a representative said.

No new coronavirus cases have been discovered among residents or the staff at Cedar Lake Assisted Living & Memory Care, 777 Church St., said William Swearingen, an executive with Spectrum Retirement Communities, the company that manages the facility.

 

No additional virus-related deaths have occurred, either, Swearingen said.

The staffing and supply shortages the facility initially encountered after the outbreak have been resolved, he added.

"Things are stabilizing at Cedar Lake," said Swearingen, the senior vice president of sales and marketing for Denver-based Spectrum. "We continue working to minimize spread of the COVID-19 virus within the community."

Spectrum also operates assisted living centers in Libertyville, Lombard, Cary, Streamwood, South Elgin, Burr Ridge and Palos Heights. All of those facilities "are doing well" during the pandemic, Swearingen said. He didn't elaborate.

Nine of Cedar Lake's 65 residents tested positive for COVID-19 in the last week of March. One subsequently died at a hospital.

Two workers tested positive for the virus the same week. Neither are caregivers, and both were expected to recover, Swearingen said.

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Between those ill employees, some who suspected they had the virus and others who didn't report to work out of fear of infection, the staffing level dropped by about 20% after the outbreak, Spectrum officials said.

The facility also began running low on masks, gowns and gloves.

Spectrum reached out to other organizations to request replacement personnel and equipment, and word spread via the Daily Herald and other media.

Donations of protective gear poured in, as did job applications from people living in the Lake Zurich area who wanted to fill openings for nurses, caregivers and other professionals.

As of Monday, 17 long-term care facilities in Lake County had at least two confirmed cases of COVID-19, for a total of 105 cases, said Lee Filas, a spokesman for the county's crisis team.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The Lake County Health Department has a team dedicated to helping long-term care facilities. It shares updates through conference calls and ensures facilities have necessary support, Filas said.

Additionally, the department is distributing personal protective equipment to long-term care facilities and first responders as it receives shipments from the state or donors, Filas said. The health department also is arranging coronavirus tests for care facility staffers who are showing symptoms.

If you have relatives at long-term care facilities and you're concerned about them contracting the virus, you shouldn't bring them home, said Dr. Sana Ahmed, a medical epidemiologist with the health department. They likely are safest where they are because of the care available there, Ahmed said.

"It is important that your loved one get the attention and care they need in a clean, disinfected environment, which may be difficult for family members to provide," Ahmed said. "There are also shortages of home health workers and specialized equipment."

Ahmed also noted bringing someone into your home could either bring the virus in or expose that person to the virus.

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