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A Joliet nursing home that is the subject of three lawsuits over coronavirus-related deaths among residents has reported no new COVID-19 cases in the past 90 days.
A COVID-19 task force with Symphony Care Network announced Wednesday that Symphony of Joliet, 306 N. Larkin Avenue, reached 90 consecutive days without a single new test result for coronavirus among patients and staff, according to a news release from Symphony spokeswoman Natalie Bauer Luce.
“The significant milestone is the result of the task force’s advanced infection control protocols and its robust testing regimen,” the news release said.
In a statement attributed to Dr. Alexander Stemer, a co-chairman of the task force, Symphony’s early call for universal testing of all patients and staff “quickly became the standard across the long-term care industry and is a key reason why we’re seeing results like those at the Joliet facility.”
The lawsuits claim the deaths of Carr, Mitchell and Brooks were the result of “gross negligence” on part of Symphony of Joliet. The lawsuits also claimed their deaths were the “byproduct of years of the nursing home's mismanagement, misallocation of resources and understaffing, and repeated violations and cited deficiencies of infection control and prevention requirements.”
State data shows 25 residents died from coronavirus-related deaths at Symphony of Joliet. It's the second highest number among long-term care facilities in Will County behind Meadowbrook Manor of Bolingbrook, which has seen 40 deaths.
In Will County, there have been 844 coronavirus cases at long-term care facilities and 164 deaths, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Luce has said the lawsuits "blatantly ignore the lengths Symphony went to counteract the spread of COVID-19.”
Symphony’s news release on Wednesday said the company’s universal testing strategy “enables staff to proactively identify and isolate COVID-19 positive individuals.”
Symphony’s “previously established COVID-19 isolation units at its facilities for patients who test positive or exhibit symptoms,” according to the news release. The units are staffed by care teams outfitted with personal protective equipment and maintain strict entry and exit protocols.
“Throughout its network, all employees and patients are screened and their temperatures are checked multiple times a day, while high-touch areas are disinfected 12 times a day,” the news release said.