KANKAKEE, Ill. (CBS) — In Kankakee County, COVID-19 cases are starting to grow at a state-run adult care facility, and families are growing angry. Some feel lives were put in jeopardy.
The county has 47 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 12 of which are from one center for adults with developmental disabilities.
One mother said the lack of communication may cost her son is life.
“They’re not telling you what’s going on, and they were not prepared,” said Cindy Bogue.
Her son Paul has made the Shapiro Developmental Center in Kankakee his home for 11 years. There are 478 adults living in the facility. Tuesday morning Cindy got the call that her son was one of the 12 members of the community who tested positive for COVID-19.
“My son is fighting for his life now,” she said. “He may not live. I hate to think that way, and I’m trying not to.”
Paul is mentally disabled, has autism, asthma and heart problems. As of Tuesday he had a 103 degree fever, double pneumonia and COVID-19. Cindy said the center failed to notify families of residents that a staffer contracted the virus last week.
“I would have my son home, and he would not have the COVID,” she said.
Residents have been kept to their rooms, guest visits have stopped, and no residents are allowed to leave. Cindy said weekend calls to the facility when Paul started to feel ill were not returned, and that senior staff refused to speak with families.
“They’re not telling you what’s going on, and they were not prepared,” she said.
While she spoke with his nurse Tuesday to confirm the news, Cindy feels being left out of the loop last week was one thing but not that exclusion is crippling.
“At this point I am in a state of panic and terror that my son may not make it through this,” she said.
Late Tuesday the state told CBS 2 there is a protocol to notify families immediately of confirmed cases on campus. Cindy said that never happened.
“It’s against Paul’s human rights,” she said. “Its against all their human rights not for their guardians and families to be notified so they can make appropriate decisions.”
Paul has since moved out of the facility and is being cared for at a local hospital in Kankakee.
CBS 2 did speak with one family that has loved ones in the facility and said they are satisfied with the Shapiro Center’s communication.
CBS 2 asked the state to answer the specific allegations Cindy leveled against the facility, but there was no answer six hours later as of the publishing of this story.