CHICAGO (CBS) — Nursing home patients in Illinois are dying at an alarming rate due to COVID-19, and families want answers and help from the state.
As CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reported Saturday night, Rosemarie Adams was just 64 when she died earlier this month. Her family has ordered an autopsy.READ MORE: CVS Installs Time-Delay Safes At All Illinois Pharmacy Locations To Deter Would-Be Thieves
But even before the results are in, they are quite sure the wife and mother of three is one of the more than 250 Illinoisans who succumbed to COVID-19 in a nursing home.
An ambulance outside a nursing home is an all-too-common sight in the Chicago area and well beyond during the coronavirus crisis.
On Easter Sunday, an ambulance was called for Rosemarie Adams – but it was too late.
“When I talked to her that Friday, she was so happy. She said, ‘Bring me my M&M’s,’” said her widower, Harold Adams, of Hazel Crest.
But just days later on Easter, Rosemarie Adams was dead.
Now, Harold Adams wants to know why he never got to bring his wife of 20 years the candy she loved so much.
“We later found out that she had COVID,” said their daughter, Shalitha Johnson.
“I’m not faulting anybody as of yet, but I want particulars. I want answers,” Harold Adams said.
And Rosemarie Adams certainly isn’t alone.
Shalitha Johnson’s mother also died, and the family later found out she had COVID-19.READ MORE: Jussie Smollett Trial: Lead Detective In Investigation Explains On Witness Stand How Smollett Went From Victim To Suspect
So the Illinois Department of Public Health sent in a strike team of specialists.
A total of 16 residents of Symphony have tested positive and were being treated inside the 200-bed facility as of Saturday. Another 37 residents have tested negative and have been moved to different facilities.
“We have had direct assistance given to Symphony – I know that, you know, reviewing of all the infection control protocols; making sure that people know how to properly don and doff PPE, making sure that the pre-shift assessment so there’s a full survey that can be reviewed to make sure you identify the areas of weakness, and then, you know, try to identify where IDPH can specifically support,” Ezike said.
Ezike said a strike team was sent to Symphony to analyze what happened and see what can be learned from a nursing home that accounts for more than 20 percent of the total COVID-19 deaths in Will County.
From The Illinois Department Of Public Health: Information On COVID-19 Outbreaks In Long-Term Care Facilities
Johnson welcomes any help that comes to nursing homes, but wishes it had come in time for her mom.
“I’m going to make sure everybody knows who Rosemarie Adams is, and that she was a fighter,” Johnson said.
And Harold Adams is still trying to come to grips with the way he had to say goodbye where he wasn’t allowed to touch his wife.
“It’s hurts. it’s devastating,” he said. “It’s devastating.”MORE NEWS: Retailers Worry That Repeated Organized Thefts Could Scare Shoppers Away From Mag Mile, Other Districts This Holiday Season
The family said Rosemarie Adams had tested positive for coronavirus, but was told she had beaten the disease and was released from the hospital – only to die a couple of days later.