CHICAGO (CBS) — With COVID-19 cases on the rise in Illinois, the state’s Department of Public Health has now made vaccination data publicly available for residents and staff in long-term care facilities.Some Illinois Schools Gave More Failing Grades After COVID Began
Since long-term care facilities such as nursing homes have seen COVID-19 deaths – particularly early in the pandemic – the department said the resource will be crucial for tracking COVID-19 vaccinations for staff and residents statewide.
“To help keep long-term care residents as safe and healthy as possible, we want to make sure residents and their loved ones know the vaccination rates where they reside so they can make the best decision on where to live, and also advocate for increased vaccination rates,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in a news release. “Some of our most vulnerable residents live in long-term care facilities and in order to better protect them, COVID-19 vaccination rates in many facilities, especially among staff, need to increase. The vaccine is the primary way to get to the other side of this pandemic. We need to continue to reduce spread of the virus by wearing a mask and getting as many residents and staff vaccinated as soon as possible.”
The site shows an interactive map where users can view the percentage of either staff or residents who have been vaccinated. Information such as weekly and total confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths will also be included.
The data come from the Nursing Home COVID-19 Public File, a federal resource that includes data reported by nursing home to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Healthcare Safety Network Long Term Care Facility COVID-19 Module, Surveillance Reporting Pathways and COVID-19 Vaccinations.
Nursing homes are required to report vaccinations of residents and staff to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. More information about these guidelines is available here.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Full Sun Thursday
The CBS 2 Investigators have been looking into the issue of COVID-19 spread at Chicago area nursing homes for months.
Symphony of Morgan Park has among the lowest vaccination rates around. A total of 72.2 percent of residents got the shot, but only 14.66 percent of staff, according to the state’s latest data.
Back in November, CBS 2 Investigator Megan Hickey reported that Symphony of Morgan Park had 202 cases and 26 deaths connected to COVID – among the highest in Cook County at the time.
As an example of a middle of the road performer, at Alden Estates in Naperville, 84 percent of residents are vaccinated, but only 40.76 percent of staff has gotten the shot.
Park Ridge Care Center is an example of a place with lots of protection, with 100 percent of residents vaccinated, and 90.39 percent of their staff.MORE NEWS: Chicago Board Of Ethics Finds Probable Cause Ald. James Gardiner Violated Ethics Ordinance Twice
Symphony said they are going facility by facility to educate residents and staff on the importance of the vaccine and that overall, among all their facilities, the vaccine rates are much higher.