Some staff members and clients at the Shapiro Developmental Center in Kankakee have stepped forward with claims that they were not properly notified of the presence of coronavirus. The number of COVID-19 cases at the facility has now reached 12 and the center has continued taking precautionary measures to limit the amount of exposure, which started on March 12.
Shapiro is a residential and training center for people who have an intellectual disability with 500 residents and 1,100 employees. Out of the 12 confirmed coronavirus cases at the facility, 6 cases are among residents and 6 are employees. These 12 cases at the Shapiro facility account for over 70% of confirmed cases at long-term care facilities in Kankakee County.
Meik Millz is among the staff members reporting that they were not informed of the COVID-19 cases present at the facility. Shapiro informed the Daily Journal that the facility notified the staff and clients on March 15 of the first confirmed case, but some staff members state that they were not informed until a few days later.
Additionally, one employee at Shapiro for almost 20 years, Eltovise Morris, told the Daily Journal that the staff members do not have access to Personal Protective Equipment, including gloves, masks, etc., which she believes would have significantly aided their efforts to contain the outbreak.
However, Patrick Laughlin, deputy director of communications for the Department of Human Services that operates the Shapiro facility, stated that all staff members are receiving PPE. The facility has restricted all non-essential employees and reports that residents are being confined to their rooms. With the amount of COVID-19 cases rising across the country and in Illinois, it is important that people are properly notified when there is an outbreak at their workplace or residence.
While our physical offices may be closed in order to comply with the “shelter-in-place” order, our staff remain available to assist any clients or potential clients over the phone, through video meetings, or email. Contact us at (815) 929-9292 and someone from our staff will be available to help you.