40 staff off work as Shapiro in Kankakee sees new spike in COVID-19 cases

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Officials are notifying the media tonight of a new outbreak of COVID-19 at Sharpio Developmental Center in Kankakee. Over 40 staff members are now off work due to symptoms or exposure, including exposure outside of the center. 

“After two-months without new cases, due to the vigilance and safety precautions of the staff, there has been an outbreak at Shapiro, with 19 residents and 13 staff testing positive since June 25.” A joint statement released by the Illinois Department of Public Health, Kankakee County Health Department, Illinois Nurses Union and Council 31 AFSCME said Monday night. “This new spike in cases is deeply troubling.”

Officials from the agencies are asking everyone in Kankakee County to work together in the public interest in this time to limit further spread of COVID-19.

“To protect the staff of Shapiro – and everyone in our community – we remind everyone: please wear a face covering, wash your hands, and practice social distancing measures. This is as important in our personal lives as it is in our professional ones. Interactions with people outside of our households should be limited and when they do take place, they must include face coverings and social distancing. We will continue to collaborate to encourage area residents to heed the guidance set forth by IDPH and the CDC. These small but essential steps can save lives.” The joint statement asked Monday night.

As of last Friday, IPDH had reported 141 cases of COVID-19 at the Samuel H. Shapiro Developmental Center. To date, the pandemic has claimed one life at the facility.

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