Shapiro Center in Kankakee Faces COVID Surge, Reflecting Illinois-Wide Health Concerns

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KANKAKEE, IL – The Shapiro Developmental Center in Kankakee is currently grappling with a COVID-19 outbreak, recording 24 cases among staff and residents. This has prompted the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) to escalate its safety and health protocols at the center.

To counteract the spread of the virus, Shapiro has adopted stringent measures including enhanced testing, social distancing, mandatory masking in communal areas, and rigorous cleaning routines. Despite these challenges, the majority of cases are showing mild symptoms, with only one resident needing hospitalization, currently in a stable condition.

This situation at Shapiro is reflective of a wider trend observed across the State-Operated Developmental Centers (SODCs) in Illinois. As of December 6, there have been 58 residents and 35 staff members across all SODCs who have tested positive for COVID-19 since November 20. The IDHS is responding to this uptick in cases by reinforcing existing prevention policies across its facilities.

These statewide measures include quarantine protocols, reduction in group activities and communal dining, and increased testing for both residents and staff. Tonya Piephoff, IDHS Division Director of Developmental Disabilities, emphasized the commitment to safeguarding the health of residents and staff, stating, “We are grateful to all of those who work at our centers and engage in protective measures to reduce the spread, as they continue to provide quality care to all those we serve.”

The IDHS, in collaboration with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and following CDC guidelines, is diligently monitoring and responding to the COVID-19 situation in all its developmental centers.

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