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Sixth COVID-19 Death Reported At Decatur Long Term Care Facility

Macon County Health Department administrator Brandi Binkley speaks at a Wednesday news conference announcing two additional COVID-19 deaths at Fair Havens Senior Living.

DECATUR – The number of deaths from COVID-19 has risen to six at the Fair Havens Senior Living long-term care facility in Decatur. 

The Macon County Health Department announced Thursday morning that a woman in her 90s was the latest Fair Havens resident with COVID-19 to die.

“Our team would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends,” the release stated, “and we ask that they are given respect and privacy as they mourn the loss of their loved one.”

The announcement was a grim follow-up to a Wednesday news conference in Decatur, where the Crisis Communications Team (a consortium of local government and health officials that has been reporting information on the coronavirus pandemic) announced the fourth and fifth deaths related to COVID-19 at the facility: two women, both in their 80s.  

“On behalf of the Crisis Communications Team, we want to offer our heartfelt condolences to the families of those lost,” said Decatur Mayor Julie Moore Wolfe. “This brings the total number of deaths reported in Macon County due to COVID-19 to five. One would have been too many.”

Fair Havens has become a flashpoint for COVID-19 in Macon County. 32 staff and residents at the facility have tested positive for the coronavirus. Eleven cases have been confirmed elsehwere in the county.

Mayor Wolfe says she and other officials in Macon County want the Illinois Department of Public Health to expand COVID-19 testing at Fair Havens to cover all residents and staff. And she wants staff to be trained on the proper use of personal protective equipment, or PPE.

“We’re also asking IDPH for help in training staff in infection control measures and proper protocol in donning and doffing PPE,” said Wolfe. There is a right way and a lot of very wrong ways to put on and take off PPE.”

Wolfe said State Senator Andy Manar is reaching out to state leaders on their behalf.

Macon County Health Department administrator Brandi Binkley says she’s sent photos to the IDPH that were posted on social media, and appear to show Fair Havens staff failing to wear PPE while caring for residents. She says Fair Havens has told her department that staff are wearing the equipment.

Picture of Jim Meadows

Jim Meadows

Jim Meadows has been covering local news for WILL Radio since 2000, with occasional periods as local host for Morning Edition and All Things Considered and a stint hosting WILL's old Focus talk show. He was previously a reporter at public radio station WCBU in Peoria.

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