Rockford's Independent Newspaper

Elderly, congregate communities still hardest hit by COVID-19

By Jim Hagerty

ROCKFORD – Although numbers are improving, the COVID-19 outbreak continues to take its toll on area congregate settings.

Statistics released by the Winnebago County Health Department Tuesday show that about 66% of COVID-related deaths have been linked to outbreaks in places like nursing homes, group homes, shelters, assisted-living centers, and jails.

As of Tuesday, 20 local congregate facilities are considered areas of concern. That means there have been at least two confirmed cases of coronavirus disease or multiple exposures at the following places: Alden Alma Nelson Manor, Amberwood Care Centre, Anam Care, The Atrium, Crimson Pointe, Fairhaven Christian Retirement Center, Forest City Rehab & Nursing, Goldie B. Floberg Center, Lincolnshire Place, Luther Center, Milestone, River Bluff Nursing Home, Robert Webb Terrace, Rock River Health Care, Rockford Rescue Mission, Rosecrance, St. Anne Ascension Living, Stepping Stones of Rockford, Van Matre Rehabilitation Hospital, and the Winnebago County Jail.

There were three new COVID-related deaths reported Tuesday, bringing the county’s total to 44. Half of those who succumbed to complications of the disease have been 80 or older. The majority of local infections, however, have been among younger people.

There have been 354 cases and no deaths in the 20-29 age group and 294 cases with no deaths among people 30-39.

Winnebago County’s total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 is currently at 1,588, which includes those who have already recovered.

Some experts say there may be hundreds of thousands or more people across the country who have were infected with coronavirus before it started spreading rapidly in dense population centers two months ago. Some believed they had the flu while others showed very mild or no symptoms.

Statewide, there have been 98,030 cases and 4,379 deaths, including 146 fatalities announced Tuesday. Cook County’s elderly and nursing-home communities continue to be the state’s hardest hit by the outbreak. The county accounted for 96 of Tuesday’a deaths. Of those, 83 were 60 or older.

Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have processed 18,443 COVID-19 tests for a statewide total of 621,684. The daily positivity rate is 8.6%. The seven-day rolling rate from May 10-16 is 14%.

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