Coronavirus Evanston: Three Crowns Park senior center residents concerned after 2 cases confirmed

EVANSTON, Ill. (WLS) -- As the number of COVID-19 cases grows at a senior care facility in Willowbrook, there is now growing concern about cases at a senior center on the North Shore.

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Phil Hemmer, the executive director at Three Crowns Park in Evanston, said it has two confirmed cases.

"Personally, I am very concerned because I am one of the most vulnerable people," said Steve Warner, a resident and 78-year-old retired sociology professor. He said he understands that social distancing is difficult.

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But he thinks more social distancing and wide-scale testing of residents and staff would ramp down the rate of COVID-19 infection at Three Crowns Park. But the testing isn't happening and Evanston Hospital wants to send the infected residents back to free up beds.

"We are very concerned about them coming back here because since none of our staff have been tested we don't know how many other cases we are going to have," Hemmer said. "And again, we don't have the equipment or the supplies to take care of the residents safely."

That's a dilemma in many locations as the virus lands across the state. The senior facility is desperate for as masks and gowns that the city and the state say are coming.

"We are 48 hours in a single test," Hemmer said. "We have not had a single test we have been working through the Evanston Health Department and they have been consulting with IDPH, but their approach they are taking with us is dramatically different than the approach they took at Willowbrook and that is very concerning to us."

Warner said he has a message to young people in the community.

"Don't congregate," Warner said. "Please comply with the social distancing because you can get it and it won't be too hard. But it'll be very hard on me, it'll be very hard on your parents, your grandparents."

The Illinois Department of Public Health has created a hotline at 1-800-889-3931. More information can be found at the IDPH website and the Chicago Department of Public Health website.
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