Cicero City View Multicare Center will be inspected by IDPH, next hearing in COVID-19 outbreak lawsuit set for Friday

CICERO, Ill. (WLS) -- City View Multicare Center in Cicero will remain open as the Illinois Department of Public Health conducts an inspection as part of a lawsuit asking to shut the nursing home down because of a COVID-19 outbreak.

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday morning, Cicero's Town President Larry Dominick is urging the care facility to close down and all of its residents be transferred to alternate care facilities.

The lawsuit comes after City View was cited multiple times for negligence, with officials saying staff members did not enforce rules to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.

The lawsuit also names the Illinois Department of Public Health, the State of Illinois and Gov. JB Pritzker with failing to enforce policies to prevent the spread of the virus at the facility.

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A virtual hearing ended Tuesday afternoon. The attorney representing the state of Illinois sad the Illinois Department of Public Health will conduct a formal inspection of the facility by close of business Thursday.

IDPH volunteered to do the inspection after the judge asked all parties involved to regroup and determine who will carry out an inspection.

The judge then ordered representatives with the Town of Cicero, City View Multicare Center and the state to regroup Friday morning and discuss the results of the inspection, including any recommendations and additional help the center may need.

"We're elated," said Ray Hanania, spokesperson for the town of Cicero. "We think this is the first step."

Town leaders said their goal was to get the state's attention and demand changes be made or shut the home down for the residents' safety.

Since April 1, more than 164 residents and more than 41 staff members have tested positive. Nine residents and one staff member have died.

"We were inside the facility because we saw staff people who were congregating in the cafeteria, not wearing their PPEs, not maintaining social distancing," Hanania said. "That was shocking."

Inspections of the center revealed 10 citations for failure to follow coronavirus restrictions, staff members were even spotted not wearing required personal protective equipment.

The nursing home's positive cases account for close to a quarter of all reported cases in Cicero.

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Pending the inspection, the nursing home remains open. The judge ordered the three parties to meet by Friday morning and the hearing will continue virtually later that afternoon.

Governor Pritzker was asked about the center at his Tuesday afternoon press briefing.

"As you know, nursing homes are most often privately owned. And it is our responsibility to make sure they are doing the right thing but, as you know, we are providing PPE, training people on PPE, giving guidance to everyone in the facility," Pritzker said. "We are counting on those facilities to do the right thing. They are also subject to liability when they are not."

It is also no unusual for IDPH to identify areas in which state and local officials can help.

"Sometimes we do go into facilities and identify proper techniques for infection control are not being adhered to, we try to correct those," said Dr. Ngozi Ezike, IDPH director.

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Also Tuesday morning, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky presented nursing home legislation addressing what she calls major problems in nursing homes across the country during this pandemic.

Congresswoman Schakowsky addressed ways to help nursing home workers stay protected while serving residents.
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