COVID-19 breakthrough cases are rare, but some long term care facilities are seeing them

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CHAMPAIGN-URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) – The State Public Health Department is reporting almost 600 breakthrough cases in Illinois.

Some of those outbreaks are in long-term care facilities. One of those is Amber Glen Alzheimers Special Care Center in Urbana.

The administrator there tells me they have 4 active cases, 3 of those people are vaccinated.

For the past 6 months, people have been lining up, rolling up their sleeves and getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

“That’s really the best way to protect yourself is to get vaccinated as soon as you can,” Dr. Robert Healy, Chief Quality Officer for Carle Health said.

But, no vaccine is 100% effective in the fight. So, there will be some breakthrough cases. That’s when someone who’s fully vaccinated tests positive for COVID-19

“We’ve seen some cases of hospitalized people that have been fully vaccinated. It’s very rare. The great majority of our hospitalizations, our ICU stays, and our deaths are from people who are unvaccinated,” Healy said.

Health care professionals from both Carle Hospital and OSF health care said they have seen some breakthrough cases, but not a lot. And if they do, those people have much milder symptoms.

“Those individuals, by and large, aren’t becoming really ill. I mean they have the infection, but they aren’t suffering a lot. They aren’t the ones who end up on a ventilator or die of the disease. That is possible, but it’s a remote possibility,” Jared Rogers, President of OSF Health Care Heart of Mary medical center, said.

Rogers said they have seen a surge in cases over the past few weeks. It’s starting to impact long-term care facilities.

Clark Lindsey is a retirement village in Urbana.

“Right now, there are no positive cases of COVID at Clark Lindsey,” Karen Blatzer, director of marketing, said.

She said if things get worse, they will have to take a few steps back.

“We are keeping a close eye on what the positivity rate is in Champaign County, and if it is 5% or greater, there will be some measures we will take,” she said.

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