Third nursing home death reported, county adds six COVID-19 cases

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IROQUOIS COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — Health officials announced Monday an Iroquois County woman in her 80s died after testing positive for COVID-19.

According to a press release from the Iroquois County Public Health Department (ICPHD), the woman was the third resident of their county to die after becoming infected with COVID-19.

“We extend our prayers and deepest condolences to the family, friends, and community members affected by this loss. At this time we are not providing any additional details on this individual,” the release stated. “We kindly ask that the public respect the privacy of this family during this difficult time.”

WCIA reported Friday over two dozen residents of the Merkle-Knipprath Nursing Center in Clifton have tested positive for COVID-19. Molly Gaus, Senior Director of Marketing and Communications for Ascension Living, which manages Merkle-Knipprath, confirmed Monday a third COVID-19-related death had occurred at that facility.

“Our hearts are broken over losing three residents,” she said Monday in an emailed statement.

The ICPHD also reported five women and a man have tested positive for the virus. Among the women include one resident in her 20s, one in her 30s, one in her 40s, one in her 70s and one in her 90s. The man was reportedly in his 40s.

The release stated 29 of the 99 confirmed cases and have been released from isolation, seven were hospitalized, and 60 were isolated at home.

No further information about those individuals was available Friday from the ICPHD.

According to zip code level COVID-19 statistics published online Monday by the Illinois Department of Public Health, Iroquois County has at least five zip code regions that have reported over five COVID-19 cases. The zip code area 60970, which covers the City of Watseka, has reported a total of 8 cases.

Zip code 60928, which covers Crescent City, listed 6 confirmed cases of the virus; zip code region 60955, where the Village of Onarga is located, had 10 confirmed cases.

Three additional cases were reported in zip code 60927 since Friday, raising their total number of cases to 41. The Village of Clifton is located in that zip code area.

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