Highly contagious and especially dangerous for older adults, COVID-19 has infiltrated Oak Park long-term care and assisted living facilities.

Oak Park Village Manager Cara Pavlicek stated in her April 20 village manager report that one resident and two members of staff at Belmont Village, 1035 Madison St., have tested positive for the virus. Oasis of Oak Park, 625 N. Harlem Ave., has had 11 residents test positive and no staff with zero reported deaths.

Berkeley Nursing & Rehab, 6909 W. North Ave., has had one resident test positive; that resident has since died. Five residents and three staff members have tested positive at Brookdale Oak Park, 1111 Ontario St.; Brookdale Oak Park has had one resident death related to COVID-19. Meanwhile at the Oak Park Arms, 408 S. Oak Park Ave., there have been zero resident or staff cases.

Oak Park Public Health Director Mike Charley announced three more individuals have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of Oak Park residents with the virus to 131, according to a report released April 20. The three newest cases range in age from 40s to 60s.

The village of Oak Park announced its very first case of COVID-19 March 18. Leading up to Monday, four Oak Park residents are believed to have died as a result of contracting COVID-19.

A recent fatality, announced by Charley April 15, was a woman in her 80s. As in the other three cases, Cook County Medical Examiner will determine the official cause of death.

However, according to Oak Park spokesman David Powers, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office does not share the cause of death determinations with the Oak Park government.

The village of Oak Park reported its first likely COVID-19-related fatality April 1 when a man in his 60s died after previously testing positive for the virus.

The second likely fatality was announced April 9; in that case, the victim was a man in his 50s.

The death of a woman in her 90s marked Oak Park’s third likely fatality, according to an April 13 village announcement. Privacy laws prohibit the village from releasing further information regarding the individuals.

According to Charley’s announcements, “Anyone who has had close, direct contact with any individual who tests positive for COVID-19 is notified by the local public health authority as part of standard patient tracking and case follow-up procedures.”

The Oak Park Police Department has also been hit, as three officers have tested positive for COVID-19 as well. Pavlicek announced the third officer’s diagnosis in an April 9 village manager report.

Per the report, “The employee chose to self-quarantine upon exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 and has remained out of the workplace since late-March.”

The report also stated that “there were no contacts with staff or the public that required notice of quarantine.”

The village of Oak Park continues to evaluate safety measures for its staff and is using enhanced cleaning protocols; first responders have their temperatures taken prior to working as an additional precaution, according to Pavlicek’s report.

River Forest has a total of 17 cases as of April 20, according to the Cook County Department of Public Health.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is likely to increase in both villages by the time Wednesday Journal has printed. Please check www.oakpark.com (or www.riverforest.com) for further case updates.

 This story has been updated to remove a reference to a preliminary report from the Office of the Cook County Medical Examiner.

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