The Senate and House Veterans Affairs Committees met for the fourth time to resume their conversations with new data about the outbreaks and sequence of events at the Illinois Veterans’ Home in Quincy. The meeting took place at the Bilandic Building in Chicago on March 5.
Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Nirav Shah, Department of Veterans Affairs (IDVA) Director Erica Jeffries and Capital Development Board Ethics Officer Amy Romano joined the members to address their questions and concerns.
In response to why the IDVA did not replace the Home’s plumbing system after the outbreak, Jeffries said the alternative solution to eradicate the Legionella bacteria—with minimal disruption to the residents and better use of tax dollars—was to install a new water treatment system.
Jeffries also discussed preliminary, long-term plans for the 210-acre campus, which could involve the demolition and construction of brand new buildings in the next five years, but would have to temporarily relocate the 350 residents once work is underway. In the interim, all the faucets and water filters have been replaced campus-wide, and the Home tests the water supply daily for any presence of Legionella bacteria.
The Veterans Affairs Committee will continue to meet to discuss the ongoing efforts at the Quincy Veterans’ Home.