COVID-19, Local, Park Forest, Science

COVID-19: One More Succumbs, Toll Now 19 in Park Forest

Tracy Mick, RN
Tracy Mick, RN, ready to work with highly infectious COVID-19 patients. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- We have not done an assessment of the numbers of COVID-19 cases in the Park Forest region in a dozen days. At that time, Chicago Heights had just topped 500 cases and the number of deaths by day was tapering in Cook County. Eighteen people from Park Forest had died of COVID-19. The toll is now 19.

The overall recovery rate in Illinois was 92%. The recovery rate has increased since by two points to 94%. However, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), an independent global health research center at the University of Washington, now predicts upwards of 201,000 people in the United States will die of the virus by October 1, 2020. This is largely due to states that relaxed social distancing prematurely or never properly embraced it.

Cicero still tops the list of the 30 towns we survey with 2906 people testing positive for COVID-19, 3464.10 people per 100,000. The number of cases in the region is still rising but not nearly as steeply, this with increased testing too.

IHME projects 8274 deaths in Illinois by October 1. Daily deaths, however, continue to decline and are projected to continue declining through September 1, picking up slightly in the month of September.

Park Forest now has 499 known cases of the disease with a rate of 2328.62 per 100,000 people, still the second-highest rate of the towns we survey and still the tenth highest rate in all of Cook County.

According to the state of Illinois, Ludeman Center in Park Forest has 220 residents who tested positive for COVID-19. That figure is up from 219 when we last tallied figures on June 7, 2020. Of these 220 residents who tested positive, 198 have recovered, according to the state.

A total of 125 staff members at Ludeman have tested positive. However, of these, 114 have recovered and returned to work.

Are you experiencing mental health issues related to COVID-19? Text “TALK” or “HABLAR” to 552020 to receive support from a counselor in your local community.

As of June 11, 3 of 38 occupied Ludeman Homes were being supported in droplet isolation. This refers to precautions healthcare workers, visitors, and staff need to take “before going into or leaving a patient’s room.”

“Droplet precautions are for patients who have germs that can spread when they cough or sneeze.” (MyHealth.Alberta.CA)

Ludeman Center employs 910 people and has 339 residents, according to the current census. All have been tested, some twice, according to Parents & Friends. Staff continues to undergo wellness checks before reporting to their respective assignments, the group Parents & Friends reports.

Nineteen (19) people from Park Forest have died of COVID-19 related issues according to the Cook County Medical Examiner‘s office. That number indicates one more Park Forester who died since we last reported.

A total of 3446 people in Park Forest have been tested with an overall positive test percentage of 14.48%, down from 16.46% when we last surveyed.

The Will County Health Department reports 43 cases of COVID-19 in the Will County section of Park Forest as of June 19, 2020.

As of this writing, Chicago Heights has 573 confirmed cases and a rate of 1892.59 per 100k. Steger has 83 cases, Flossmoor 81, Richton Park 221, Olympia Fields has 59, Sauk Village 113, Glenwood 174, Tinley Park 323, and South Chicago Heights has 85.

Harvey has 480 cases, Country Club Hills has 331 cases, Orland Park 487, Lynwood 118, Lansing 401, Homewood 279, South Holland 426, Markham 221, and Crete 164. Ford Heights now has 35 cases, and Calumet City has 606 and a rate of 1635.98 per 100,000 people.

Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 135,470 cases, including 6,580 deaths, in 101 counties in Illinois. The age of cases ranges from younger than one to older than 100 years.  Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 27,171 specimens for a total of 1,311,003.

The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from June 12–June 18 is 3%.

As of June 19, 2020, there are a total of 33,743 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in suburban Cook County and 1,595 deaths; only 174 cases are in congregate settings, such as long term care facilities or nursing homes, are reporting one or more confirmed cases. 36 cases are in other settings, such as workplaces or large gatherings, with confirmed outbreaks; with a total of 309 outbreak-associated cases.

The data from Cook County includes all cases under the jurisdiction of the Cook County Department of Public Health (excludes Chicago, Evanston, Oak Park, Skokie, and Stickney Township). All numbers are provisional and subject to change.

As of this writing, Will County now reports 6,301 confirmed cases and 310 deaths.

We note again: Other countries have fewer cases of COVID-19, far lower rates per 100k. The higher numbers are not an inevitability of testing. Testing alone is not the determining factor in higher numbers.

We leave further interpretation of the data up to our astute readers.

Deceased from COVID-19

The Cook County Medical Examiner reports 4,425 total COVID-19 related deaths since March 16, 2020, as of June 19, 2020.

As noted above, Park Forest has lost 19 people from COVID-19.

The number of deceased from Chicago Heights is now 31, one more person than when we last tallied. Cicero lost 77, Richton Park 12, Matteson 23 (+1), and Country Club Hills 31 (+4). The number of deaths in Steger (Cook County) is 4, unchanged since we last tallied. Crestwood has now lost 17 (+4), and Homewood has now lost 31 (+1).

The City of Chicago has lost 2,441 people to COVID-19, 241 more people since we last tallied.

As previously mentioned, the state of Illinois reports an overall recovery rate of 94%. According to the IDPH, the recovery rate is calculated as the recovered cases divided by the sum of recovered cases and deceased cases. Recovered cases are defined as persons “with an initial positive specimen collection date” who after more than 42 days “have not expired,” according to the IDPH.

Current COVID-19 Cases for 30 South Suburban Towns

Municipality COVID-19 Cases Most Recent Population Figures Rate per 100,000 Population*
Calumet City 606 37042 1635.98
Chicago Heights 573 30276 1892.59
Cicero 2906 83889 3464.10
Country Club Hills 331 16541 2001.09
Crestwood 127 10950 1159.82
Crete 164 8117 2020.45
Dolton 400 23153 1727.64
East Hazel Crest 15 1543 972.13
Flossmoor 81 9464 855.87
Ford Heights 35 2763 1266.74
Frankfort 147 19178 766.50
Glenwood 174 8969 1940.02
Harvey 480 25282 1898.58
Hazel Crest 219 14100 1553.19
Homewood 279 19323 1443.88
Lansing 401 28331 1415.41
Lynwood 118 9007 1310.09
Markham 221 12508 1766.87
Matteson 366 19009 1925.40
Oak Forest 247 27962 883.34
Olympia Fields 59 4988 1182.84
Orland Park 487 56582 860.70
Park Forest 499 21429 2328.62
Richton Park 221 13646 1619.52
Sauk Village 113 10506 1075.58
South Chicago Heights 85 4139 2053.64
South Holland 426 22030 1933.73
Steger 83 9331 889.51
Tinley Park 323 49235 656.04
University Park 116 6958 1667.15
Combined 10302 606251 1699.30
*Numbers per 100,000 based on most recent population from US or derived via formulat using rate per 100,000 population and COVID-19 cases as reported by Cook County.

The following chart will auto-update as we update our Google spreadsheet:

Overall for the State of Illinois

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) on June 19 announced 692 new confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including 44 additional confirmed deaths.

  • Champaign County: 1 male 70s
  • Cook County: 1 unknown 30s, 1 female 40s, 2 males 40s, 1 female 50s, 2 males 50s, 5 females 60s, 5 males 60s, 3 females 70s, 4 males 70s, 1 female 80s, 2 males 80s, 1 female 90s, 2 males 90s
  • DuPage County: 1 male 60s, 1 female 80s
  • Kane County: 1 male 50s, 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s, 1 female 90s
  • Lake County: 1 male 70s, 1 female 90s, 1 female 100+
  • Morgan County: 1 male 80s
  • Peoria County: 1 female 90s
  • Williamson County: 1 male 70s
  • Winnebago County: 1 female 70s

Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 135,470 cases, including 6,580 deaths, in 101 counties in Illinois. The age of cases ranges from younger than one to older than 100 years.  Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 27,171 specimens for a total of 1,311,003.  The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from June 12–June 18 is 3%.

Following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, IDPH is now reporting both confirmed and probable cases and deaths on its website.  Reporting probable cases will help show the potential burden of COVID-19 illness and efficacy of population-based non-pharmaceutical interventions.  See CDC definition of a probable case on its website.  IDPH will update these data once a week.

*All data are provisional and will change. In order to rapidly report COVID-19 information to the public, data are being reported in real-time. Information is constantly being entered into an electronic system and the number of cases and deaths can change as additional information is gathered.  Information for a death previously reported has changed, therefore, today’s numbers have been adjusted.  For health questions about COVID-19, call the hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or email [email protected]

About the Elisabeth Ludeman Center

As of June 17, the Illinois Department of Human Services reports a current census of 339 residents at Ludeman Center. Of these:

  • The average age is 53.4 years (22 – 77);
  • 72% of the residents are severe and profound mentally, intellectually, and physically disabled.
  • 52% are non-verbal, using sign language or gestures to communicate;
  • 58% have a behavior intervention program, often requiring higher
    levels of staff supervision;
  • 63% receive psychotropic medications.

According to the IDHS:

The Elisabeth Ludeman Center occupies 60 acres in Park Forest at the southwest corner of Orchard Drive and North Street.

The Center is divided into three (3) residential units comprised of 13-14 homes. Each unit has a centrally located Neighborhood House which has offices for the Unit Director, Social Worker, Unit Physician, Nursing Personnel, Qualified Intellectual Disabilities Professionals, (QIDP’s), Residential Services Supervisors and clerical personnel. The Ludeman Center also serves as an admission center for individuals having significant adaptive issues in the community-based setting. The Interdisciplinary teams’ main priority is to stabilize and ensure a successful transition back into the community.

Each of the 40 ranch-style homes has a kitchen, dining/living room area, utility room which contains a washer and dryer, two full and one half bathrooms, and five bedrooms.

Approximately half of the people who currently reside at the Ludeman Center attend vocational training programs at community training sites or workshops. The remainder of the people are served in on-campus day training programs. Currently, several individuals are working in a food service program, housekeeping program, horticulture program (vegetable garden and greenhouse flowers) and in the Center-wide recycling program.

Finally, the Ludeman Center has opened its doors and shared space/services with the Illinois Department Of Transportation’s District 1 South DBE Resource Center; as well as the Office of the Inspector General, Bureau of Civil Affairs, Bureau of Quality Management, and SODC Operations.

*Why Rate Per 100,000?

We found a clear explanation for viewing the rate of infections per 100,000 comes from Indiana University at Bloomington: “There may or may not be 100,000 residents in the county under review, but multiplying the result by 100,000 makes that rate comparable with counties with more than 100,000 or less than 100,000.”

“It is customary to use rates per 100,000 population for deaths and rates per 1,000 population for live births,” our source at Indiana University says.

So, none of the cities, towns, and villages we survey have 100,000 residents, but by using the rate per 100,000, we are able to compare apples to apples, so to speak, as if every town did have 100,000 residents.

eNews Park Forest will continue to track the effects the COVID-19 pandemic has on our region.

This article was temporarily available for free as part of our public service during the COVID-19.