State senators want action to prevent Legionnaires' outbreaks
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WICS) —
A bipartisan group of senators wants every state-run facility to test for Legionella.
This push relates to the Legionnaires' outbreak that claimed the lives of 13 veterans at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy.
Lawmakers advanced two measures Tuesday to improve water management and notification requirements at state facilities.
One requires testing, the other requires state veterans’ homes to inform residents and their families within 24 hours if two or more residents are diagnosed with an infectious disease.
Lawmakers said they're hoping to introduce another measure soon that'll appropriate funding to update the Quincy Veterans’ Home, but have yet to hear how much money's needed.
"It started at $500 million, then it went to $30-40 million, then we've heard $50 million," Sen. Tom Cullerton, D-Villa Park, said. "We've also heard $8 million based off of a 2016 report. The numbers are all over the place. This should not be this difficult to do, especially when lives hang in the balance."
Last week, the Illinois Department of Veteran Affairs director said the long-term plan is to rebuild dorms at the Quincy Veterans’ Home.