Peoria Resident Who Died Of COVID-19 Lived in Assisted Care Facility

Apr 5, 2020

A 91-year-old man is the Tri-County area's first COVID-19 linked death.

The man lived at a Peoria independent assisted living facility. He died Saturday afternoon at UnityPoint Health-Methodist.

"Many people are going to wonder, did he have comorbid conditions, and what was his health before and after. And some of that is relevant, and some of that is not," said Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood. "What I feel to be relevant to tell you is he did have comorbid conditions and he was sick for the last week or so."

He declined to release the man's name because he said identities in medical deaths aren't usually released, and he didn't want to define the man's legacy as being Peoria's first coronavirus death.

Peoria City/County Health Department Administrator Monica Hendrickson said the man's significant other is the only other person tested living at that Peoria assisted living facility, which she declined to name until clients and staff are notified. That facility was identified Monday as Bickford of Peoria. Calls were referred to an out-of-town media contact.

"Based on biologs that they've been providing, which include temperatures, symptoms checks, and even blood, oxygen levels, there are no residents that are currently symptomatic in the facility," she said.

Hendrickson said those checks are done every eight hours. She says visitor restrictions, universal masking, social distancing, and other policies are in place to protect long-term care facility residents and staffers. Congregate living facilities like nursing homes and assisted living facilities are more susceptible to COVID-19 infection spread.

As of Sunday, the Tri-County area of Peoria, Tazewell and Woodford had 30 positive COVID-19 tests. Peoria County has one additional case for a total of 11, Tazewell has three more for a total of 13, and Woodford remains at six.

Seven people are under investigation in a local intensive care unit for COVID-19. Eight confirmed cases are currently in the ICU. Thirty-two suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases are in non-ICU beds, a 12-bed increase from Saturday. 

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