Spike in COVID cases at Madison County nursing home alarms families

FOX Files

GRANITE CITY, Ill. – The families of residents at Stearns Nursing and Rehabilitation in Granite City last heard 19 people had tested positive for COVID-19. Last Friday, the Madison County Health Department said the number was 88, including 10 deaths.

Mindy Winning’s mother is one of those positive cases.

Gloria Winning is 81 and needs around-the-clock care because of her dementia. Mindy visits her through the glass two to four times a week.

She can barely hear her mom through the glass. Mindy says the social worker said her mother is feeling no symptoms despite her positive test. Then Mindy said the social worker went home with her own positive test. On Tuesday, Mindy was visiting her mother when she said another worker seemed confused over COVID patients.

“She’s negative still for COVID,” the worker said.

“Negative, I thought she was positive?” Mindy said.

“Is she positive?”

“Yeah,” Mindy said.

The worker responded: “Oh, I must not have gotten the updated list. I’m sorry.”

Mindy was shocked by the confusion.

Until the pandemic, Mindy would take her mom out for field trips and to ride horses.

“My mom is pretty healthy and she’s a tough little bird, so I’m praying that she will get through it,” she said.

FOX 2 called Stearns Nursing and Rehab and left three messages. We’ve received no response.

Mindy said she’s talked with the Illinois Department of Public Health and was told they would send investigators to the facility Wednesday.

FOX 2 confirmed state inspectors were inside the building when we were there. We’ll keep you updated on their findings.

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