Cicero applauds court decision extending TRO protections to City View residents
May 15, 2020
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Cicero, IL -Town President Larry Dominick praised the decision by Circuit Court Judge Alison Conlon on Friday May 8, 2020 to extend an order to force the City View Multicare Center, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Governor Pritzker to enforce coronavirus restrictions to protect the lives of the center’s more than 300 residents.
In the lawsuit, the Town of Cicero asked the judge to either move the residents with coronavirus to another hospital, or to enforce the state’s emergency executive order requiring strict adherence to patient protections — wearing face masks, enforcing social distancing of six feet, and ordering staff to wear personal protection equipment (PPE).
In the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO), Judge Conlon directed City View to adhere to the state’s emergency procedures, and went one step further granting the Town their demand to conduct unannounced inspections to ensure those protections are being followed.
"Cicero is concerned about the health and the lives of the residents at City View and it was clear that as a result of a comprehensive inspection of the center by the Health Department and the Emergency Operations Committee, this was not being done," President Dominick said.
"Moreover, a 3¢ per gallon municipal motor fuel tax would give communities the local control necessary to design their own unique infrastructure spending plans that respond to local capital needs and priorities demanded by their constituents," Del Galdo added.
"All we asked was that City View enforce the procedures ordered by the Governor to combat the spread of the coronavirus."
As the judge was making her ruling and that attorneys for both City View and the IDPH fought to block the judge’s order, another resident at the care center died from COVID-19.
"It was clear that both City View and the IDPH seemed more concerned about protecting what they viewed as their authority and oversight than with the lives of the residents and the staff," said Cicero spokesman Ray Hanania who monitored all four court hearings.
"Incredulously, City View argued, without a protest from the IDPH, that policies ordered by Gov. Pritzker were not ‘orders’ but were rather, to use their word, ‘guidelines.’ It seemed as if the IDPH was more concerned about protecting City View, which they oversee legally, than with protecting the residents there."
Data released on Friday showed that 1,532 Cicero residents have tested positive for the Coronavirus, and that 31 residents have died. Of that number, City View represented 167 patient-residents who tested positive for coronavirus with 30 more whose tests were inconclusive and coronavirus could not be ruled out.
Of the 31 residents who have died because of the Coronavirus, nearly one-third or 10, are residents of City View. Additionally, one City View staff member also died from the virus bringing City Views total to 11.
Hanania said the judge also would not brush aside more than 10 citations that had been issued by Cicero health and EOC inspectors citing violations of Illinois’ anti-virus practices which include wearing face masks, maintaining social distancing of at least six feet, and the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which were mandatory under the Governor’s Executive Order.
During the hearing, Conlon said that Cicero’s unannounced inspections were justified because "due to the serious concerns that have been raised." She also said that the IDPH failed to "put to bed issues that have been raised" in the past, referring to the 10 citations and multiple complaints from "whistleblowers" concerned about their relatives at the center.
Cicero Attorney Michael Del Galdo, whose team petitioned the court for the Temporary Restraining Order that was granted, praised Judge Conlon.
"Judge Conlon was both fair and judicious. She put the concern for the health and well-being of the residents above the IPDH’s concerns of jurisdiction and authority," Del Galdo said after the hearing.
"The Judge agreed with our argument that there is a need for inspections to ensure that the state’s emergency orders are being enforced."