Legionnaires’ disease infested veterans’ home will be replaced

Jonathan Kaupanger
March 21, 2018 - 3:07 pm

Photo by Eric Paul Zamora/Fresno Bee/MCT/Sipa USA

Categories: 

After three years and the death of 13 veterans, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner announced a plan to fix the Legionnaires’ disease infested, state-run, veterans’ home in Quincy.   About 350 veterans currently live in the facility.

According to the State Journal-Register, Rauner is proposing two new facilities: a new home that’s close to the current one and adding a new building to the existing campus.  “We’ve gotta move,” said Rauner.  “We can’t let any more risk occur here. These Legionella bacteria, they’re tough to eradicate but we will never give up.”

The building that the state will buy now, would only be used in the event of another outbreak of the disease. The former nursing home has been vacant for a year and would need renovations before it could be used. The governor also suggested the use of temporary modular living spaces as an option, if needed.

Connecting Vets has reported on this in the past. So far, the administration has spent about $6 million on improvements to the veterans’ home. These improvements include the installation of more than 750 new faucets with special filters, a new water monitoring system and re-sanitizing the entire heat and air conditioning system. 

In the long term, the governor wants to build a new, state-of-the-art facility and is giving a presentation to the state General Assembly on May 31. The state plans to submit a request to the VA for a grant that will cover 65 percent of the building costs for a new facility. 

The new filter installation at the Quincy home was finished on March 3, since then, water tests show there has been zero presence of Legionella, according to a statement by the state