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Hyde Park, Woodlawn, South Shore

Symphony South Shore Nursing Home Struggles With Coronavirus Outbreak As 111 People Test Positive

More than 70 percent of people living at the senior home have coronavirus, officials said.

The Symphony South Shore facility, 2425 E. 71st St.
Maxwell Evans/Block Club Chicago
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SOUTH SHORE — Symphony South Shore is struggling with a coronavirus outbreak, as 111 people have tested positive for the virus and one person has died, a spokesperson said.

Symphony and University of Chicago Medicine are now testing every patient and employee at the South Shore senior home, 2425 E. 71st St. Preliminary results indicate 111 of 158 patients have tested positive for coronavirus, according to Symphony spokesperson Natalie Bauer Luce.

Before the spread of the virus, the company suspended outside visits to Symphony facilities and isolated COVID-19 patients in separate units, Bauer Luce said.

The facility was named one of University of Chicago’s testing partners last week, when it was announced the university’s South Side testing would expand to 1,000 symptomatic people per day.

“Collaborating with UChicago Medicine is critical, and our patients could not be in better hands,” Symphony CEO David Hartman said in a statement. “We implore state and federal authorities to provide increased testing to help slow the rate of community spread of this disease.”

Symphony South Shore told patients’ families that “they have had a couple of cases of COVID-19” about three weeks ago, said the niece of one infected patient who requested anonymity.

The woman, who is her uncle’s guardian, said Symphony did not outline how serious the outbreak was. Her uncle was hospitalized last week with a 104-degree fever and tested positive for coronavirus.

The company “just said it in passing: ‘A couple patients have been diagnosed, but they’re on a different floor,’ or, ‘They’re just on that floor and we’re doing all that we can,'” the woman said. “There was no other notification until he was sick.”

Her uncle, who is in his 60s and has congestive heart failure, is recovering at the University of Chicago Medical Center. He will be moved to a different senior facility once healthy, the woman said.

The Symphony Care Network has also faced severe outbreaks at other locations.

The company’s Bronzeville facility has reported 20 confirmed cases and five people have died, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Symphony’s Joliet facility has seen 81 confirmed cases and 21 deaths according to the health department, though a Symphony spokesperson told the Joliet Herald-News on Friday 26 people had died.

The South Side long-term care facilities with more than 10 confirmed cases of coronavirus are:

  • Symphony of South Shore, 2425 E. 71st St., with 37 cases and one death.
  • Symphony of Bronzeville, 3400 S. Indiana Ave., with 20 cases and five deaths.
  • Estates of Hyde Park, 4505 S. Drexel Blvd., with 12 cases and two deaths.
  • Smith Village, 2320 W. 113th Pl., with 11 cases and two deaths.

Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free for all readers. Block Club is an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom.

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