EP!C responds to state’s report of over a dozen confirmed associated COVID-19 cases

Coronavirus

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, nonprofit wellness center EP!C in Peoria has 15 reported COVID-19 cases.

The IDPH tracks outbreaks in long-term care facilities statewide and updates the numbers weekly.

EP!C director of marketing Ashley Schreck said the number of positive cases has been a mixture of both staff and residents, and some of the staff were tested outside of work as their spouses tested positive. Additionally, those employees and any who would have been in contact with them, were
removed from the schedule and self-quarantined based on direction from the IDPH.

Nearly all of the cases have been asymptomatic, Schreck said. All but one has recovered at home in a matter of days. She said there was no issue with that person’s recovery.

With our youngest resident being 21, we are vastly different from the traditional
long-term care facilities we usually get grouped with. EP!C operates our residential
program for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in small homes
spread throughout Peoria and Tazewell Communities, ranging from four to eight
residents, if at full capacity.

Early on EP!C took direction from IDHS, the CDC and local health departments to try
and minimize exposure. For example, we have implemented protocols of staff
working in 12-hour shifts and live-in models. Currently there is a caregiver crisis and
adding COVID measures to that does put stress on our coverage availability.

The number of positive cases have been a mixture of both staff and residents.
Some of the staff were tested outside of work as their spouses tested positive.
Those staff members and any who would have been in contact with them were
removed from the schedule and self-quarantined based on health department
direction. Almost all our cases have been asymptomatic. All but one, who is stable,
have recovered at home, in a matter of days, with no issue. While constant
sanitation and health checks are administered throughout the day.

EP!C continues to partner with the aforementioned agencies to ensure the safety of
individuals and staff during this time.

Ashley Schreck, Director of Marketing

Schreck tells WMBD protocol has changed for staff who work hands-on with residents at EP!C. The organization has over 200 people combined involved, being both staff and residents.

“We don’t have all staff in one big facility with all the residents in one place, so we are spread pretty thin. Some big protocol changes is how we operate our staff shifts. Staff are now operating in 12 hour shifts,” Schreck said. “Kind of think of it like you’re home with your own kids. How are you explaining to your kids why they have to be home, why they can’t see their friends. For us it’s the same, we’re having to explain why they can’t go to work everyday, why they can’t see their friends. Sometimes that’s tough.”

The EP!C headquarters is at 1913 W. Townline Road in Peoria.

This story will be updated.

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