An outbreak of COVID-19 has resulted in the deaths of 22 residents at a nursing home in suburban Joliet, officials say.
According to officials at Symphony of Joliet, a staff member has also died after contracting the virus.
Officials say 16 other residents at the facility have also tested positive for COVID-19 and are being treated at the home.
Spokeswoman Lauryn Allison praised staff members treating the residents, calling their level of "bravery and dedication" astounding.
"They're like firefighters, running towards the pandemic while everyone else is running away," she said. "We can't thank them enough."
Allison says that as soon as officials with Symphony realized that patients were being diagnosed with the virus, they instituted several "proactive" new procedures to cope with the illness.
"We started implementing greater communication channels and remained in connection with families during the crisis," she said.
One of the things officials did was to move all residents who had either tested negative for the virus or who hadn't come in contact with those who tested positive to other facilities in the Symphony network, which operates 26 assisted-living facilities.
The outbreak is one of the largest at an assisted living facility in the United States. At DuPage County’s WIllowbrook long-term care facility, a total of 10 people have died after contracting the virus, while 54 total individuals have tested positive, including 35 residents and 19 staff members.