Cicero Fire Chief on Nursing Home Outbreak, Pandemic Response


Suburban Cicero has seen one of the highest COVID-19 infection rates in Cook County, reporting 844 confirmed cases Monday with 18 deaths. 

“I think it’s due to the demographics of the town, so many people in such a close proximity, so many people living in a three-flat and things like that,” said Cicero Fire Chief Dominick Buscemi, who is part of the town’s emergency committee handling the pandemic response. 

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A huge chunk of confirmed COVID-19 cases in CIcero have occurred at one nursing home, City View Multicare Center on Cermak Road. The facility has seen over 200 confirmed cases, with eight deaths. 

Its handling of the coronavirus has drawn the ire of local officials, and the facility is now under investigation by the Illinois Department of Public Health. 

“We’re trying to get a handle on it, we’re trying to figure out what’s happening [there],” Buscemi said. “At the onset of the pandemic, I don’t think they were taking the precautions they needed to take. I don’t think that the PPE (personal protective equipment) was being work by the staff members. I don’t think residents were being secluded.” 

Buscemi says the town has served the nursing home with several citations so far. 

Cicero has also issued five executive orders targeting COVID-19 on top of statewide measures. In mid-April, it mandated that masks be worn by everyone going into public buildings, like grocery stores. 


Covid Across Chicago

How is the novel coronavirus impacting local businesses, residents and social service agencies across the city and region? And how are local leaders handling the crisis? We hit the streets to answer those questions and more in our ongoing reporting series, COVID-19 Across Chicago. See where we’ve been and what we’ve discovered in this overview. Listed is the official Chicago community area with the neighborhood in parenthesis where appropriate.

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