Workers At Adult Care Facility Say They Were Given Painters’ Masks For COVID-19 Protection

Painters Mask

KANKAKEE, Ill. (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A state-run home for the mentally disabled in Kankakee has at least 12 cases of COVID-19, and those who work at the facility say they're not being properly protected.

Workers at the Shapiro Developmental Center said they have not been given proper protection.

Cindy Bogue, a parent of one of the residents, spoke to CBS 2.

“They’re not telling you whats going on, and they were not prepared,” Bogue said.

More than 1,000 people work there. 

“They were bringing in masks from home and gloves from home, and they were told to remove those. They were told that they would be disciplined if they did that,” said State Rep. Lindsay Parkhurst, who represents Kankakee in Springfield.

Instead, staffers said they were given painters' masks and were told to use them for five days and then flip them over.

“That is endangering not only the residents and the staff, but our whole community,” she said.

They are also dealing with misinformation.

An administrator posted a message on his personal Facebook page reading, "if you have been in contact with someone testing positive for COVID-19, CDC no longer recommends a 14-day quarantine. The recommendation is to work utilizing a mask."

“We cant even take care of our state facilities,” Parkhurst said. “We have Stateville, now we have Shapiro. They’re not following the CDC guidelines.”

The Governor did not really answer when asked about the situation.

“We’re doing the best we can. We’re certainly trying our best to take care of our seniors, our children, people who are in our care,” Pritzker said.

But Pritzker did not address CBS 2’s questions about those concerns raised by staffers at the Shapiro Center, where more than 1,000 people work.