Governor Bruce Rauner unveiled a plan for dealing with future outbreaks of Legionnaires' disease at the Illinois Veterans' Home in Quincy  during a stop at the home Thursday afternoon.

Rauner said temporarily relocating the roughly 350 residents would be risky, given their ages and health conditions. But he said if that is needed, some could be moved to the shuttered Sycamore Health Care building.

The state is trying to acquire and upgrade the former nursing home, which is several blocks from the Illinois Veterans' Home.


Illinois is using emergency spending rules to upgrade the water system at the veterans’ home in Quincy. Outbreaks of the waterborne Legionnaires’ Disease have killed and sickened dozens of residents and staff.

Calling the current water system a “danger to public health,” the Department of Veterans' Affairs is buying $650,000 worth of new water filters, faucets, and bacteria monitoring equipment.

By declaring the purchases “emergencies,” the state is bypassing normal spending safeguards, which can add months of public scrutiny.

Victoria Lunacek / WNIJ

Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration reversed course Monday and announced that it will replace residence halls at the Quincy veterans' facility, which housed victims of a Legionnaires' disease outbreak responsible for the deaths 13 people and making dozens more ill since 2015.


NPR Illinois

Illinois officials have confirmed a fourth case of Legionnaires' disease at the Quincy veterans home in a week.

The Departments of Public Health and Veterans' Affairs announced late Tuesday that a resident has been diagnosed with the pneumonia-like malady.

It's the fourth case announced by state officials since Feb. 13. The illness caused by Legionella bacteria inhaled from water vapor first appeared in 2015 and has returned each year since.

Chase Cavanaugh/WNIJ

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner discussed several state issues at a news conference in Rockford Friday.

The event began as a private roundtable with small business owners at the Field Fastener company. They aired various grievances regarding state policy and how it affects their companies.  Field Fastener President Jim Derry said many of his current customers are outside the area or the state, compared with when he began the business 27 years ago, and said reforms are needed.