(708) 754-7601

Chicago Heights, IL • (708) 754-7601

Covid-19 Update – September 2020

Dear Residents, Family Members and & Staff,

This will be a shorter update than previous ones.

COVID is currently a stable environment for our facility.  Right now the concern of COVID spread is in the community at large.  We continue to live and work in our facility in our “new normal” of operations.

We continue to keep a watchful eye on the “next season” of the pandemic– and thinking and planning on how can we reduce, if we can, any impact on our residents.  The next season looks likely to be worse as it is predicted to come at the same time our resident population starts to see effects of the seasonal flu and the symptoms are so similar. We will be advocating hard for everyone to take the FLU Vaccine.  And recommending to anyone in our earshot- residents, family members, community members and staff to get your FLU Vaccine this year. 

All of us have a responsibility to ourselves, to our family, to our residents, to our community in a prevention program of a reducing these outbreaks.

We continue to double down on our infection control work. Training and retraining on 4 main topics:

Isolation Practices
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – what / where / how / how to get more
Effective Cleaning Products
Social Distancing
Among other topics

Reminding employees and anyone entering the facility, if you are sick, you cannot come to the facility and potentially infect others – whether it is Flu or COVID-19. Wear PPE – mask up whether it at the grocery store, the Walmart or at a family gathering. So often we are now reading stories someone went to a BBQ, Birthday Party, a Bar and didn’t wear a mask, didn’t social distance and later got a call someone at these functions were infected and didn’t know it at the time. 

We have discussed with our employees travel concerns and avoiding hotspots identified by the CDC.  We have even relaxed our employee’s vacation accrual process so employees can request an extension of using vacation time.

A note about PPE – there continue to be News stories out there about health care entities (hospitals and nursing homes alike) having / or had shortages of PPE.  Since the beginning we have had enough PPE in our facility to keep our residents and staff safe.  We have worked with multiple agencies: FEMA, the County, the State, our regular source for these items, as well as even our Consultant Company has a back-up supply of all PPE.  IF we were ever running short (less than a week supply) the consultant company supplied us the next day of a request.

As always, our residents’ and staffs’ health, safety and wellbeing is our highest priority, and we recognize the uncertainty and concern regarding the rapidly evolving Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19.)

Our facility’s planning and response to COVID-19 continues and has been a multidisciplinary approach and a very coordinated plan following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The State Department of Public Health (DPH), and the County Health Departments.

We continue our increased infection prevention strategies and practices.  These activities included:

  • Symptom screening of staff and residents.
  • Enhanced environmental cleaning and disinfection.
  • New visitor restrictions of non-essential visitors have also been restricted to try and close the gap of an infection break in our facility.
  • Assessing and ordering additional supplies.
  • All communication on change of conditions of residents are communicated to the Power of Attorney for Health Care or residents’ representatives as quickly as we can.

Increase Monitoring of all Residents Continues:

The most significant monitoring tool for this virus are monitoring resident Vital Signs and we are doing these minimally once a shift on stable residents and twice a shift for anyone showing signs or symptoms of this virus.

Again, we thank you for your patience and understanding and it is our hope that with this communication you have a sense of being part of our safety program.  Please know that if you have trouble reaching the facility to get an update on your loved one you can call:

The Consultant Compliance Hotline at 877-772-6744.

We have attached a quick summary of things in the next few pages for your information on what all of us can do to help reduce the likelihood of this virus coming into our homes.

The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The CDC has presented new guidance recently that is NOT likely that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes.  The broader caution is from being near someone with the virus and spreads through the respiratory droplets. 

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. However, keep in mind the CDC reports some people can spread the virus without being symptomatic.

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms or combinations of symptoms may have COVID-19:

    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of these symptoms:

    • Fever
    • Chills
    • Repeated shaking with chills
    • Muscle pain
    • Headache
    • Sore throat
    • New loss of taste or smell

Who is at higher risk?

Older adults
People with immunosuppressed conditions
People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Lung disease

We are here for you and together we will make it through this difficult time.  We need all residents and staff to pay particular attention to good infection control precautions.

Clean your hands often

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Take steps to protect others

Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.
Cover coughs and sneezes
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
Throw used tissues in the trash.
Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Wear a face mask to protect both others and yourself.

Clean and disinfect

Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

When to Seek Medical Attention:

If you have any of these emergency warning signs* for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face
  • Persistent high fever

*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.