Dear Residents, Family Members and & Staff,
Thank you for your understanding and patience during this time. As you know the Coronavirus or COVID 19 is affecting worldwide, every part of the US, and now Illinois. We want you to know that this facility is doing everything we can to minimize the effect it has on our residents and our employees.
As always, our residents’ and staff’s health, safety and wellbeing is our highest priority, and we recognize the uncertainty and concern regarding the rapidly evolving Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19.)
As we all know, the elderly and those individuals with co-morbidities are at an increased risk of contracting this virus. Nursing home residents are front and center of the high risk population. In the Long Term Care community of providers we had anticipated and planned for this event.
Our facility’s planning and response to COVID-19 has been a multidisciplinary approach and a very coordinated plan following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Public Health Illinois (DPH), and the County Health Departments.
For several weeks prior to any active cases here, we proactively initiated and implemented increased infection prevention strategies and practices. These activities included:
- Symptom screening of staff.
- Symptom screening of residents.
- Enhanced environmental cleaning and disinfection.
- Visitor screening and restrictions.
- 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 post, calls to the facility can be kept at a minimum to allow our staff to focus on resident care.
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 home.
Watch for symptoms
Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.
The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.*
- Shortness of breath
Who is at higher risk?
- Older adults
- People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
- Heart disease
- 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’re sick
- 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.