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We continue to extend our thanks for your patience and support as we continue to process ever changing information regarding COVID 19 infections, precautions, and the guidance from the CDC and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).
We are proud to say that we have had an overwhelming response in getting our residents vaccinated with over 90% of individuals in our care and their guardians choosing to vaccinate. Most individuals and staff reported only mild side effects in the days following receiving the vaccine.
Despite this positive response, much of the recent guidance from IDPH indicates that many of the precautions put in place will continue for the foreseeable future. This includes the recommendations that all staff and individuals wear face coverings, staff and individuals will still screen for COVID symptoms, staff will continue to frequently disinfect the home and encourage social distancing amongst individuals, and we will continue to suspend family style dining at this time.
There remains conflicting information put out regarding efficacy of the vaccine, the possibility for re-infection, and even necessary precautions to prevent spread to non-vaccinated individuals and staff. While vaccination of your loved one(s) has remained your choice, the guidance from IDPH does still impose some restrictions dependent on whether an individual residing in congregate care facilities has been vaccinated. One such restriction is in regards to overnight trips out of the home. Recent guidance suggests that unvaccinated individuals be placed in transmission-based precautions following return to the home. We refer to this as in-room care, and it requires an unvaccinated individual (and roommate) receive all services (ie: meals, medications, activities) in their room and isolate from others.
We are very pleased to announce that IDPH guidance does allow for a resumption of some in-home visitation for all individuals, when the home and region meet certain criteria. If your loved one is vaccinated, IDPH guidance also allows for close contact during visits (ie: a hug, patting/touching hand). For unvaccinated individuals, the guidance remains unchanged that social distance must be maintained during visits. Outdoor visitation remains permissible and recommended when circumstances allow.
To arrange a visit with your loved one(s), please contact your home’s QIDP or Administrator. Visits must be pre-arranged with the home’s management. While we understand many of you are anxious to visit your loved one(s), we are asking for your cooperation as we work to ensure that visits remain safe for everyone regardless of vaccination status and that we remain in compliance with regulatory guidance.
Recent IDPH guidance also allows for a resumption of some trips outside of the home. Again, guidance suggests that fully vaccinated individuals are not required to quarantine following return to the home.
As we continue to sort through this new guidance we will make you aware of how this affects or changes the procedures in our homes. We strive to return to our normal routines and activities, while also keeping the health and safety of your loved one(s) and our staff as our focus.
Thank you for your continued patience and support.