2020 Long Term Care COVID Updates
Long Term Care Living Center
COVID-19 Updates - 2020
12/21/20: Unfortunately, we found out today that we have a positive ancillary staff member and a positive full time staff member that are positive for COVID-19. The full-time staff member has not worked and been quarantining due to family exposure so there has been no resident contact since her testing positive. The ancillary staff member was on the unit briefly and we believe followed all necessary precautions to lower our risk. Just the same, we will continue our testing of residents and employees to sustain safety. This means that we will be another 2 weeks before eligible for reopening, which is necessary for IDPH and governor ordered mitigation at this time as well.
12/16/20: We are excited to announce that residents were tested this morning and results came back negative for all. This means that we will stay eligible to enter phase II of reopening once the governor and IDPH lift tiered mitigation for the state and counties. Therefore, at this time, we still cannot do indoor visitations but are hopeful that it will be available soon. We do still recommend that you do window visits and utilize our tablets for Facetime. I’d also like to acknowledge that there is a lot of frustration with the holidays and the continued limitations for seeing residents. Please understand that we have come all this way with minimal exposure and are about 1-2 months away from having vaccination regimens completed. Please let me know if there is a frustration that can be met but also consider that we are nearing an improved safety for allowing more visitation.
12/15/20: Dear Resident/Family Members,
By now you have probably learned that COVID-19 vaccines will soon be approved and ready for distribution to the healthcare workers and residents in long term care. We have long awaited this exciting news.
We understand that some of you may be concerned about the safety of these new vaccines, as they have been developed and tested far more quickly than those in the past. We want to assure you that the speed with which these vaccines were developed is not due to skipping important safety steps, but rather the result of focused, collaborative work performed by experts across the globe. Vaccines approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have undergone the same level of rigorous testing for safety and efficacy as other vaccines and have been tested in tens of thousands of people, including older adults. Two independent advisory committees of experts from academic institutions also monitor vaccines to ensure their safety.
Most of the COVID-19 vaccines require two separate doses given about three or four weeks apart, depending on the vaccine. Participants of clinical trials have reported experiencing short-term side effects after being vaccinated, with more pronounced discomfort after the second dose. These possible side effects include headache, muscle pains, fatigue, chills, fever and pain at the injection site. Sometimes there is misunderstanding about the cause of these reactions, as you may have heard someone say a vaccine has “made them sick” or given them the disease that the vaccine was intended to prevent. We want to be clear that this is not the case. The COVID-19 vaccine cannot give you a COVID-19 infection. The vaccine works by helping the body create antibodies to fight off the virus. Feeling discomfort after getting the vaccine means that the vaccine is doing its job and your body is making antibodies.
We, along with thousands of other long term care facilities, are participating in a program with the Centers for Disease Control to help us most efficiently distribute these vaccines to our residents free of charge once they are available. We will keep you informed of this process as we move forward. Our staff will also have the opportunity to get vaccinated through this program, if they have not been vaccinated previously.
I encourage you to reach out to us if you have any questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, its possible side effects, and what to expect after you or a loved one receives it. As we have been saying over the course of this difficult year, we are all in this together. Please know that the safety and wellbeing of our staff and residents have been and remain our top priority. We are hopeful that these COVID-19 vaccines will eventually enable to us enjoy life with our loved ones once again.
Wyatt Brieser, Manager of HHH LTC Living Center - 309-944-9156
12/11/20: Around 2300 on 12/10/20, we were notified that a resident was likely positive for Covid-19. This has now been confirmed and we are saddened to announce this, especially in approach of the holidays. Please know that we will do everything possible to provide a quality holiday experience for your loved ones. We will need to go 14 days without another positive in order to return considerations of Phase II (Also dependent on tier mitigation in Henry County/Illinois).
ADDENDUM Memo 12/11/20: Around 2300 on 12/10/20, we were notified that a resident was positive for a non-COVID-19 lab. I am sorry to have created any anxiety but am happy to report that we are COVID-Free at this time and I am retracting the earlier COVID-19 memo sent this morning.
12/9/20/20: All residents were tested today for COVID-19. Thankfully, all test results were negative. We will be eligible to begin indoor visitations beginning December 14, as long as we do not have any new positives and Illinois is not still in tiered mitigation.
12/2/20: All residents were tested today for COVID-19. Thankfully, all test results were negative. We will be eligible to begin indoor visitations beginning December 14, as long as we do not have any new positives and Illinois is not still in tiered mitigation.
11/27/20: This morning we were notified that a staff member for the LTC was found positive for COVID-19. We have notified all necessary contacts and are isolating and following PPE as is required by IDPH. I am sorry as I know that each positive case creates an amount of anxiety. Please know that Hammond Henry and our LTC employees are doing everything that we can to keep your loved ones safe.
11/24/20: This morning we were notified that an ancillary staff member for the LTC was found positive for COVID-19. We have notified all necessary contacts and are isolating, and following PPE as is required by IDPH. I know that each positive case creates an amount of anxiety. Please know that Hammond Henry and our LTC employees are doing everything that we can to keep your loved ones safe.
11/23/20: This morning we were notified that an ancillary staff member for the LTC was found positive for COVID-19. We have notified all necessary contacts and are isolating and following PPE as is required by IDPH. I know that each positive case creates an amount of anxiety. Please know that Hammond Henry and our LTC employees are doing everything that we can to keep your loved ones safe.
11/19/20: This morning a resident on the LTC was found to be positive for COVID-19. We have notified all necessary and are isolating and following PPE as is required by IDPH. I know that each positive case creates an amount of anxiety. Please know that Hammond Henry and our LTC employees are doing everything that we can to keep your loved ones safe
11/13/20: This evening we were notified that an employee on Long Term Care Living Center was found positive for COVID-19. We have notified all necessary and are isolating and following PPE as is required by IDPH. I am sorry as I know that each positive case creates an amount of anxiety. Please know that Hammond-Henry Hospital and our LTC employees are doing everything that we can to keep your loved ones safe.
11/12/20: This morning we were notified that a LTC resident tested positive for COVID-19. We have notified all necessary and are isolating and following PPE as required by IDPH. This means there will be no outdoor visitation for at least 2 weeks as we navigate through the reopening process. We will still have fence visits, but the residents will be required to stay on the concrete sidewalk. Please feel free to bring phones for improved communication. We also have the ability to do facetime visits.
11/5/20: This morning we were notified that an employee who is involved on the LTC was found positive for COVID-19. We have notified all necessary parties who have had contact with the staff member and are isolating and following PPE as is required by IDPH. This means that there will be no outdoor visitation for at least 2 weeks as we navigate through the reopening process. We will still have fence visits, but the residents will be required to stay on the concrete sidewalk. Please feel free to bring phones for improved communication. Sorry for any inconvenience.
11/3/20: It is unfortunate that we must report that indoor visitation, salon services, and increased numbers at communal dining will be suspended with Governor JB Pritzker’s order for Illinois regions to observe “Tier 1 Mitigation” within their current phases. Please know that our LTC and Activities staff will do our best to provide entertainment and stimulation for residents while Illinois works its way through this most recent surge in numbers. If Illinois is unable to show improvement over the next 16 days, we could potentially move into “Tier 2 Mitigation” and if we improve and they remove “Tier 1 Mitigation” then we will be allowed to return to prior Phase 3 activities 14 days after lifting tiered mitigation.
10/27/20: On Wednesday, October 28, Hammond-Henry Hospital Long Term Care (LTC) Living Center will begin indoor visitation at the LTC lobby desk (outside the LTC double doors). Visits will be by appointment only and should be directed through the Activities department by calling 309-944-9155, the same process as Gazebo visits. Activity staff will schedule and provide infection control procedures. With COVID numbers rising in area counties, please understand that failure to follow the rules will result in losing visitation rights. Let’s all do our best to be mindful so that we can continue to make reopening progress.
10/22/20: Monday October 26, 2020, we are pleased to welcome Lorri Yeater a licensed hairstylist from Geneseo to our LTC facility. We will have scheduled appointments for each of our residents. Starting with haircuts and then hopefully extend to perms as time allows. Please be patient with us during this time. A haircut and style is $30 and a perm and style is $65.
10/21/20: A newsletter (click to view) was provided to all residents to educate them on emergency operations planning. If you have any questions regarding this information, please do not hesitate to call Wyatt Brieser at 309-944-9156. This week we have been provided with reopening documentation from Illinois Department of Public Health. We will be working on reopening Long Term Care to indoor visitations and providing salon services as soon as possible. Please be patient with the process as this information just came out today and we will need to have all necessary pieces met before we can implement them. We continue to perform weekly COVID testing for all employees involved on the LTC floor. Please continue to pray for our unit to remain COVID free as numbers around us are spiking.
10/16/20: Testing was performed this week for all staff. There were no Long Term Care staff or ancillary staff members that tested positive. We also had communication with the Henry County Health Department (HCHD) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) regarding Phase III reopening. HCHD approved our request but during a conference call with IDPH reported to us that there has been a change in CMS literature which now requires phase regression with positive employee or residents. Due to this, we are at somewhat of a stand still as they have not produced the literature specifying the change and we are in Phase II according to the new information. The administrative team is meeting to work through the logistics of moving into Phase III. Please consider contacting IDPH with concerns at 217-782-5180. Request to speak with someone in “special investigations”. I was informed they are handling concerns and complaints regarding phase reopening guidance (and the lack thereof). Just so that everyone is aware, I have contacted the number and was directed to an answering machine. I notified them that I want a call back and that I would be directing family complaints to this number.
10/8/20: Testing was performed this week for all staff. There were no positive tests found and we are now eligible for Phase III reopening per CMS guidelines. We are hopeful that IDPH and HCHD provide us with approval for Phase III soon. Please continue to check this website frequently for reopening guidance should our facility be able to allow further latitude with visitation and family entry.
9/24/20: Today we were made aware that an ancillary staff member tested positive for COVID-19. We have contacted HCHD and will be testing all residents and staff on Tuesday, 9/24/20, per their guidance. Please know that if staff or residents begin to demonstrate any symptoms, we will reevaluate and potentially test sooner than 9/24/20. Please feel free to contact me with any questions/concerns.
9/21/20: All testing from 9/15/20 has returned in good standing and our facility is officially ready to enter Phase II of reopening. All families are welcomed and encouraged to contact the Activities department (309-944-9155) and set up a time to visit with your resident in the Gazebo. Please read the visitation policy attached below for regulations.
9/15/20: all staff was tested on 9/8/20 with no positive results from that testing cycle. Today staff tested again, and we will await results – to hopefully be obtained by 9/18.
If HHH LTC can sustain a COVID-19 free status and receive HCHD/IDPH approval, courtyard visits could begin as early as 9/21/20. This will signify that we have reached Phase II of reopening and will have improved access for residents and families to spend much needed time with each other. A posting will occur on 9/21/20 if outdoor visitation can begin again.
9/2/20: all residents and staff were tested for Covid-19. We are awaiting those test results and are hopeful to take down our Covid-19 unit. We are currently without any known Covid-19 cases and all residents have returned to general population at this time.
We are awaiting further information from HCHD regarding reopening possibilities due to positivity rate in Henry County >5%. Due to these percentages and because we are awaiting test results, we will not be opening Gazebo visits until further notice. If you would like to see your resident, you may still opt to stand outside of the gated courtyard, and we can bring residents out to talk with you from the sidewalk. Note that you may need to utilize a phone to be heard clearly. We can sanitize a phone to be used by the resident if this is an option you would like to use. As always, we are here for you if you have any questions or concerns and will do our best to keep your family members and friends safe during this pandemic.
8/14/20: as of August 14, 2020, there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19 identified in an asymptomatic resident on Hammond-Henry Hospital Long Term Care Living Center. Testing was performed in response to a positive employee test which was reported on August 13, 2020. This website post, plus written and verbal notification was provided to residents. Employees were all notified by phone.
8/13/20: as of last night, the LTC was made aware of an asymptomatic employee carrier of Covid-19. That employee will quarantine at home until they are no longer infectious. Due to the positive test, we will return to testing all residents and staff weekly to assure that we keep everyone safe. This also means that we will not have gazebo visits at this time as IDPH requires 14 days without any new positives in order to allow our gazebo visits. As always, do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.
8/13/20, all LTC residents were tested and found to be negative for Covid-19
7/31/20 regarding LTC visitation of residents - Outdoor Visitation for Residents
At this time, the LTC is not performing “in courtyard visits”, you are welcome to stand outside of the courtyard and speak with your resident if they wish to come outside – they will need to remain on the sidewalk within the courtyard. Also, you are welcome to perform window visits, or we have Facetime access through the Activities Department. To set up a Facetime meeting, please contact Diane or Haley at 309-944-9155. As soon as IDPH allows for further contact with residents, we will update this website and schedule those meetings. We hope to facilitate as much interaction as possible as we progress safely through this COVID season.
7/21/2020, COVID-19 testing was completed on all employees and residents. No new cases of COVID-19 were found in employees or residents. Testing will continue to be done for all residents on the unit who demonstrate symptoms and weekly for all residents and staff. As directed by IDPH and the CDC, it has been required that all employees will wear a face shield in addition to a mask when providing direct patient care.
7/18/20, Hammond-Henry Hospital identified a second resident positive for COVID-19. The resident was placed on a COVID-19 unit on the LTC separate from general population. Testing will continue to be done for all residents on the unit who demonstrate symptoms and weekly for all residents and staff.
7/15/20, Hammond Henry Hospital identified an employee positive for Covid-19. The employee was sent home immediately with consultation provided by the physician. We will continue to contact trace and test as is necessary to assure that all positive cases are identified and to keep all residents and staff safe.
To: All Concerned Individuals
From: Hammond-Henry Hospital Long Term Care Living Center
Regarding: COVID-19 positive test
For any questions, please contact Wyatt Brieser, Manager LTC, at 309-944-9156, or Julie Theill, Director LTC and Rehab Services, at 309-944-9151.
There has been a confirmed case of COVID-19 at Hammond-Henry Hospital Long Term Care Living Center (LTC). The resident was moved immediately to our inpatient unit for care and monitoring and is doing well. Please know it is our absolute goal to keep all residents and staff safe and we will do everything that we can to be transparent and proactive in our care.