Friday, April 24, 2020

Dear GARCC Residents, Families and Staff:

I hope this letter finds you well, it’s been a long 6 weeks since we first restricted visitation of all visitors and non-essential health care personnel, except for certain compassionate care situations. I am extremely proud of our staff for their dedication and professionalism during this COVID pandemic. We continue to take steps to protect our residents, families, visitors and staff members. The health and safety of the GARCC community is our highest priority, and we recognize the uncertainty and concern regarding the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

On April 13th we posted on our website a Covid-19 status report informing you that a staff member had tested positive for Covid 19, that they were asymptomatic(did not have symptoms) and were tested because a family member who lived in their household was positive. I am pleased to inform you that they have been cleared by their physician and have returned to work. However, I would like to inform you that a second GARCC staff member has tested positive for COVID-19. This person is a health care professional who is in a management position and was last in the Facility on Thursday April 16, 2020. This individual was NOT SYMPTOMATIC AND DID NOT HAVE A TEMPERATURE when entering the GARCC on that day. Please note that all staff members in the facility wear masks. This staff member is in quarantine and will not return to work until cleared.

To date, we have tested 10 residents for COVID 19 Stand ZERO RESIDENTS HAVE TESTED POSITIVE, we are continually taking steps to protect our residents and valued staff members, which remains our top priority.

This facility is taking an active, common sense approach to preventing the spread of COVID-19 by following prudent infection prevention strategies as well as all recommended actions and best practices set forth by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

GARCC has worked closely with the IDPH and has followed its most current recommended guidelines to assist with the prevention of the spread of this virus where possible. As noted, we are also following guidelines of the CDC, CMS and other local public health authorities for additional guidance.

As a long-term skilled nursing facility, the following are examples of some of the steps we have taken to address the outbreak, prevent the spread of the disease and keep our residents, staff and visitors safe from infectious pathogens:

  • Facilitating a deep-clean of the entire Facility, including all common areas. Use of hospital-grade disinfectants and cleaners on all surfaces throughout the Facility.
  • Screening all visitors and staff members for symptoms such as fever or respiratory symptoms daily before entering the building. All employees and residents are screened with a questionnaire daily and temperature taken at least daily with monitoring of and documentation of shortness of breath, new or change in cough or sore throat.
  • Supporting hand and respiratory hygiene, as well as cough etiquette by residents, visitors and employees.
  • Reminding all residents and staff to practice social distancing.

The GARCC will coordinate its efforts with the Cook County Health Department to promptly identify and monitor individuals who have had recent contact with our COVID-19 positive staff member to prevent spread within our Facility and community. We are currently working with a lab to coordinate house wide testing of staff and are taking every step as recommended by authorities to contain the spread of this virus. We want to make residents, their families and our dedicated staff aware of this situation and reassure everyone that we are on top of it.

A fast-changing, potential crisis situation such as this demands consistent communication. We are committed to providing you with information, updated regularly and are committed to providing you with a safe and healthy environment.

Please check the web site regularly for updates,

Dino Varnavas, Administrator

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