Dear Family and Friends,
Today the State is reporting a record 44,089 new Covid-19 cases. Unfortunately in the last 48 hours we have had 3 residents test positive as well as 3 staff members. Their respective families have been notified, and the residents have been moved to our recently reopened Isolation unit. The staff members affected, have been furloughed. So far everyone is copacetic and will continue to be monitored and treated according to their respective physician’s orders.
In pandemic news, the Chicago Board of Health announced today that they have run out of Covid rapid tests. There are now 7,000 hospitalized Covid patients of which 1,000 are in intensive care. In Cook County alone, the ICU’s are at 92% capacity, leaving less than 8% beds available as the positivity rate continues to sky rocket.
In light of these grim statistics, I once again ask families to think twice before coming to visit residents. First and foremost, like the Chicago Health Department we are almost out of rapid tests which we need to screen our staff every day before starting work. They too go home to families and shop for groceries and are exposed to the public. This test has been our first line of defense. We also recognize that these tests are not infallible; this is why we may send staff home if they show the slightest sign of symptom which the tests will not necessarily pick up until the Covid infection becomes more pronounced. Coincidentally, three of the four residents that tested positive and are now in the isolation unit were visited by family shortly before being tested positive. The range of Omicron symptoms is very wide from runny nose, brief headaches, fatigue and strep throat like feeling, to much more sever response. From my observation one thing is clear; the onset of the infection is not always obvious. So I ask everyone again, please reconsider refraining from visits until this wave of infection has subsided. I can assure you that your visit will not only deplete our vital remaining rapid tests, but with each visit, increase the probability of this wildly transmittable variant spreading undetected.
We will continue testing staff and residents with the longer processing but more accurate PCR tests to (validate the rapids results and) respond to those cases the tests may reveal.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation and hopefully together we all weather the latest challenges of this stage of the pandemic.
Stay Safe and Healthy,