The last week of 2021 was one of the most challenging in the annals of the Covid pandemic. The statistics are just a snapshot of the situation. In Illinois alone the daily peak positive cases before the New Year, were 55,598 and on the last day statistics were made available 12/30, 30,136 new daily cases were recorded, keeping in mind these are only the official reported tests (minus the countless unreported home tests). The test positivity is at 14.9%, which means, of those tested almost 15 out of a hundred people are infected. The actual numbers are in all likelihood significantly higher, as many adults and children are circulating in the community with little or no sign of infection, and are not rushing off to get tested. In the meantime they are shedding virus and are unknowingly infecting others leading to the current crises.

Since December 28 when our first non-nursing staff member tested positive, we have conducted hundreds of tests and have furloughed 12 employees who tested positive, most upon reporting to work, and almost all without symptoms.

In our screening of residents we have one resident test positive, which apparently was infected by a family member. This resident was immediately moved to our segregated Covid isolation unit which has been vacant for almost a year. Which now brings me to my point,                                                                                                                       PLEASE CURTAIL VISITING BUCKINGHAM, UNTIL THE INFECTION RATE IN THE COMMUNITY BEGINS TO SUBSIDE.         As I pointed out to you last week, the largest area hospital, the NorthShore Health System officially announced  that as of last Monday December 27,2011 NO VISITORS ARE ALLOWED IN THE HOSPITAL.

For your further information, the following is excerpted from a recent CDC Bulletin we received;

Due to the increased transmissibility of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant and concerns about potential impacts on the healthcare system, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is updating recommendations to enhance protection for healthcare personnel, patients, and visitors, and ensure adequate staffing in healthcare facilities. The guidance is based on the limited information currently available about the Omicron variant and will be updated as needed as new information becomes available.

Current COVID-19 vaccines are expected to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths from infection with the Omicron variant. Omicron might cause more breakthrough infections than prior variants, and some studies have found lower effectiveness of the primary series of vaccines against infection.

On December 1, 2021, the first case attributed to Omicron was reported in the United States. Omicron has now been reported in all 50 states. CDC has been working with state and local public health officials to monitor the spread of Omicron in the United States and has identified a rapid increase in infections consistent with what has been observed in other countries. Multiple large clusters of Omicron variant cases have demonstrated the rapid spread of the virus. Holiday-related travel and gatherings may further accelerate these trends. Plausible scenarios include steep epidemic trajectories that would require prompt public health action to prevent severe impacts on the health of individuals and healthcare systems. Recommendations for Healthcare Facilities and Systems and Nursing Homes , Implement new CDC guidance for contingency and crisis conditions.

As always feel free to contact either Courtney or myself with questions or concerns.

Stay Safe

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