Dear Patients & Community Members:
We wanted to take a moment to address our patients and community regarding
the recent outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19.
While the media has been quick to provide real-time updates regarding the
spread of the virus, we highly recommend you rely on trusted and respected
health services when looking for information about the novel coronavirus.
The Loretto Hospital, along with other community healthcare centers, The
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at and the
World Health Organization (WHO).
What is The Loretto Hospital doing to prepare for the virus?
We have a rigorous screening process in place and are immediately isolating
anyone presenting with possible coronavirus symptoms. Our specialists
are well-trained in infection control processes and protocols, and we
continue to ensure all areas of our facilities are fully sanitized for
your protection. If you are not feeling well, we recommend contacting
your doctor before your appointment or procedure.
The Infectious Control and Emergency Preparedness team began training for
all of our staff members this past week. Training is focused on CDC’s
infection control guidelines to protect our patients and employees. Additional
things we are doing include:
- Posting signs for visitors and employees
- We will have visitor restrictions
- As a preventative measure, the hospital has cancelled all community-related
and external events with 25 people or more
- We are part of Chicago’s Healthcare Coalition and attend weekly calls
about updates from CDC
UPDATED VISITOR POLICY:
Effective March 16, 2020 The Loretto Hospital has implemented a strict
NO VISITOR policy in any of our inpatient or outpatient areas across the hospital. Exceptions will be made for minor children receiving care in the emergency
We understand that this change will represent a significant hardship for
both patients and families. This was a difficult decision, but one that
we feel is critically important to protect the patients, their families,
our staff and the community we serve.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUSTIONS REGARDING THE CORONAVIRUS:
What is the Novel Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses, some that cause illness
in people and others that cause illness in animals. Coronaviruses include
the seasonal flu and common cold. Novel (new) coronaviruses are new strains
of the virus that have not been previously identified in humans.
Reported symptoms can include a fever, cough, or shortness of breath and
may appear in as few as two to fourteen days following exposure. If you
develop a cold or flu-like symptoms, especially after travelling, it is
recommended to call your local healthcare provider for personalized expert advice.
How It Spreads
According to the CDC, transmission of the virus is primarily spread between
people who are in close contact with one another. It is also believed
that a person can be exposed to the new coronavirus by touching a compromised
surface or object. However, due to the delicate nature of the virus, the
CDC has stated that exposure from products or packaging that are shipped
or mailed over a period of days or weeks as “very low risk.”
Prevention & Treatment
The PHAC, WHO and the CDC have recommended the following steps to help
reduce the risk of exposure and to help prevent spreading the virus:
At the moment,
there is no vaccine for 2019 Novel Coronavirus. You can protect yourself from this disease the same way you protect yourself
and others from the flu and various respiratory illnesses.
Wash your hands. Washing your hands with soap and water, or using hand sanitizer when soap
is not available, is a great way to prevent the spread of any disease.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or face when hands are unwashed
Stay home when you are sick. If you aren’t feeling well, the best way to stop the spread of
disease is to stay away from heavily populated areas like work or school.
Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
Clean and disinfect household surfaces frequently
Avoid crowded areas
CDC recommends to avoid traveling to countries that have a
Level 2 or 3 Travel Health Notice. These include:
- South Korea
These countries are high risk and transmission is widespread and ongoing.
If you have traveled to these areas or have been in close contact with
someone who was tested positive for 2019 novel coronavirus, please stay
home to avoid spreading illness to others unless you need emergency care.
If you see a physician at Loretto Hospital, and would like to speak to
them, please call: 833-TLH-HEAL (773-854-5475).
For more information, the Cook County Department of Emergency Management
and Regional Security and the local health departments have set up information
sites and phone lines for the general public, as noted below:
Illinois Department of Public Health HOTLINE: 217-782-2016 or after business hours and weekends at 217-782-7860.
Department of Emergency Management and Regional Security:
Chicago Department of Public Health HOTLINE: 312-746-SICK (312-746-7425) or after business hours and weeks, dial 311.
This is a time for concern, but not a time for panic. Thank you for entrusting
The Loretto Hospital with your care. We are proud to serve you, and look
forward to continuing to do so.
The Loretto Hospital