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. These include The Loretto Hospital, along with other community healthcare centers, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Testing:

In order to receive a COVID-19 PCR test at the Loretto Hospital, call 773-854-5475 or 833-TLH-LOVE for same day appointment. We are no longer accepting walk in patients.

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 department.

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.

Symptoms

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:

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

If you see a physician at Loretto Hospital, and would like to speak to them, please call: 833-TLH-LOVE (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: Click Here

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.

Be Well,

The Loretto Hospital

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

  • COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at preventing COVID-19, including severe illness and death.
  • COVID-19 vaccines are effective against severe disease and death from variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 currently circulating in the United States, including the Delta variant.
  • Infections happen in only a small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated, even with the Delta variant. When these infections occur among vaccinated people, they tend to be mild.
  • If you are fully vaccinated and become infected with the Delta variant, you can spread the virus to others.
  • People with weakened immune systems, including people who take immunosuppressive medications, may not be protected even if fully vaccinated.

In general, people are considered fully vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine

If you don’t meet these requirements, regardless of your age, you are NOT fully vaccinated. Keep taking all precautions until you are fully vaccinated.

If you’ve been fully vaccinated:

  • You will still need to follow guidance at your workplace and local businesses.
  • If you travel, you should still take steps to protect yourself and others.
  • To reduce the risk of being infected with the Delta variant and possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.
  • You should still watch out for symptoms of COVID-19, especially if you’ve been around someone who is sick. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested and stay home and away from others. If your test is positive, isolate at home for 10 days.
  • People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken the immune system, should continue to take all precautions recommended for unvaccinated people until advised otherwise by their healthcare provider.
  • If you’ve had close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you should get tested 3-5 days after your exposure, even if you don’t have symptoms. You should isolate for 10 days if your test result is positive.

You can find a COVID-19 Vaccine near you by through CDC’s Vaccine Finder by visiting www.vaccines.gov or through the City of Chicago’s COVID-19 Vaccination Finder by visiting www.chicago.gov

Schedule a COVID-19 Test

We offer COVID-19 RT-PCR test, a test that accurately detects SARS-CoV-2 in respiratory specimens. The PCR test is the “gold standard” test for diagnosing COVID-19 because it’s the most accurate and reliable test. In order to receive a COVID-19 PCR test at the Loretto Hospital, call 773-854-5475 or 833-TLH-LOVE for same day appointment. We are no longer accepting walk in patient

CDC COVID-19 Information