Thank you for your support and help to our staff over the past few weeks. We appreciate your kind words as we navigate this difficult time.
I am writing to let you know about our new testing protocol for residents and staff members at Fairmont Care. As I am sure you have heard, the Governor of Illinois has mandated testing for all nursing homes staff and residents. We have been aggressively testing since the beginning of this pandemic, and we wanted to explain in more detail how we will continue going forward.
To accurately test, we swab residents and staff using the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test which most reliably detects the novel coronavirus. We rely on private labs as well as the Chicago IDPH lab to provide testing support to Fairmont Care. Frequently, one lab gets backlogged with tests, so we have contracted with more than one lab partner through this crisis. Generally, we can receive results within 72 hours.
Since mid-March, Fairmont Care has completed more than 1000 Covid-19 tests of residents and staff. To date, every resident in the building has been tested at least twice, and every staff member has been tested at least once. This week we completed testing on all residents and staff members who have never tested positive. Per CDC guidelines, we will continue testing all residents and employees who have never tested positive each week until no positive cases are reported for 14 days at which point we will stop weekly testing. Once weekly testing has stopped, we will continue monitoring residents closely and screening our employees twice per shift. Should a resident present with symptoms, they will immediately be isolated and tested. Any employee who presents with symptoms will be tested and sent home. Should we receive any positive results, the weekly testing of all residents and employees will resume. Those who have been positive and have recovered from the virus do not require further testing.
Our current policy remains that if your loved one shows any symptoms of COVID-19, we will contact the first responsible party by telephone to inform you and we will again contact you to inform you of the test results. If your loved one undergoes a change in condition of any kind, we will contact the first responsible party.
We look forward to welcoming visitors back into our building, but we are uncertain when or how it will happen based on CDC guidelines. We know how important it is for our residents to see their loved ones. Our staff have done their best to care for our residents and keep them stimulated, but there is no substitute for family visits. Please be understanding as we do our best to keep everyone safe.