“The health of our residents and staff is always our top priority.  Please know that we are following all of the latest protocols, as directed by the Illinois Department of Public Health and the CDC, in order to protect our staff and residents. We will continue to keep you updated on a weekly basis or as needed.” — Gil Fonger, President & CEO, Marklund

Effective May 29, 2020


As of today, in response to Illinois moving into Phase 3, we have created a Restore Marklund plan. Our plan will last at least 28 days and be based on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic in Illinois.
In this phase, many of the same guidelines and protocols are in place with regard to Direct Care staff, but office/cubical staff—those who have been classified as non-essential—who have been teleworking for the past several weeks, are now able to come back on site. Specific guidelines are in place for these employees as well, such as staggering shifts, wearing facemasks when with others, social distancing, keeping meetings to 10 and under, and being screened upon entry. Staff will receive a video message today via email discussing Phase 3 expectations.


Based on recommendations from the CDC and IDPH, we are continuing to restrict visitors and volunteers at all of our Marklund locations. We hope to be able to lift this restriction in the near future.


We are pleased to note we currently have no residential COVID cases at any of the Marklund locations, nor any new reports of positive cases among staff.

Effective May 26, 2020


We are pleased to note we currently have no residential COVID cases at any of the Marklund locations, nor any new reports of positive cases among staff.


As we reported earlier this month, due to the ongoing COVID-19 concerns and the State’s Phase 3 guidelines affecting large group gatherings, we are modifying our 2020 Summer Games.  Instead of being mass gatherings, each Marklund site will hold adapted games that only involve residents and staff. The Marketing/Communications staff will post real-time videos and photos on our social media sites so that families/guardians and volunteers can view the progress and virtually share in the fun. Event dates are: Philip Center—Friday, June 5; Hyde Center, Saturday, June 13; Wasmond Center, Friday, June 26.


Follow us on SOCIAL MEDIA to stay connected. Find us on Facebook, (, Twitter ( and Instagram (


We are finalizing the plan for our Phase 3 reopening and will share details by Friday.


Effective May 24, 2020


This weekend, we received confirmation that three staff members at the Marklund Wasmond Center in Elgin—all PSPs—are reporting COVID-like symptoms. Two have been tested and are awaiting results; the third is following up with a physician. We are continuing with our regimen of screening staff and residents at every shift change. In addition, MWC administration requires staff to self-screen mid-shift and report to the nurse if they have any change in temperature or new onset of symptoms.
Employees at all facilities are still required to wear appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment).


We are pleased to note we currently have no residential COVID cases at any of the Marklund locations.


Anyone who saw the front page article in today’s Chicago Tribune may be concerned of COVID-19 virus running rampant in facilities that serve individuals with developmental disabilities. That article focused specifically on long-term care facilities run by the State of Illinois. We have been fortunate so far at Marklund and feel that the precautions that we took early in the pandemic crisis of keeping residents at home, restricting volunteers and visitors, screening all staff, modifying our absence policy, and having non-essential staff to work remotely has helped keep our positive cases to a minimum. Our staff continues to assist residents in connecting with families and friends via FaceTime and Zoom apps, and have worked very hard making sure our residents stay busy and happy—and most importantly, safe.
Have a blessed Memorial Day holiday.


Effective May 20, 2020

  • COVID-19 Symptom Cluster at Geneva Home

As of this morning, we have three staff members—a nurse and two PSPs—at the Marklund Haverkampf Home in Geneva who reported COVID-19-like symptoms within 72 hours of each other. All three have been tested and are awaiting results.

As I have mentioned in previous updates, per new IDPH guidelines, we are required to inform staff and parents/guardians when receiving multiple reports of staff and/or residents in the same Marklund location presenting COVID-like symptoms within a 72-hour period.

A resident also presented symptoms within this time frame but has already received good news of a negative test result.

To monitor the situation closely, we will continue to follow our protocol of screening staff and residents at each shift change, and to have staff self-screen mid-shift and report any change in temperature or onset of new symptoms.

Effective May 18, 2020:

  • A Note from Gil Fonger:

From the very beginning, we made the decision to be as transparent as possible
with our parents, guardians and staff. Since we started doing Updates on March 12, we have reported any staff or residents with positive COVID-19 tests along with changes to IDPH/CDC protocols. As of Friday, we are now reporting any facility that has three or more, staff or residents, who have COVID-19 or COVID-19-like symptoms.

I want to assure you that we are following the latest protocols. Every staff member is checked for symptoms before their shift and all residents are checked every shift for symptoms. Every staff is provided a new medical grade mask for each shift; this is to give an extra layer of protection for the residents and their fellow staff if they are asymptomatic while still having the COVID-19 virus. The fact is that we live in a world with this new virus and, until there is a vaccine or a reliable treatment, it is going to be a challenge.

Please know that keeping everyone safe is all I think about; I have no higher priority. I have no doubt that we are going to make it through this and, as do you, I look forward to the time when we can carefully open back up again. Thank you for your trust in Marklund.

  • Third Geneva Campus Employee Tests Positive for COVID

This weekend we received confirmation that we now have three staff members on the Geneva campus—a nurse, a PSP, and TAA—who have tested positive for COVID-19. Two of these employees, the nurse and the PSP, do work out of the same home—Marklund Haverkampf Home. The nurse also works in the VanDerMolen home while the TAA is at Tommy Home.
Following protocol, we have notified the Kane County Health Department (KCHD), and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and will keep them updated as required.
In these kinds of instances, the IDPH recommends staff to self-screen mid-shift and report to the nurse if they have any change in temperature or new onset of symptoms—I am pleased to report that the direct care team in Geneva had already implemented that practice.
In addition, all staff are wearing appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment).



Effective April 21, 2020


Effective today, April 21, there are no residents or staff diagnosed with COVID-19 based on any testing. One resident at the Wasmond Center was hospitalized yesterday due to a different condition and was tested due to hospital protocol.


This past Sunday, April 19, Gov. Pritzker’s office released an official guidance regarding communication about COVID-19 cases in Long-Term Care facilities. This notice officially stated that facilities are required to keep residents, next of kin/guardians, and staff notified when a resident or staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19, without revealing personally identifying information except to the next of kin. The notifications must include verbal and written communications. The facility must also coordinate with local and state health departments. We are pleased to note that this has been Marklund’s practice since the pandemic began in Illinois, and have taken the additional step to extend the notification to the families/guardians of the roommates of the residents who had been tested. However, we only do that with the permission of the parent/guardian of the resident who has been diagnosed or is being tested, due to HIPPA regulations.


This week is National Volunteer Recognition Week. Marklund suspended volunteer visits on March 10, and we—residents and staff—truly miss seeing those who support Marklund and its residents through our Volunteer Program. We want to thank those who have reached out asking how they can help us during this time, and are grateful to the generosity and creativity of so many who have provided food, masks, letters, signs, donations and prayers. We hope to begin seeing them in the coming weeks.

Effective April 14, 2020


Great news! The three residents at the Marklund Wasmond Center (MWC) in Elgin tested negative for COVID-19, according to official lab results received today. They have been taken off isolation protocol.


At this point, our supply of Personal Protective Equipment remains good, although we are continually going to be using it due to the temporary policy put in effect on April 2:
All Marklund nurses, PSPs, housekeepers, house parents, and other staff providing resident care or services in resident rooms are to be wearing a facemask at all times, using the guidelines described in the new Extended Use of Procedure or Surgical Mask policy. All other staff working in a residential facility will be issued reusable cloth masks to wear while in the facility. Staff will be responsible to wash/disinfect their masks each night before reusing them at their next shift. Staff or necessary non-employees who will be working in close contact with other employees/non-employees in non-residential facilities will be issued a cloth or a procedure mask based on the specific situation, as determined by the Administrator/Director of Nursing for that campus.

We are accepting homemade cloth masks. Please contact the administrators to set up drop-off arrangements.


Based upon the latest guidance of Gov. Pritzker not to have large gatherings in the Spring or Summer, we have made changes to a couple of our upcoming fundraising events:
The Run, Walk & Roll-Bloomingdale set for April 26 has been modified as a VIRTUAL 5K/1 mile event still held on April 26. Visit for details.
The 38th Annual Marklund Golf Classic has moved from June 4 to Aug. 27.  Stay tuned for details.


Effective April 2, 2020


On March 31, 2020, the IDPH (Illinois Department of Public Health) released “Interim Recommendations” for the wearing of facemasks at all times during work shifts by those working in group living facilities. Universal masking will reduce the risk of transmission from staff who may be carrying the COVID-19 virus but are asymptomatic (have no visible symptoms).
In order to optimize our current supply of facemasks, we will apply an extended use procedure, and all staff are going to be in-serviced on this beginning April 2.
Therefore, as of 4/2/2020 until further notice, all Marklund nurses, PSPs, housekeepers, house parents, and other staff providing resident services will wear a facemask at all times, using the guidelines described in the new Extended Use of Procedure or Surgical Mask policy.


Effective March 20, 2020


As the latest step in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker issued a “Stay-at-Home Order” on Friday, March 20. The order will be effective at 5 p.m. Saturday, March 21 through April 7. In order to abide by this order, only those staff considered as “essential” will be allowed to go to work at the Marklund locations. At Marklund, “essential” staff includes those providing direct care to our residents: nurses, PSPs, TAAs, house parents, as well as laundry, dietary and housekeeping staff. In addition, Administrators and Senior Staff will continue to be on site on a rotating basis.

Be assured, during this “Stay-at-Home order,” everyone will be getting paid.


Effective March 17, 2020:


In keeping with the latest guidance by IDPH and CDC, and in our continued efforts to mitigate the potential spread of COVID-19 to residents and staff, effective  immediately, parents/guardians CANNOT take their loved ones out on a day pass. If they do, the resident cannot return until visiting restrictions have been lifted.


Out of an abundance of caution, we have extended the no visitor restriction through April 15, with the exception of essential visitors only (those for residents receiving hospice services, residents with dementia, or residents receiving documented psychosocial supports). This restriction follows guidelines of IDHS.


In response to COVID–19, the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) is taking extra precautions to keep individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities safe and providers supported during this time. Therefore, it is their decision that all Community Day Services (CDS) sites will be closed Tuesday, March 17 through April 15. This timeline may be adjusted by IDHS as the COVID-19 situation changes. During this time, a modified programming and activities plan will be put in place for all of our residents in their homes, utilizing social distancing and standard precautions. Community Clients who participate in the Marklund CDC programs will unfortunately not be able to visit Marklund sites during this time. Please reach out to administrators, nurse managers or Qs with questions or concerns.

  • Marklund Day School Closure—through April 7





For media inquiries, contact Dawn Lassiter-Brueske, Director of Marketing and Communication, at 630-593-5467.


Markund media policies:

No client or staff member may be interviewed or photographed without permission of the Director of Marketing or a representative of the Marketing Department.

Due to respect for our clients and following HIPAA regulations, it is the policy of this organization not to publicize the last names of our clients or students. We therefore refer to them in all publications or media situations as their first name and last initial or simply by first name.

PLEASE NOTE: If you encounter anyone who is soliciting on behalf of Marklund, with the exception of persons selling subscriptions to the Daily Herald, please notify the authorities. Those selling subscriptions must be able to prove they are working for the Daily Herald and must only accept payment for the subscriptions not donations to Marklund. Marklund receives 50 cents for each subscription sold by those soliciting within the Daily Herald/Marklund partnership. Anyone wishing to make a donation to Marklund should do so through the website or mail.