COVID-19 UPDATES:

“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 July 8, 2021

  • Positive case in Geneva campus:

For the first time since May, we have a positive case at the Hyde Center campus in Geneva. A fully-vaccinated staff member had a negative rapid test onsite yesterday after returning from international travel but tested positive with a second rapid test today upon developing symptoms. This person was sent out to have an offsite lab test to confirm the results.
Contact tracing has begun for staff, residents, and the few volunteers who were onsite yesterday. It has been determined that residents from the Richard and Van Der Molen homes (MRH and MVH) were in contact with the employee yesterday during Community Day Services (CDS). Both homes are now in Outbreak Status, so all residents will be placed on transmission-based precautions and will be tested today, and again next Tuesday.

While on Outbreak Status, we need to temporarily suspend in-person visitation (both indoor and outdoor), resident outings and communal dining.
Staff and volunteers identified through contact tracing will be tested onsite as well. Be assured, all staff and volunteers continue to wear facemasks while with residents/students.
The vaccine is highly effective but not 100% which is why we have safety protocols in place beyond vaccinations. Please know that we are continuing to do all that we can to keep our staff and residents safe.
We will communicate with everyone if anything new develops.

 

Effective June 23, 2021

  • Wasmond Center out of Outbreak:

Great news! After two complete rounds of testing of all residents and staff with no additional COVID-positive results, Marklund Wasmond Center is officially out of Outbreak Status. This means that MWC direct care employees are no longer required to wear N95 masks, just regular surgical masks. Eye protection (face shield or goggles) is also no longer required unless providing care to someone on droplet precaution.
Indoor and outdoor visitation is reinstated, as are outings, group activities, communal dining and beauty/barber services.
Monthly Surveillance Testing of unvaccinated staff will also resume.

I am very happy to share this news. With 75% of our staff vaccinated, we are hopeful to have fewer of these returns to outbreak status. I just want to reiterate that I hope that those who remain unvaccinated reconsider their decision, for their sake, as well as the health and safety of their coworkers and residents, particularly as we hear more news about the COVID variant spreading. Vaccines are very readily available at many pharmacies these days.

Effective June 11, 2021

  • What “Illinois Reopening” means at Marklund:

I’m sure everyone is thrilled to see and hear the news that the State of Illinois is officially in Phase 5 which means fully reopened. After more than a year of learning how to maneuver through many restrictions, this is wonderful news.
I do, however, want to caution everyone that while this Reopening action will affect our personal lives, most things at Marklund are not changing just yet.
With the exception of no capacity limits on office usage (as long as distancing allows), we are still following such infection precaution guidelines as screening upon entry, wearing masks, using hand sanitizer, social distancing around unvaccinated staff and residents, regular testing as required, and not yet allowing volunteers in the buildings. When a site is in Outbreak Status, as the Wasmond Center is right now, even more restrictions are put in place.
These guidelines are given directly from IDPH and DHS, which, as a state-certified long-term-care facility, we are required to follow. We hope and pray, as the COVID positivity rates continue to go down everywhere, that these restrictions will be loosened in the not-too-distant future as well.

Effective June 10, 2021

  • Positive Case at Wasmond Center:

An unvaccinated staff member at the Marklund Wasmond Center tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. This person last worked on Monday, June 7. Contact tracing and first-round testing has begun for staff. All residents will be tested today.
Unfortunately, this means the Wasmond Center is back in Outbreak Status and the following restrictions and protocol have been implemented:
– N95 masks and eye protection (face shield or goggles) must be worn by all healthcare providers while providing care or services in resident areas of the facility until outbreak status is discontinued.
– All indoor and outdoor visitation is temporarily suspended, with the exception of compassionate care visits.
– Outings, group activities, communal dining and beauty/barber services are temporarily suspended as well.
Wasmond Center staff should refer to an email sent by MWC Administrator Michelle Orwig to all staff Wednesday evening for specifics on testing schedule and additional staff requirements.
This is the first facility-based positive staff case at any Marklund location in more than a month. Clearly we are not out of the woods yet, although it is promising that cases have become few and far between. Even as the State of Illinois moves into Phase 5 this Friday, we will continue to follow all guidelines from IDPH and DHS.

Effective May 14, 2021

  • Geneva resident tests positive from off-site exposure

A fully vaccinated resident who has been off campus for an extended home visit with family was exposed to the COVID virus during his visit. The resident, who is asymptomatic, has since tested positive for COVID-19 while under quarantine at home and will remain out of the facility until his quarantine period has ended.

  • CDC news regarding mask wearing

Please note: while IDPH confirmed today that Illinois will follow the CDC guidance that fully-vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear masks indoors or outdoors, this new guidance does not yet apply to healthcare settings, including long-term care facilities like Marklund. While the news is exciting for everyone in their private lives, IDPH has stated we at Marklund should continue to follow the policies/procedures we have in place regarding wearing PPEs and social distancing.

  • Important reminder for staff gatherings/meetings:

We expect all staff to make note of these regulations for when on-site:
If everyone is fully vaccinated, then they can meet/eat/sit closely without masks
If even one person in the group is not fully vaccinated, when not eating, everyone should be wearing masks.  At all times during a meeting/meal, the unvaccinated person should be at least six feet from others when someone’s mask is off (for example, if they are eating).

Effective May 12, 2021

  • New Visitation FAQs and Updated Staff Policies

Based on the latest loosening of restrictions on Long-Term care facilities from IDPH and CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid), we have updated our Visitation procedures as well as many staff policies.  Direct Care staff will receive the policies via email and in-services.
A few important notes for staff regarding testing and exposure to COVID:
(a) if you are fully vaccinated, you do not have to do surveillance testing, but you would still need to be tested during Outbreak Status or following a high-risk exposure;
(b) ALL staff, vaccinated or unvaccinated, need to continue to immediately report any known exposures, including community/home exposures, to Lisa Esposito.  Asymptomatic, vaccinated staff will need to schedule two exposure testings with their facility administrator – the first immediately following exposure and a retest between days 5-7 following exposure. Symptomatic, vaccinated staff and all unvaccinated staff with a known exposure do not need to schedule exposure testing and should follow the isolation/quarantine guidelines per the Modified Temporary Absence Policy.

  • Update on Positive Case at Wasmond Center

The second round of testing of staff and residents at the Wasmond Center has resulted in all negative results. If no further cases develop, MWC will be out of Outbreak Status as of next Tuesday, May 18.

  • Positive Non-facility-based case at Geneva

A staff member at the Hyde Center campus tested positive this week for COVID after experiencing symptoms. She was last on-site last Friday, May 7, so this is NOT a facility-onset case and does NOT put MHC into Outbreak Status.

  • 100th Update!

This marks the 100th COVID Update released to staff and parents/guardians since last Spring. Throughout these 15 months, it has been my goal to keep everyone appraised of circumstances that have occurred at all of the Marklund sites, to help alleviate speculation, fears and rumors. We will continue to share these updates until we are in the “All Clear” from this pandemic.

 

Effective May 7, 2021

  • New guidance loosens some restrictions

I am happy to share that IDPH has (finally) updated its guidelines regarding testing, quarantining, visitation, distancing/mask wearing. These new IDPH guidelines, which we are expected to follow, are based on updated recommendations by the CDC.
The following among the highlights announced that will affect Marklund:

Outbreak testing remains the same, regardless of vaccination status.  If a site goes into Outbreak Status, ALL staff/residents must be tested.
Surveillance Testing –  If a Marklund site requires surveillance testing because of county positivity rate, fully vaccinated staff do not have to be tested; however, unvaccinated staff are still required to do so.
Staff Gathering—Vaccinated staff can eat together/have meetings without wearing masks and social distancing.  However, if an unvaccinated staff member is present, everyone needs to wear masks and unvaccinated staff must maintain 6 feet from others.

Visitation (this is for both indoor and outdoor visitation):
No need to prescreen visitors 24 hours in advance; just at the time of visit.
If the resident is fully vaccinated, they can choose to have close contact (including touch) with their visitors.
When the resident and all of their visitors are fully vaccinated, while ALONE in the resident’s room or designated visitation area, the residents and visitors can choose to have close contact (including touch) and NOT wear face masks.
Visitors should wear masks/distance from staff and all other residents and visitors that are not part of their group at all other times when in the facility.
When either the resident or any of their visitors are NOT fully vaccinated, the safest approach is for everyone to distance/wear masks.
If the resident is fully vaccinated they may choose to have close contact, including touch, with unvaccinated visitors while everyone still wears masks.
If unvaccinated residents or visitors are in the designated visitation area ALL residents and visitors should wear masks and maintain at least 6 feet distance.

Communal Dining and Group Activities –
Fully vaccinated residents can participate in communal dining and group activities without use of masks or social distancing.
If unvaccinated residents are involved in either communal dining or activities, then ALL residents should use masks/social distancing when not eating and unvaccinated residents should continue to remain at least 6 feet from others.

  • Update on Positive Case at Wasmond Center

Results from a lab test taken on the recent positive staff case at MWC confirmed the positive results. Wasmond Center will remain on Outbreak Status until May 18. The second round of testing of all staff and residents will take place early next week.

Based on the announcement made from Gov. Pritzker’s office yesterday, we are hopeful that we are nearing the end of this pandemic lifestyle that we’ve endured for more than a year. As he mentioned, if case counts and hospitalizations across the state continue to improve, the State will enter the “Bridge Phase” on May 14, and then the final phase by June 11. Just remember, even though the state may move to full reopening, we always need to wait for final guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, and IDPH, before we can do so.
Until then, we will continue to do all we can to ensure the safety of our residents and staff.
Have a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend.

Effective May 4, 2021

  • Positive Case at Wasmond Center

A staff member at the Marklund Wasmond Center (MWC) in Elgin tested positive for the COVID-19 virus during rapid surveillance testing yesterday. This person, who had last worked on Sunday, May 2, and who was only onsite yesterday for the test, is asymptomatic. She is fully vaccinated so it appears that the vaccine may be keeping the effects of the virus very minimal. She will be retested to have a laboratory confirm the results. The first round of outbreak testing for all other staff and residents came back negative.
Unfortunately, this puts MWC into Outbreak Status again which requires direct care staff to wear N95 masks and eye protection, and for MWC to put a pause on outings, activities, and in-person visits. At our other sites—the Hyde Center and Philip Center—all surveillance testing results have been negative.
Again, not the news we want to hear but these breakthrough cases are happening. We can only assume at this point that it is possibly due to the virus variants that are out there, but at least the vaccine appears to be helping with side-effects.

Effective April 20, 2021

  • Good news: Negative results at MPC and MWC

I am pleased to report that all residents and staff at the Philip Center (MPC) and Wasmond Center (MWC) have tested negative for COVID during the testing completed this week. If no other staff cases develop, MPC will move off Outbreak Status on April 22, and MWC will be off April 28. At that point, resident outings will resume as will pre-arranged visitation. (Currently, MPC and MWC are allowing Virtual, Window and Compassionate Care visits.)

Effective April 14, 2021

  • Positive case confirmed at MWC

This morning, we received lab confirmation that the Wasmond Center employee who tested positive during Monday’s onsite rapid surveillance testing had a second positive result for COVID-19. Fortunately she is asymptomatic. This puts MWC in outbreak status.

Following IDPH guidelines, we have had to place restrictions on visitation and postponed outings. Until further notice, only virtual visits will be allowed, with the exception of Compassionate Care situations. Please make arrangements with the Director of Nursing or the QIDP.

As I mentioned yesterday, using an abundance of caution, the nursing team tested all residents on Tuesday, and everyone had negative results. All other staff had negative results as well during the surveillance testing earlier this week.MWC employees and residents will be retested next Monday.

This positive result does show that the virus is still something we will need to contend with for the foreseeable future. As we continue to follow IDPH and CDC guidelines, we are staying positive that the world is moving in the right direction in the fight against COVID, and believe that the vaccines are doing their job at keeping those who are vaccinated from getting very sick from the virus.

  • Good news: Negative results at MPC

All Philip Center residents and staff had negative test results during the second round of testing completed yesterday. If no other cases develop, MPC will come off Outbreak Status on April 22.

If you have any concerns, please feel free to reach out to me, an administrator or a department manager.

Effective April 13, 2021

  • Positive rapid test case at MWC

A Wasmond Center direct care staff member tested positive during the rapid test surveillance screening on Monday, April 12. This person has been fully vaccinated, so a second test—this one sent to a lab—was taken to verify. We are currently awaiting the results before declaring MWC in “outbreak status.” However, just in case, all residents were tested today and all had negative results. In the meantime, the staff member, who last worked a shift on MWC’s South Side on Sunday, has been removed from the schedule for now.

Based on the data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), having a positive case after being fully vaccinated is unlikely, but not impossible. With the vaccines being up to 95% effective against COVID-19—not 100%—that does mean that there is a slim chance for a breakthrough “unexpected” virus to develop. Our best defense against breakthrough cases is to continue doing what we have been doing for the past year: wearing proper PPE, washing hands/using hand sanitizer, observing social distancing.

We will inform everyone as soon as we learn the results.

Effective April 12, 2021

  • Increased regional positivity rates force weekly testing

According to new data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid and IDPH, with both Geneva and Bloomingdale’s regions moving into the ‘yellow’ zone starting today due to increasing COVID-19 positivity rates, we will be required to do weekly testing of staff at both the Hyde Center and the Philip Center. In addition, eye protection is once again required for all staff working with residents in Geneva or Bloomingdale (regardless of vaccination status).  Employees should check with their nursing teams to find out when testing will be held.
Wasmond Center’s region has not moved into a higher zone yet and may be able to stay in monthly testing if the numbers don’t jump, but they have been slowly moving up as well.  Unfortunately, if trends keep moving in a negative direction, we should prepare for MWC ending back in weekly testing, but hopefully at least not for a couple weeks.

  • No new positive cases on site at MPC

All MPC residents and staff tested negative for the COVID-19 virus last week, after discovering the one positive staff case last Tuesday. All residents will be tested again this week, along with staff.

I know this isn’t the direction we wanted to move in, but hopefully with more vaccines being provided to residents in Illinois, it is just a temporary bump in the road. In the meantime, be assured we are doing everything possible to keep our residents, students and staff safe and healthy.

Effective April 6, 2021

  • Positive staff case in Bloomingdale

We just received word that an unvaccinated staff member for the Marklund Philip Center (MPC) and the Marklund Day School (MDS) tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. She had a rapid test completed on-site yesterday with a negative result, but started feeling symptoms later at night and was retested offsite today. Fortunately, the staff member was wearing both a mask and eye protection while on site yesterday.

Unfortunately this means MPC will start outbreak testing of all residents and staff, cancels all outings, and suspends all in-person visitation and home visits for at least two weeks.

For MDS, parents of students in the affected classrooms have been notified by Director of Education Paula Bodzioch that due to the potential exposure, those classroom will move to full remote instruction until Monday, April 19.

Effective March 30, 2021

  • IDPH Guidelines for Quarantining

IDPH released new information regarding if and when staff and residents need to quarantine after travel or exposure. Obviously it depends greatly on whether the person has been vaccinated or not. At this point, nearly 100% of our eligible residents have received the vaccination, as have 60% of employees. With the Johnson & Johnson vaccine being offered to Marklund staff at an upcoming clinic in early April, that number will increase to 74%.

Based on the most recent information from IDPH

— Fully vaccinated staff (at least 2 weeks post vaccine) do not need to quarantine after COVID exposure at work,. However, at this point, we still require staff to quarantine from community exposure. IDPH is seeking further clarification on this point from the CDC.
— Fully vaccinated residents (at least 2 weeks post vaccine) who go offsite for day/weekend passes do not need to quarantine upon return.
— International travel will still require the 7-day quarantine with a negative test or 10 days with no test.
— Screening questionnaires for visitors will still include a question about out of state travel. Visitors who traveled internationally still need to do the required quarantine (7 days with test/10 without).
— New admits do NOT need to quarantine if they are fully vaccinated.

Happily, we are holding steady with no positive COVID-19 cases coming out of any of our locations. I pray this trend will continue to allow our state to ease up on even more restrictions moving forward.

Effective March 22, 2021

Indoor Visitation FAQs

Outdoor Visitation FAQs

Effective March 22, 2021

  • IDPH UPDATES TO VISITATION AND ACTIVITY GUIDELINES

Late in the day last Friday, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) released many changes to Visitation and Activity guidelines for Long-Term Care Facilities, based on recommendations from the CDC. These changes are great news and we are pleased to be sharing them with you all. (Keep in mind, these changes are based on current positivity rates in our state and counties and could be altered at any time.)
Key Points:
• Indoor visitation is allowed by appointment for all residents regardless of vaccination status under most circumstances
• Compassionate Care visit are always allowed
• Vaccinated residents can be out of the facility (even overnight for home visits) and do not need to quarantine upon return

General Visitation Guidelines:
Visits are allowed BY APPOINTMENT at all Marklund facilities either as Outdoors (most preferred option), indoors within dedicated visitation areas, or in private rooms under special circumstances.
To keep residents and staff as safe and healthy as possible, the maximum number of visitors per resident at one time is 4 and they must all be living within the same household.
Visits will be scheduled to specific lengths of time in order to ensure all residents are able to receive visitors. The total number of visitors in each facility will be limited by each facility’s administrator.
Visitors must adhere to all Infection Prevention protocols, including being screened upon arrival, wearing appropriate PPE, limiting movement within the facility—proceeding directly to visitation area or restroom only—maintaining social distancing.
However, fully vaccinated residents can choose to have close contact (including touch) as long as the visitor is wearing a face mask and the resident has assistance performing hand hygiene before and after.
Visits will be restricted if a there is a confirmed case of the COVID-19 virus.
Compassionate Care visits are permitted at all times.

Resident Activities/Outings/Dining/Beauty Salon
All residents (vaccinated or unvaccinated) may be able to take part in outings as long as infection precautions are taken prior to and afterward.
Beginning this Friday, March 26, vaccinated residents may go on overnight home visits and not need to quarantine upon return.
All residents may be taken outside on walks by family members during visits.
Residents who take part in offsite outings with staff must be screened prior to the outing and have assistance using hand sanitizer. The number of residents allowed on a specific outing is limited by the ability to have a 6-foot separation.
Outdoor activities and outings are encouraged, avoiding large events such as festivals, parades, etc.
All transport vehicles must be disinfected after each outing.
Unvaccinated residents will be observed/monitored for development of symptoms during 14 days following outing.

PPE Note for Direct Care Staff
All staff are still required to wear face masks when on Marklund property or on outings with residents.
IDPH guidelines do require unvaccinated staff to quarantine after exposure. Current guidelines recommend wearing eye protection (goggles or face shields) based on positivity rates regardless of vaccination status. However, at our current low levels of county-wide community transmission, vaccinated staff are no longer are required to wear face shields except for when caring for residents in isolation or on quarantine.

Based on all of this new guidance, the IDPH Long-Term Care Facility Reopening Plan no longer includes a “phase” structure. If need be, based on growing positivity rates, the state will impose Tiered Mitigation requirements. In the meantime, we are very pleased to have moved to this current status allowing families to be together on a much more regular basis.
Please feel free to reach out to the administrators for more specifics on these new guidelines.
We will be happy to see many of you back on site!

Effective March 19, 2021:

  • COVID news from the Governor

Yesterday, Gov. Pritzker announced news regarding the state’s reopening plans. Many of the points he made are being received with great excitement but I need to clarify an important point. The advancements that the Governor discussed mainly apply to the general public—and those of us in our private lives—unfortunately, not to those within long-term care facilities. Marklund’s residential program must follow guidelines set by IDPH, while CDS follows those set by DHS. The changes he announced will however positively affect events that we are planning, so we are pleased at least to learn about advancements in that area.

  • IDPH recommendations regarding visitation policies

Today, IDPH announced that it will share its new guidelines in the coming days, once they are all approved by the Governor’s office. Following this guidance, we will be amending our policies and procedures, and plan on updating everyone next week.
Thank you for your patience as we continue to work to keep in compliance with IDPH’s ever-changing requirements.

Effective March 17, 2021:

  • Phase change for Geneva and Bloomingdale

of today, the Philip Center and the Hyde Center have moved into Phase 3 of the IDPH Long-Term Care Reopening Plan. The Wasmond Center has already been in Phase 3. This will allow us to provide more group activities and do some outings for our residents! Great news!

  • Waiting for new visitation guidance

IDPH has yet to release any clarification or direction on how long-term care facilities like Marklund will be affected by last week’s visitation guidance changes from CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services). We are hoping IDPH will make its recommendations this Friday. As always, once we receive that information, we will be sure to inform everyone.It sometimes feels like we’re moving in slow motion with these changes but at least we’re headed in the right direction!

Effective March 11, 2021:

  • Possibility for more changes to visitation regulations

Late yesterday afternoon, we received new information from CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) regarding new nursing home guidance with revised visitation recommendations. This is a significant and positive update to previous guidance provided.
Once we receive clarification from IDPH on how this will affect Marklund and our residents, we will be sure to inform everyone.
This could be a great step forward for our residents and their parents/guardians!

Effective March 10, 2021:

  • Policy Adjustment for Compassionate Care Visits

With us coming up on the one-year anniversary of the statewide shutdown, and with most of our eligible residents vaccinated and all of our locations allowing indoor visitation, we have expanded on our Compassionate Care Visit Policy.  We feel that we can now safely allow identified compassionate care visitors to have limited closer contact with their loved ones. Parent/guardians who believe that their loved one would benefit physically or emotionally from a visit that allows contact such as hand-holding or hugs, may make specific requests to the facility’s Administrator, Director of Nursing or QIDP.
All requests will be reviewed and considered individually as part of our person-centered approach. Very specific guidelines will need to be followed by visitors, including participating in phone and on-site screening, and possibly even rapid testing, wearing required PPE (personal protection equipment) that is supplied by Marklund, following all infection prevention guidelines during contact, and limiting the visit to a specific time and area within the building. All policy guidelines can be shared by the site administrators. Again, all visits must be prearranged to allow us to safely allow a limited number of visitors in the building when staffing allows.

  • No new COVID cases; moving to once/month testing

Again this week, there have not been any new positive COVID-19 cases reported from the surveillance testing at our sites or from offsite situations. Due to the low positive rate in the area, MWC has been given permission to reduce surveillance testing of staff to just once per month. If MHC stays on track with no new cases, it too will move to once/month testing as of March 22. DuPage County Health Department however is requiring that MPC continue with its once a week surveillance testing.

  • Vaccine Progress:

MHC and MWC each have 1 more COVID-19 vaccine clinic arranged for employees and residents: Geneva: March 26. Elgin: March 29.

With the warmer weather, our residents have been able to enjoy more time outside as part of their CDS activities. After nearly a full year of dealing with this pandemic, everyone is looking forward to getting off campus hopefully in the near future as we are able to do outings safely.

Effective March 3, 2021:

  • No new COVID cases:

Good news! So far this week there have not been any new positive COVID-19 cases reported from the surveillance testing at any of our sites or from offsite situations.

  • Moving Phases again!

Since we have no new cases, we have Great News! We are once again advancing phases within the IDPH Long-Term Care Reopening Plan . The Wasmond Center (MWC) is now in Phase 3, and MPC and MHC have moved into Phase 2. The main changes are that all three sites—MHC/MPC/MWC—will be allowing indoor visitation, and MWC will be able to do outings again with residents. However, these activities will still require social distancing and mask wearing. Reminder—parents/guardians need to contact the Q or Administrator at their loved one’s location to set appointments for any visits.

  • Vaccine Progress:

MHC and MWC both have 2 more clinics set up for dispensing the COVID-19 vaccine to employees and residents.
Geneva: March 5 and March 26.
Elgin: March 8 and March 29.
To date: almost 65% of our staff and practically 100% of our eligible residents have received the vaccine. Any staff who have not yet participated still have a shot to reduce the spread of the virus!

  • CDS going back into the classroom!

More great news. DHS of is allowing us to move the Community Day Services program back into the classrooms at MHC. This will be the first time really in nearly a year, with the exception of a short period of time last year. We will begin on March 29 for our residents, and happily welcome back Community Clients on April 12! The plan is to begin with a modified schedule to allow for appropriate social distancing. The CDS program MWC will be announcing the return date to its classrooms soon.

Effective Feb. 26, 2021:

  • New non-facility-based COVID case:

– Geneva: A staff member tested positive with a rapid test during a surveillance testing and had the diagnosis confirmed today by a follow-up lab test. This person had not been on site since Feb. 13, so it is clearly a non-facility based case. The staff member will continue to quarantine but no contact tracing is needed.

– Bloomingdale & Elgin: no new cases.

Effective Feb. 22, 2021:

  • No Facility-based COVID cases / Surveillance testing continues:

I am very pleased to report that we have not had any facility-based COVID-19 cases at any of our sites since Jan. 21! That is a great sign that our staff is being less affected due to the decrease in county-wide numbers and the increase in those in the area getting vaccinated. Each of our sites in Bloomingdale, Elgin and Geneva, is now down to doing once-a-week surveillance testing of staff. This lifts some of the burden from our nursing teams who have been champions in assisting with this procedure.

  • IDPH updates:

Early next week, we will share information on any new changes to IDPH COVID-19 guidance, and how these changes will affect our policies and procedures. We are still on track for MWC to move into Phase 3 of the IDPH Long-Term Care Reopening Plan, on March 1, and for MHC and MPC to move into Phase 2 on March 2. Both of these phases allow for Virtual, Outdoor and Indoor visitation while Phase 3 allows residents to go on outings as long as social distancing can be maintained. Protocol for arranging visitation and outings will be determined by the site administrators. Outdoor visits may be scheduled at all sites weather permitting.

  • Vaccine clinics continue:

The Hyde Center and Wasmond Center held successful COVID vaccine clinics on the 12th and 15th of this month. To date, 100 staff have received both vaccinations, and 173 have received their first dose, along with nearly 100% of eligible residents. Along with those employees who got their vaccinations at outside sources, we are very close to having 65% of our full-time staff having been vaccinated—so far.
Next clinic dates are: MPC: Feb. 25; MHC: March 5 and 26; MWC: March 8 and 29, and we are hopeful to see more staff sign up. Studies are showing that the vaccine is very effective at preventing serious illness/hospitalization and deaths from the COVID-19 virus.

  • Changes to Marklund’s Temporary Modified Absence Policy

Last Wednesday, all staff learned of updates to the Travel/Quarantine/Testing requirements found in the Modified Temporary Absence Policy. Basically, staff who travel domestically out of Illinois must receive a negative rapid test and have no COVID-like symptoms prior to returning to work, and will no longer need to quarantine after travel. Those who travel internationally still must quarantine. Employees can refer to the policy sent an email sent from Marie Loiacono, Director of Human Resources.

Effective Feb. 12, 2021

  • New non-facility-based COVID case:

– Bloomingdale: An employee at the Philip Center tested positive on Monday, Feb. 8, during surveillance testing, and the result was confirmed today with a follow-up test sent to a lab. The individual had not been in the building since an overnight shift on Feb. 4. Therefore, this is not considered a facility-based case, and MPC will not need to go into outbreak testing.  Surveillance testing continues for staff.
– Elgin & Geneva: No new cases. Surveillance testing continues for staff.

  • Changing phases again:

As long as we do not have any new facility-based COVID cases for residents or staff for the next four or five days, we are still on track for MWC to move into Phase 2 of the IDPH Long-Term Care Reopening Plan, which would allow for Indoor Visits. These must be pre-arranged with the Q or Administrator. MPC and MHC will be able to move out of the tiered mitigation into Phase 1 on the 17th, still allowing pre-arranged Virtual and Outdoor visits only.

  • Vaccine clinics continue:

Today we are holding the first of three COVID vaccine clinics at MHC, with 275 staff, residents, and Community Day Services clients slated to receive it. MWC is ready to hold its first of three clinics starting Monday, Feb. 15. Having more staff and residents vaccinated will mean a much lower chance of future outbreaks at our facilities, and a quicker progression to Phase 3 of the IDPH LTC Reopening Plan, which will not only allow indoor visits, but also outings for residents. That day cannot come soon enough!

Effective Feb. 8, 2021

  • Staff getting vaccinated

So far, we have had 99 staff complete both doses of the Pfizer vaccine (95 at the Marklund Philip Center and 4 at outside clinics). In addition, 23 more staff (a combination of employees from the various Marklund sites) received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine last week at MPC.
For our upcoming COVID vaccine clinics at the Hyde Center in Geneva and the Wasmond Center in Elgin, we have 146 staff registered for Geneva and 54 in Elgin.
We actually anticipate that the numbers will even be greater once we get through all of our clinics!
Most of our eligible residents have received or will be receiving the vaccine, thanks to only a handful of parents/guardians declining to have their loved ones receive it.

  • Additional non-facility-based COVID case:

– Elgin: An employee at the Wasmond Center tested positive Thursday, Feb. 4, during surveillance testing. The result was confirmed with a follow-up test sent to a lab. The individual is asymptomatic and has not been in the building since Jan. 4. As this is not considered a facility-based case, MWC will not need to go into outbreak testing.
– Bloomingdale & Geneva: No new cases.

Effective Feb. 3, 2021

  • We’ve moved phases; Outdoor visits allowed

We are please to report that all Marklund sites within the State’s COVID regional dashboard have moved to Phase 4. However, since we follow the IDPH Long-Term Care Reopening Plan, this change allows the Wasmond Center (MWC) to move to its Phase 1 with no tiered mitigations, and the Philip and Hyde centers to move to Phase 1 but still with Tier 1 Mitigations.

Basically, what this comes down to is all of our sites are able to allow Virtual and Outdoor visits once again. Parents/guardians should contact the Administrator or Q in their loved one’s residential facility to set up an appointment for visits.In addition we may have modified group activities, however no off-site outings, and still no volunteers.

In order to move up the phases in the IDPH Long-Term Care Reopening Plan, a residential site must go 14 days without a new facility-based COVID case for residents or staff. Indoor visits may be allowed once we get to Phase 2. At this point, the soonest that could happen is Feb. 16 for MWC, and March 3 for MPC and MHC.

  • New non-facility-based COVID case:

– Elgin: An employee at the Wasmond Center tested positive Monday, Feb. 1, during surveillance testing. The individual is asymptomatic and has not been in the building since Jan. 29, so this is not considered a facility-based case and MWC will not need to go into outbreak testing.
– Bloomingdale & Geneva: No new cases.

 

Effective Jan. 29, 2021

  • New COVID case:

– Elgin: A staff member at the Wasmond Center tested positive Thursday during surveillance testing. The individual is asymptomatic and has not been in the building since her last shift on Saturday, Jan. 16, so this is a non-facility case and MWC will not need to go into outbreak testing.
– Bloomingdale & Geneva: No new cases.

  • Scheduling Vaccine Clinics for staff:

There have been some questions as to how our vaccine clinics have been scheduled. Determining the clinic dates is completely out of our hands and assigned by Walgreens pharmacies based on various criteria. Marklund has no control over which site was designated for which dates. The one thing we were able to do is offer it to all staff and eligible residents at that specific site, and then if possible open it up to other staff who work at multiple Marklund sites as well as direct care managers if they would be able to make it to the clinic from their home site during the designated hours.
While we are offering vaccines to all staff, there are still several who have opted out of receiving it, for a number of reasons. I hope in seeing how well staff and residents have tolerated the vaccines thus far, that some who have opted out may ultimately reconsider. Even if you miss the first clinic at a specific site, you have the opportunity to get both doses on the 2nd and 3rd clinic dates. If you have changed your mind and want to opt in, please make sure you contact Krissy Dolen at MHC, Michelle Orwig at MWC or Gunjan Patel at MPC. We don’t know what life will be like at Marklund once all of the clinics have taken place—masks, no masks, etc.—we just know we will continue to follow all guidance from IDPH.

  • COVID-19 vaccine clinic dates from Walgreens for all of our sites:

MHC: Feb. 12, March 5 and 26
MWC: Feb. 15, March 8 and 29
MPC: Feb. 4 and 25 (First clinic held Jan. 14)

Effective Jan. 27, 2021

  • New COVID case:

– Geneva: A new positive staff member was identified by rapid test results during surveillance testing Tuesday. The individual is asymptomatic and sent home pending confirmation of test results. In accordance with current CDC guidelines, all positive rapid test results in individuals without symptoms must be confirmed via laboratory testing. This staff member does not work directly with the residents. Surveillance testing continues in compliance with state and local guidelines.
– Bloomingdale & Elgin: No new cases.

  • No changes to Tier level yet:

Although the Governor announced that our Regions (8 and 10) moved to Tier 1 of Phase 3 mitigations yesterday, our facilities are not yet adjusting Tier levels. As a Long-Term-Care facility, we follow guidelines established by the Illinois Dept. of Public Health. According to IDPH requirements, LTC facilities need to remain in the higher tiered mitigation level for 14 days after its region moves into a less restrictive tier. Basically that means we are still in Tier 3 which suspends all visitation, communal dining, group activities. We will inform everyone once these restrictions are removed.

  • Reminder: Upcoming Vaccine Clinics for staff:

COVID-19 vaccine clinic dates from Walgreens for all of our sites:
MHC: Feb. 12, March 5 and 26
MWC: Feb. 15, March 8 and 29
MPC: Feb. 4 and 25 (First clinic held Jan. 14)

Effective Jan. 21, 2021

  • New COVID case:

– Elgin: An employee tested positive for COVID during the surveillance testing process this morning prior to the day shift starting. This person is asymptomatic and last worked the day shift on Tuesday, Jan. 19, on the South Side.
Contact tracing has begun as has testing of residents on the South Side.
– Bloomingdale & Geneva: No new cases.

  • Upcoming Vaccine Clinics:

We officially received COVID vaccine clinic dates from Walgreens for all of our sites.
MHC: Feb. 12, March 5 and 26
MWC: Feb. 15, March 8 and 29
MPC: Feb. 4 and 25
At our first clinic held at the Philip Center last week, 110 staff and residents received the first dose of the vaccine. We are pleased to report that there have been no adverse reactions reported.

  • Top Hat Ball Upside Down coming soon:

Just a quick reminder that there is still time to register for FREE for this year’s Top Hat Ball Upside Down: Our Ball, Your Ballroom virtual event set for Feb. 6. Join the livestream experience from 7-8 p.m. and enjoy celebrity appearances, a chance to take part in silent and live auctions, and donate to Marklund. This pandemic did not stop our Development Team from designing a very unique event and I hope you all can participate. Register at www.marklund.org/tophatball.

 

Effective Jan. 11, 2021

  • MPC: Vaccine clinic this week

We are very pleased that the Philip Center (MPC) will hold the first COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic this Thursday. All eligible MPC residents will receive the vaccine as well as those MPC staff members who have requested it. We are hopeful that we will receive information in the near future about scheduling vaccine clinics at MHC and MWC.

  • COVID testing:

All three of Marklund’s residential sites are completing regular surveillance testing of all staff. The frequency of tests are based on the positivity rate of the county in which the facility is located. In the event of a new positive case of an employee who has been on-site, that site will revert back to contact tracing and testing of identified staff and residents.
Currently, there are no new positive cases for the Marklund Wasmond Center (MWC), Elgin, and Marklund Hyde Center (MHC), Geneva. Surveillance testing this morning at the Marklund Philip Center (MPC), Bloomingdale, identified a positive staff member prior to the start of the employee’s shift. This staff member, however, was on PTO and last in the building Tuesday, Jan. 5. This will not be considered a facility outbreak and will not affect the surveillance testing process.

  • Tense times:

Most of you have probably heard and read about the civil unrest that occurred in Washington, DC, last week. I’m sure many of you may be feeling a wide range of emotions and unease because of it. I encourage you to step away from the news reports and simply focus on yourself, your family, friends, and those we serve at Marklund. You can be assured that Marklund is a safe place. Safety and security has always been a top priority. If any employees need help or just someone to talk to, feel free to reach out to me, other managers, or our Employee Assistance Program.

Effective Dec. 31, 2020

  • COVID case updates:

– Marklund Wasmond Center (MWC), Elgin: No new positive cases. Residents on the North Side of MWC were tested yesterday and we anticipate receiving results Saturday. – Marklund Philip Center (MPC), Bloomingdale, and Marklund Hyde Center (MHC), Geneva: No new positive cases.

  • Looking Back

– This year has been one to remember…and one we wish we could forget. There’s no doubt that Marklund was a different place prior to March 12, when Gov. Pritzker shut down the state. But we faced this global pandemic head on, adjusted to the new norm, and in many ways have come out stronger for it.
At last count, 49 Marklund employees, including those in our Day School, tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, with only a couple of cases needing hospitalization. And, only 8 residents—less than 5 percent of our total resident population—tested positive, none needing to be hospitalized and most were asymptomatic. That speaks very highly of how well our staff has been able to come and go day after day into the world and stay as safe and healthy as possible. Yes, some staff contracted the virus, but due to the safety procedures we put in place it rarely spread to our residents over the past 10 months.
Looking in the rearview mirror, we must admit that some important positives have come out of this past year. We:

–implemented new procedures for health screening of staff/visitors

–developed new HR attendance policies for managing crisis situations

–are well stocked with PPEs in preparation for current and future needs

–have developed virtual options for therapy sessions, MDS education, staff meetings, and family/volunteer visits

–have made significant building improvements

  • Looking forward

The vaccine is coming. We don’t know when yet for MHC or MWC but it is coming, and with it, hopefully a return to some form of the Marklund organization that we were nearly 10 months ago. We hope everyone considers taking the vaccine and encouraging others who are on the fence about it to do so as well.
As we bid a welcome good-bye to 2020, I want to wish you and your families a happy, healthy new year.

Effective Dec. 30, 2020

  • COVID case updates:

– Marklund Wasmond Center (MWC), Elgin: A staff member at MWC tested positive for COVID-19. The employee last worked in the building on Tuesday, Dec. 22, Contact tracing is being completed for staff and residents, and appropriate testing will follow.
– Marklund Philip Center (MPC), Bloomingdale, and Marklund Hyde Center (MHC), Geneva: No new positive cases.

  • Vaccine News

– Other than Walgreens pharmacy locking in a vaccine clinic start date of Jan. 14 for MPC, we have not yet received any new information regarding clinics at MHC and MWC. We know they are coming in the near future, so stay tuned.

  •  Holiday Thank You

– On behalf of the residents, I’d like to extend a big thank you to those who helped make the Christmas holiday very enjoyable for our residents through gift donations and assisting with gift opening and holiday festivities,. Everyone seemed to make the most of the unusual situation and had a wonderful time. Be sure to check out Marklund’s social media pages if you have not yet, to view the many, many photos and videos posted over last week and weekend.

Effective Dec. 28, 2020

  • COVID case updates:

– Marklund Hyde Center (MHC), Geneva: We were informed this morning that a staff member at the Marklund Sayers Home (MSH) has tested positive for COVID-19. This person’s last worked on Monday, Dec. 21, has been off since due to exposure from a family member, and had gotten tested offsite on Dec. 23.
Today’s on-site tests results are negative for residents at the Dreher Home, Sayers Home and Van Der Molen home, in Geneva, as well as for those staff tested through the contact tracing process. The next round of tests will be completed on Monday, Jan. 4.
– Marklund Wasmond Center (MWC), Elgin, and Marklund Philip Center (MPC), Bloomingdale: All negative results from yesterday’s and today’s on-site surveillance testing.

Effective Dec. 27, 2020

  • COVID case updates:

– Marklund Hyde Center (MHC), Geneva: We received confirmation that an In-House Registry (IHR) employee tested positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 24. This person’s last shift was Tuesday, Dec. 22, at the Marklund Dreher Home (MDH). Contact tracing has been completed and other employees identified who will be tested Monday, Dec. 28, along with all residents at MDH.
All other on-site tests at MVH returned negative results. The next round of tests there will be conducted tomorrow.
– Marklund Wasmond Center (MWC), Elgin, and Marklund Philip Center (MPC), Bloomingdale: All negative results from last week’s on-site testing.

Effective Dec. 22, 2020

  • COVID case updates:

– Marklund Wasmond Center (MWC), Elgin, and Marklund Philip Center (MPC), Bloomingdale: Surveillance testing has also begun. All staff will be tested twice a week.
– Marklund Hyde Center (MHC), Geneva: Contact tracing tests confirmed another new positive staff case at the VanDerMolen Home (MVH). This person is asymptomatic, had tested negative the previous Monday, and was last in the building on Sunday, Dec. 20. The next round of tests will be conducted next Monday. This will push back the start of Surveillance Testing until all staff and residents at MVH have negative results for 2 complete rounds.

  • Vaccine News:

Walgreens pharmacy pushed back the start date of the Philip Center COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics until January 14. They also locked in follow-up clinic dates of Feb. 4 and 25. More information will be released as to the process for the clinics.
Administrators at MWC and MHC have not yet received firm information about vaccine clinics at the Elgin and Geneva locations.

While we are very happy to hear about the vaccines being administered at hospitals and healthcare facilities in the area, we do want to add in a gentle reminder about visitation. All of our facilities are still following COVID-19 restrictions recommended by IDPH and the CDC so even though a parent/guardian/family member may have received a vaccine, visitation policies have not yet changed to reflect vaccination. Once the visitation restrictions are adjusted by IDPH, we will share the happy news with everyone.

Effective Dec. 17, 2020

COVID case updates:

– Marklund Wasmond Center (MWC), Elgin. All clear! All results from the last round of testing have come back negative.
– Marklund Philip Center (MPC), Bloomingdale, All Clear! Results from the latest round of testing are all negative as well!
– Marklund Hyde Center (MHC), Geneva: All negative for the recent round. One more round of testing scheduled for next week.

  • Surveillance Testing:

Once a Marklund facility is clear of positive cases for a period of 14 days, it will begin the process of Surveillance Testing—regular testing of all staff once or twice a week, depending on the county’s positivity rate. We will release specific details as to when the nursing staff will be conducting the testing. It will be every employee’s responsibility to make sure they participate in the testing on the days it is being offered, or to make arrangements with their administrators. For more details, see the updated COVID-19 Testing Plan policy which will be released tomorrow.

  • Vaccine News:

We have been contacted by Walgreens pharmacy to begin planning for the COVID-19 Vaccine clinics. At this point, the Philip Center has been scheduled to hold its first clinic on Dec. 28. More information will follow as to specific times and location, as well as clinics at MWC and MHC. What we can say right now is the number of vaccines we receive and the brand will be based on our allocation from the public health organizations.

While we cannot mandate that all staff get vaccinated, we are encouraging all to please consider it. There is a great deal of information and misinformation in the media and all over social media. We understand that many people have very real concerns based on perceived risks, religious, cultural, and family beliefs, and personal medical situations. To help you make the best decision for yourself and your family, we will release an FAQ sheet tomorrow.
In the meantime, any staff who have not yet returned their vaccine intent form to their managers should do so by tomorrow.

 

 

Effective Dec. 15, 2020

  • COVID case updates:

– Marklund Wasmond Center (MWC), Elgin. A staff member who has been offsite quarantining due to exposure tested positive for COVID-19. Since this person has not been onsite for some time, no additional staff or residents need to be tested.

  • Holiday Gifts

We are seeing an amazing response to our annual gift drive already! With the current volunteer/visitor restrictions in place, we were unsure of how our Giving Tree gift drive would be accessed by friends, families and donors. We are humbled by how everyone seems to have stepped up and are going well out of their way to make sure our residents have a special holiday season! While we cannot welcome guests in for our usual Christmas Eve Gift Opening, Marklund staff at all sites are looking forward to being Santa’s helpers this year and planning many festive activities! Stay tuned to our social media sites to share in the fun.

Effective Dec. 14, 2020

  • COVID case updates:

– Marklund Hyde Center (MHC), Geneva. A staff member working at MVH reported a positive result from an offsite COVID test. Rapid testing completed this morning confirmed all residents to be negative and the testing of staff identified by contact tracing is underway.
– Marklund Wasmond Center (MWC), Elgin. We received all negative results from Thursday’s testing. A new round is being completed today. The resident who had previously tested positive has been removed from isolation.

  • Vaccine news

We have not received any specific details yet about when we will be receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, but will keep everyone posted as we do. The HR Department is distributing a COVID-19 Vaccination Intent Form to staff in order to determine the number of employees intending to get the vaccine when one is available.

I have mentioned this before, but I am so proud of how our staff continues to step up and be “heroes” to our residents. Working each day, supporting each other, doing little extras for the residents—all matter so much to those we serve, especially during this time of year.
Thank you all.

Effective Dec. 10, 2020

  • COVID case updates:

– Marklund Wasmond Center (MWC), Elgin. One additional staff member has tested positive for COVID from an offsite test. This person was last in the building yesterday, Dec. 9, and not in contact with residents. We do have good news to share: We received all results from Monday’s round and all are negative. The second round is being conducted today on that group; as well as the first new round for staff that was positive (from the outside test).

– Marklund Philip Center (MPC), Bloomingdale: More good news: All negative results from this week’s testing.  Second round will start next Monday.

  • Marklund Day School:

Over the past several weeks, we have been informed that several Marklund Day School (MDS) families, as well as MDS staff, have been impacted directly by COVID-19 (exposure and/positive test results). Given the increase in community spread in the weeks following Thanksgiving, Marklund Day School has decided to keep school remote for the first two weeks of January in order to monitor any similar increase following the holiday season, and to perform a deep cleaning and disinfection at all Marklund schools.
Please note that Marklund Day School will resume the in person hybrid schedule on Tuesday, January 19, 2021.

Effective Dec. 8, 2020

COVID case updates:

– Marklund Hyde Center (MHC), Geneva: We received word late Monday that an administrative staff member tested positive, and was last in the building on Monday, Dec. 7. Contact tracing has been completed and no other staff will need to be tested. This person had not been around residents so the campus homes are not affected.
– Marklund Wasmond Center (MWC), Elgin. Results from Friday’s testing of South Side staff and residents confirmed another staff member positive case. This employee was last in the building on Monday, Dec. 7. The next round of testing will be this Thursday.
The resident that turned up with a positive test still has not developed symptoms.

  • Travel reminder:

Just a reminder for staff who are planning to travel out-of-state for 24 hours or more during the holidays to inform Marissa Cassin, HR Manager, prior to traveling. Every state, with the exception of Hawaii, Maine and Vermont, is currently on the high-risk list.

Effective Dec. 7, 2020

  • Positive staff member at Philip Center; awaiting results at MWC

An employee at the Marklund Philip Center in Bloomingdale has tested positive for COVID. This person was last in the building on Saturday, Dec. 5. We will continue to test weekly until two consecutive rounds come back negative in 14 days.
No new cases or results to announce today for the Wasmond Center (MWC) in Elgin. Another round of testing was completed this morning with results anticipated on Wednesday.

  • IDPH upholds quarantine length

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced that long-term care facilities should continue to follow the 14-day quarantine procedure for health-care professionals and residents who were exposed to COVID but have not tested positive or developed symptoms.

  • Essential Caregivers

As I shared last week, IDPH released new guidance on the appropriate use of “Essential Caregivers” at long-term care facilities. After thoroughly reviewing the information, we decided to develop an assessment tool to help determine which resident(s) would need an essential caregiver to provide additional support due to the resident(s) exhibiting escalating behavior issues resulting from COVID visitor and outing restrictions. We will be developing a policy to implement these guidelines which will include disbursement of PPE, as well as testing and attendance requirements. We will share more information as it becomes available.

Effective Dec. 5, 2020

  • Resident case at Wasmond Center

Results from Thursday’s tests indicated a positive resident at the Wasmond Center (MWC) in Elgin. This resident is asymptomatic, however administration has implemented isolation protocol and moved the resident to a private room. All residents and staff on MWC’s south side will continue to be tested.

Effective Dec. 2, 2020

  • Additional Wasmond Center employee tests positive

We received information this morning that an additional staff member at the Wasmond Center (MWC) in Elgin tested positive for COVID-19 through offsite testing at this person’s other job. This person was last in the building Tuesday, Dec. 1, and does not have contact with residents. Further contact tracing has been conducted and no new testing of staff is necessary from this case.
On a positive note, Marklund-based tests completed last Friday on all facility residents and some staff from a previous staff exposure all returned negative. A new round was completed on Monday.

  • Philip Center test update

Administration at the Philip Center (MPC) in Bloomingdale are waiting on the test results—and hopefully the all clear!—from the latest round taken on Sunday and Monday. The previous round for MPC residents and staff had been all negative.

  • Vaccine news

We are excited to report that we are starting to receive information from the CDC, public health organizations and pharmacies about preparing for the arrival and distribution of the new COVID-19 vaccine. While there is no exact arrival date given, we know that as a long-term care provider, Marklund will be high on the list to quickly receive the vaccine once it becomes available in Illinois. At this point, there are still many unknowns regarding the length of time that the vaccine will be available to us, so we will be encouraging staff to take advantage of the opportunity once it is here. It is a 2-step vaccine, with doses dispensed 21 to 28 days apart. Just like how we handle the flu vaccine each year, COVID vaccine clinics will be set up at various times at all Marklund residential locations. We may partner with Walgreens to assist with the clinics.

Getting this new vaccine can be scary for many, especially with inaccurate information and negative memes regularly shared on social media. However, we truly hope everyone considers taking this step—not only for themselves, but for the safety of their families and our residents as well.
In addition, vaccine compliance may also eventually result in the CDC and IDPH deciding when to change restrictions with regard to the need for facemasks and eye protection, and when to allow in-person visitation, resident outings, and volunteer participation again!

  • IDPH releases “Essential Caregiver” guidance

IDPH released new guidance today on the appropriate use of essential caregivers to provide companionship and assist residents with activities of daily living at long-term care facilities. We are reviewing it at this time. We will need to determine the best and safest way to implement these guidelines so as to benefit our residents while keeping them and our staff safe during this time of high community transmission.
We will share more information about this in the near future.

Effective Nov. 29, 2020

  • Additional Wasmond Center employee tests positive

Just a quick update to inform you that an additional staff member at the Wasmond Center (MWC) in Elgin tested positive for COVID-19. This person was last in the building in the evening of Monday, Nov. 23. Based on contact tracing, testing will be completed on south side residents and P.M. shift staff on Monday.

Effective Nov. 27, 2020

  • Wasmond Center staff test positive

First the good news: the second round of testing on Wasmond Center (MWC) residents and staff who were potentially exposed to a COVID-positive staff member last week has come back all negative.
Now, the not-so-good news: three additional staff members reported receiving positive test results, from offsite exposures/testing. Contact tracing has already been completed and on-site testing will begin once again for any staff who have already been contacted by MWC administration, and just two residents.

  • Geneva test results negative

Back to good news: All staff and resident outbreak testing for the Marklund Richard Home (MRH) in Geneva is complete and results are NEGATIVE. MRH has the All clear!

  • Philip Center receives negative results

More good news: We received all negative results on the latest round of testing of all staff and residents at the Philip Center (MPC) in Bloomingdale. The facility will have one more round of testing next Monday.

 

I realize how stressful it is to learn about more cases developing. This continuing “invisible threat” makes us feel like we are never going to get through this…but we will. We have been very fortunate to weather the last eight months of the pandemic with staff and residents having none to a few minor symptoms and no hospitalizations. Therapeutics are coming and vaccines are on the horizon. We will get through this…together!

God Bless!

Effective Nov. 24, 2020

  • Window Visits Allowed!

Great news! We were just informed that the Governor’s office has officially changed course on its guidance regarding window visits at Long-Term Care Facilities, stating that they will be allowed during the holidays, at the discretion of each facility. We are definitely in agreement with the change and are happy that families will be able to have this type of connection with their loved ones at Marklund in addition to virtual visits.
Please note: all window visits must be pre-arranged with the QIDP in each facility.

Now we all have one more thing to be thankful for this week!

Effective Nov. 20, 2020

  • Wasmond Employee Tests Positive:

Last night, we received confirmation that a direct care employee at the Marklund Wasmond Center (MWC) in Elgin tested positive for COVID-19. This person was last in the building on Sunday, Nov. 15, and learned she had been exposed to someone with the virus offsite.
Administration and nursing will conduct contact tracing for staff and begin the testing process on those who fit the criteria for exposure. All residents will be tested.

Effective Nov. 19, 2020:

  • Testing Status:
    • Hyde Center, Geneva:

We received all negative test results on residents and staff at the Richard Home (MRH), along with any staff included in the Orientation testing. The next round of testing at MRH will be completed Monday.

  • Testing Status:
    • Philip Center, Bloomingdale:

A second asymptomatic staff member has been identified through the on-site testing completed on Monday. This person was last in the building Wednesday, Nov. 18. We will continue to do testing on all staff and residents until we have two full rounds of negative results.

  • Virtual Visitation Only:

Due to the Tier 3 Mitigations imposed by Gov. Pritzker which go into effect as of tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 20, all Marklund sites will restrict visitations to the virtual format only. Appointments must be made through the QIDPs in the homes, or nurse managers if the Qs are not available.

We understand that this will be a difficult time for everyone as more restrictions are imposed on our state. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate through this time. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any concerns.

Effective Nov. 17, 2020:

  • Testing Status:
    • Wasmond Center, Elgin:

I am happy to report that the Wasmond Center (MWC) received all negative results for the 2nd round of testing completed last week.

  • Testing Status:
    • Hyde Center, Geneva:

Residents and staff at the Richard Home (MRH), along with any staff identified last week through contact tracing to the Orientee who had a positive test result, went through another round of testing yesterday. Results should be available on Wednesday.

  • Testing Status:
    • Philip Center, Bloomingdale:

We also received all negative results for the second group of residents and staff tested on-site last Thursday. All residents and staff will go through two more rounds of testing, this week and next.

  • Marklund Day School News:

Due to a positive staff case, Marklund Day School-Bloomindale went on full remote as of this past Monday, Nov. 16. The students and staff who were in close contact with this person (within 6 feet for longer than 15 minutes) were notified and are required to quarantine  for 14 days. Marklund Day School-Geneva will move to full remote next Monday, Nov. 23. MDS-Elgin will remain open as usual.

  • MWC Visitation:

Cook County recently instituted a 14-day quarantine for anyone who comes into the county from another area.  IDPH (Illinois Department of Public Health) specifically mentioned that this restriction applies to visitors at long-term care facilities. MWC is located within Cook County. Therefore, due to this restriction as well as the changing weather, MWC can only allow virtual visitations for the foreseeable future.

  • NEW STATE RESTRICTIONS:

Gov. Pritzker announced today that the entire state is moving to Tier 3 mitigations as of Friday, Nov. 20. New restrictions specifically placed on long-term care facilities includes suspending all indoor or outdoor visitation, communal dining, group activities and hair salon services.
I will share more information as it becomes available.

Effective Nov. 13, 2020:

Well, it wouldn’t be Friday the 13th in 2020 without another COVID Update.

  • Positive staff cases:
    • Hyde Center, Geneva:

From the on-site staff testing completed at the Marklund Richard Home, we had one positive test result for an asymptomatic staff member. This person last worked on Monday, Nov. 9.
Another staff member who normally works at the Tommy Home (MTH) but who picked up a shift at MRH on Tuesday, Nov. 10, tested positive at an offsite facility this week. This employee had not worked at MTH recently so no additional testing of staff or residents at that home is necessary.
Another round of testing for all residents and staff at MRH will be completed Monday.

  • Positive staff cases:
    • Philip Center

An asymptomatic staff member at MPC also tested positive for COVID-19 as a result of the first round of on-site testing. All residents had negative results as have all other staff so far. Other staff results are still pending. The nursing staff will initiate another round of testing next week.

  • Marklund Day School News:

Day School administration has reported seeing an increase of student and staff illness in both our Bloomingdale and Geneva campuses. This week, 10 individuals (both staff and students) reported COVID-like symptoms across all three campuses and one student at the Bloomingdale campus tested positive for COVID-19. This student has not been in attendance since Tuesday, Oct. 27, therefore, there is no risk of exposure to the students who have been in-person. As a result, Marklund Day School will be moving to full remote starting on Monday, Nov. 23. The school will remain on full remote instruction through the winter holiday break.

Effective Nov. 12, 2020

  • Positive staff cases:
    • Hyde Center, Geneva:

We received word that an orientee in this week’s New Employee Orientation class tested positive for COVID. This person had not been in any of the homes at all, just attending orientation in the Hyde Center. Our nursing department has completed contact tracing for any staff who may have been exposed and are working on getting the first round of testing taken care of today.

  • Testing updates:
    • Philip Center, Bloomingdale:

The first round of testing on staff and residents at MPC has been completed as of today. Results should hopefully arrive within 48 hours. The second round will be implemented next week.

  • Testing updates:
    • Hyde Center Campus, Geneva:

All residents of the Marklund Richard Home (MRH) have tested negative in the first round. Seven of the eight staff are also negative with the results of the last pending test due tomorrow. Round 2 for all will be completed Monday.

  • Testing updates:
    • Wasmond Center, Elgin:

In addition, we received good news on all of the first round of tests completed on those staff and residents at MWC who were identified through contact tracing to being exposed to a positive staff member earlier this week. All were negative. The second round will be taken today.
Kudos to our nursing teams for managing all of this extra testing on top of their day jobs. Marklund is blessed to have such dedicated, caring employees.

Effective Nov. 2, 2020

  • Philip Center resident tests negative

Great news! We received a negative test result on the Philip Center (MPC) resident in Bloomingdale. With this new negative result, consistent with the testing time line over four days, MPC Medical Director Dr. Asta Astrauskas is confident that the positive in the hospital was in fact a false positive.  The resident has been taken off isolation and no further testing on staff or other residents is required.

  • Staff, resident COVID updates:

I am happy to report that we continue to receive negative results for the on-site staff tests completed last week at Tommy and Sayers homes in Geneva, with the exception of one test that was damaged during shipping. Following IDPH requirements, staff and residents at the Dreher Home will have one more round of tests today, along with the retest for the employee’s that had gotten damaged.

  • Mask up during holiday group gatherings:

With the increase in COVID-positivity across the entire state of Illinois, IDPH is recommending that all individuals wear a mask AND maintain at least 6 feet of distance from anyone that does not live in their household.
During the upcoming holidays, it is important that we make sure to do whatever we can to protect ourselves, our families, our residents and students, and our co-workers by following the most current safety guidelines.
Thank you for your continued dedication to staying safe during this pandemic!

Effective Oct. 29, 2020

  • Resident in isolation at Philip Center

A resident of the Philip Center (MPC) in Bloomingdale is being cared for in isolation at MPC after returning from a hospital stay in which he ultimately had a positive COVID test result. This resident went to the hospital on Monday for a non-COVID situation and had been given a COVID test which came back negative. After a transfer to a second hospital, a second test was conducted upon arrival, which was negative. During the course of his stay at the hospital, a third test was conducted which came back positive. This confirms that if the positive is accurate, the resident did not contract the virus while at MPC, but instead from the hospital or someone at the hospital. In this case, we will not need to do contact tracing or testing of staff and other residents. Prior to discharge back to MPC, the hospital administered another COVID test which was negative.  MPC will administer one final test today, and the resident will remain in isolation until a second negative result is obtained.

  • MHC and MWC staff, resident COVID updates:

I am happy to report that we have received all negative results on all on-site tests completed this week on residents at the Hyde Center homes, and staff and residents at the Wasmond Center. We are still awaiting results on second-round testing for staff at the Tommy and Sayers homes, and a second round is scheduled for next Monday in Dreher Home for both staff and residents.

I’d like to again thank those parents/guardians who have been so understanding of all that we have gone through and all the precautions we’ve taken since the start of the pandemic.

Effective Oct. 27, 2020:

  • Long-Term Care Mitigations Begin Wednesday in Elgin

Following the trend facing Kane and DuPage counties, suburban Cook County (Region 10) will have mitigation efforts put into effect on Wednesday, 10/28. So, just like the current status facing the Marklund Hyde Center and Philip Center, the new restrictions will directly affect the Wasmond Center. This involves restrictions noted in the chart below. Resurgence mitigation also continues in place for Region 8 which affects our Geneva and Bloomingdale facilities.

In addition, none of our facilities can move up to the next phase of the State’s Long-Term Care Reopening Plan until at least 14 days after Regions 8 & 10 return to its target numbers regarding COVID-19 cases.

  • Staff, resident COVID updates:

Happy to report that at the Wasmond Center (MWC), all staff and resident tests from last Friday came back negative. The second round were sent to the lab last night.
Also, in Geneva, while results from last week’s testing came back negative, testing continues for staff and residents at the Sayers, Tommy and Dreher Homes.

  • PPE Supplies:

An important role of the Purchasing Department is to keep a close count on our supplies of PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment) including masks, face shields, goggles, gowns and gloves. Since the pandemic struck in Spring, they have been doing a terrific job of locating, purchasing, storing and distributing supplies we need to keep our staff and residents safe.
To date, we are well stocked and not experiencing a shortage of supplies.

And, thank you for your patience surrounding our need to follow the state-imposed restrictions. Our employees are working hard to provide the Marklund standard of care even in the midst of constant policy and procedure changes. We look forward to the day when we are back so some kind of normal routine.

Effective Oct. 23, 2020:

  • New positive staff case at Wasmond Center

We received notification earlier today that a temp agency CNA that was assigned to a shift yesterday at the Wasmond Center has tested positive for COVID-19. This person worked the evening shift on the South hallway but left early.
Just as if this person was a Marklund employee, we are starting the process of contact tracing and testing staff and residents at MWC who may have been exposed. In addition, the facility will be fully disinfected.
This is the first time we have experienced this kind of situation with agency staff. All temp agencies that we contract with must follow our policies, which require that no one be sent to a Marklund site who had been tested for exposure elsewhere, or who has symptoms. Those who do get assigned to Marklund are screened upon entry.
We currently have no new updates on testing completed at the Geneva campus.

Effective Oct. 22, 2020:

  • Long-Term Care Mitigations Begin Friday in Geneva, Bloomingdale

Following Gov. Pritzker’s tightened restrictions on the region that includes Kane and DuPage counties, IDPH released updated guidance for Long-Term Care Facilities which states that facilities in Region 8 (MHC and MPC, not MWC) will need to impose the Tier 1 mitigation as of tomorrow. This first level of adjustments include:

 

 

 

 

 

These adjustments will have to stay in place for 14 days after the region returns to target ranges with regard to the number of COVID-19 cases.

  • Staff, resident COVID updates:

As of yesterday, we received 2 positive results in Geneva: one staff member in the Sayers Home (MSH) who had been tested outside of work, and one resident at the Dreher Home (MDH). The resident had been in isolation for over a week due to symptoms so we believe the isolation has been very effective. All of the remaining residents at MDH have tested negative for the second time, as have MDH staff .

Round one of resident testing at MSH has been completed, along with contact tracing/testing on staff. The results are pending.

Results for Tommy Home (MTH) residents and staff are all negative. An additional round of tests for MTH and MDH will be completed next week.

Fortunately, all affected residents who had previously tested positive in Geneva are stable and asymptomatic at his time.

At the Wasmond Center (MWC), all first-round resident tests have come back negative, with the second round being taken today. We also received all negative results on staff, and will re-test staff on Friday.

We appreciate patience and understanding from families as we navigate through these unusual times.

Effective Oct. 19, 2020

  • One staff tests positive at Wasmond Center

I was informed this morning that one direct care employee at the Marklund Wasmond Center has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The last shift this person worked was Wednesday, Oct. 14, on the Center’s South Side.
Administration and nursing have already begun the contact tracing process for determining which staff will need to get tested. Employees will be notified by Michelle Orwig, administrator, or by a member of the Nursing Department if contact tracing shows a potential exposure situation.
Working with the Cook County Health Department and following IDPH guidelines, our nursing team will conduct tests on all residents who may have been exposed.
Due to the positive case, MWC has been moved back to Phase 1 of the IDPH Long-Term Care Reopening Plan, only allowing virtual visits.

  • No new cases on Geneva Campus

Also, this morning we received all negative test results from additional staff testing completed last week in our Geneva locations. There are no new additional cases as of today on the Geneva campus.
Residents and affected staff from the Tommy and Dreher homes will be retested again today, while the Sayers Home will hopefully have the final round of testing on Wednesday. Each home has to be free of positive cases for 14 days and receive two rounds of negative results in order to be moved up to Phase 2.
The Marklund Richard Home advanced to Phase 2 as of this morning, Oct. 19.

Effective Oct. 16, 2020

  • Additional Positive Cases on Geneva Campus

Since my last update on Wednesday, there have been 4 additional positive COVID-19 results which were discovered from our testing done as part of the contact tracing process. Two of the cases are staff—one from the Tommy Home (MTH) and one from the Dreher Home (MDH). The other two are residents of MTH, but both are currently asymptomatic. The bulk of the other test results received this morning have come back negative, with just a couple still outstanding. The residents who have tested positive are being cared for in isolation and are continuing to do very well, while positive staff are quarantining at home. Our nursing team will continue to contact trace and determine if additional staff need to be tested. All residents at Tommy, Sayers and Dreher homes will be retested as well, as we need to receive two rounds of negative results in order to stop checking.

  • Following Procedures

This recent uptick in cases is sure to cause concern and anxiety among staff and families/guardians. To try to alleviate concerns, I want to assure everyone that we can be confident in the skill and knowledge of our nursing teams at all Marklund sites to follow all CDC, IDPH, and County Health Department procedures when it comes to contact tracing and testing.

Some staff have expressed concern as to WHY they may need to be tested or why they have not been. Surveillance testing is conducted as part of contact tracing. If you have potentially come into contact with a COVID-positive staff member or resident, or a high-risk environment, testing is required until two consecutive negative tests are confirmed via laboratory testing. Contact tracing for Administrative staff will be evaluated based on the CDC’s Close Contact definition (being within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more). This does not really apply for direct care since all are tested if they have worked the same shift with an employee or resident who has tested positive. Employees will be notified by their supervisor or by a member of the Nursing Department if contact tracing shows a potential exposure situation.

As a reminder the CDC has reported that 40 percent of all positive cases are asymptomatic. Therefore, we use testing as a mitigation effort to reduce COVID-19 transmission by early detection of the virus and by identifying asymptomatic positive individuals.

Thank you for the trust and confidence you have shown our direct care team during this trying time.

Effective Oct. 14, 2020

  • Positive Cases on Geneva Campus

This morning I received reports that six additional staff on the Geneva campus have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
–Five cases are direct care staff who were detected through the contact tracing/Marklund-based testing taken at the Tommy (MTH) and Sayers (MSH) homes.
–The sixth is in the Administrative Wing in the Hyde Center and completed separate testing after an off-site exposure.

One of the newly positive employees had worked in MSH and then picked up a shift at the Dreher Home (MDH) prior to last week’s positive staff case at MTH/MSH being discovered.

Therefore, all residents at MDH will be tested, as will additional staff who are identified through contact tracing. We are also in the process of conducting contact tracing on administrative staff.

Please note that we are following all IDPH and CDC protocol with regard to sanitizing and deep cleaning of affected areas.

At this point, MTH, MSH, MRH, and MDH are in Phase 1 of the State of Illinois’ Long-Term Care Facility Reopening Plan, which restricts visitation and outings to virtual experiences only.  Reminder: Outdoor Visits are allowed once we are in Phase 2, while Indoor Visits are welcome in Phase 3.

As always, reach out to me directly with questions or concerns. My contact information is 630-593-5476 or gfonger@marklund.org.

Effective Oct. 13, 2020

  • New Positive Cases at Geneva’s Tommy Home

Since my last update, two additional residents of the Marklund Tommy Home have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, bringing the count to three. One is asymptomatic and the result came from the first round of screening of all residents at both Tommy and Sayers homes. The other was symptomatic and tested prior to the first round being completed. All are stable and not presenting any symptoms today. Following IDPH and CDC protocol, the affected residents are being isolated, and staff are continuing to wear appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment).
Results for the first round of staff testing are still pending.
Round 2 testing for residents and staff is scheduled to be completed tomorrow.

Please feel free to reach out to me directly with questions or concerns. My contact information is 630-593-5476 or gfonger@marklund.org.

Effective Oct. 9, 2020

  • First, the GOOD news:
    RESIDENTS & STAFF AT GENEVA’S RICHARD HOME RECEIVE NEGATIVE TEST RESULTS

I am pleased to report that all of the Marklund Richard Home staff and residents who went through two rounds of testing for the COVID-19 virus have received negative test results. Based on these results and our meeting all other requirements, we are hopeful that the Richard Home will move back to Phase 2 of the Illinois’ Long Term Care facilities reopening plan by Oct. 16, and Phase 3 by Oct. 31, if there are no additional positive cases.

  • Now, the not-so-good news:
    NEW POSITIVE CASES AT GENEVA’S TOMMY & SAYERS HOMES

We received notification this morning that a staff member who works at both the Tommy Home (MTH) and Sayers Home (MSH) on the Geneva campus and a resident of MTH have tested positive for Coronavirus. The staff member’s last shift was Tuesday night. The resident was tested after presenting a fever on Wednesday. That individual, only our second positive resident case since March, has no other symptoms. Per IDPH requirements, we have already completed contact tracing and identified those employees who will need to be tested in addition to all of the residents at both MTH and MSH. We have enough kits on hand to test all 32 residents today, and are working with the lab to get additional kits delivered ASAP for the staff. These cases will move MTH and MSH back to Phase 1, restricting visits to being virtual only, modifying group activities, and having limited communal dining.

  • A Note about In-Person Visitation Requirements:

Any parent/guardian who violates our visitation policy, particularly with regard to social distancing and mask wearing, will be given a warning, and then the next time it happens, will have their visitation rights suspended. If we have already seen this behavior in the past, the visitors will be given a verbal warning before their next visit. Marklund staff is looking out for the health and safety of all residents and therefore we will not accept any type of aggression. If anyone wishes to speak to me regarding our policy, please feel free to call or email me directly at 630-593-5476 or gfonger@marklund.org.

Effective Oct. 7, 2020

  • RESIDENTS & STAFF AT GENEVA HOME HAVE NEGATIVE TEST RESULTS

We are very pleased to report that the first round of tests completed on residents and staff at the Marklund Richard Home (MRH) in Geneva have come back negative for the COVID-19 virus.
Per IDPH requirements, we need to do two rounds of testing. The second round will be completed today and will be overnighted to the lab tonight.
We are encouraged that no one is presenting with any COVID-like symptoms at this point.

Effective Oct. 2, 2020

  • GENEVA CAMPUS EMPLOYEE TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID-19

We received news this morning that a staff member at the Marklund Hyde Center (MHC) campus in Geneva, received positive test results for the COVID-19 virus. Her most recent shift was the morning of Monday, Sept. 28, at the Marklund Richard Home (MRH) during which time she wore a medical mask and face shield, as is required by all staff.

Following requirements from the Kane County Health Department as well as IDPH, we are in the process of conducting contact tracing, and will do two rounds of testing on all MRH residents and any other individuals who may have come in contact with this employee.

As always, all employees and residents will continue to be screened for symptoms at every shift change, and staff is continuing to clean high-touch surfaces as often as possible. In addition, our environmental services team will disinfect all areas using the new sprayer devices.

At this point, no other staff members or residents have been diagnosed with the virus.

Unfortunately, having this confirmed case pushes MRH back to Phase 1 of Illinois’ Long Term Care Reopening Plan. This means returning to:

  • Virtual Visits Only
  • Limited Communal Dining
  • Virtual/Modified group activities
  • No Outings
  • Telehealth Visits/Medical-Necessary Offsite Visits

To progress from this Phase, we will need to be clear of all cases for 14 days.

Additional updates to follow as more information becomes available.

Effective Sept. 30, 2020

  • SYMPTOM CLUSTER AT GENEVA HOME

As of this morning, we have three staff members at the Marklund Dreher Home in Geneva who reported COVID-19-like symptoms within 72 hours of each other.

Per 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.

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. In addition, we are disinfecting each home using new disinfectant sprayer devises along with traditional methods.

Effective Sept. 28, 2020

  • WASMOND CENTER STAFF RECEIVE NEGATIVE RESULTS

I am pleased to report that all of the Wasmond Center staff and residents who went through two rounds of testing for the COVID-19 virus have received negative test results. Based on these results and our meeting all other requirements, the Wasmond Center will move to Phase 3 of the Illinois’ Long Term Care facilities reopening plan on Saturday, Oct. 3.

As noted in a previous update, Phase 3 does allow us to hold Indoor Visits with restrictions and guidelines. These guidelines are meant to lessen the risk of exposure to our residents and staff. Keep in mind, any positive test will move the affected site back to Phase 1.

Outdoor visits remain the preferred option. When weather or other circumstances do not allow for outdoor visits, indoor visits may be scheduled.

–Visits are by appointment only. Please call the facility to schedule a visit. Each indoor visit will be limited to 30 minutes to allow for thorough cleaning/disinfection between scheduled visits.
–Indoor Visiting Hours: Monday – Friday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
–Evening/weekend visits are available upon request and if staffing allows.
–Visitors must be at least 18-years old and are limited to parents/guardians, siblings, and individuals listed on the guardian’s approved visitation list. Residents may have up to two visitors at a time, but visitors must be from the same household if visiting together. –(Exceptions may be made for younger siblings and compassionate care visits.)
Visitors must remain in the designated meeting area, and will not be able to use the building’s facilities (restrooms, water fountains, etc.)
–Visitors must be pre-screened on the phone by facility staff between 12-24 hours before their appointment time and be screened in person by facility staff at the time of their appointment.
–Visitors with any of the CDC COVID-19 Symptoms (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html) should not visit the facility! Please review the symptom list each time before coming to Marklund as the listed symptoms may change.

–Visitors must notify the facility’s Administrator or Director of Nursing immediately if they develop any of the COVID-19 symptoms listed on the CDC website within the three days following their visit.
–Residents with any of the COVID-19 symptoms listed on the CDC website will not be able to have in-person visits. Virtual visitation may be possible as an alternative for some of these situations.
–All visitors must wear a face covering/face mask at all times when on Marklund property for a visit, maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from residents, and practice proper hand hygiene.

In addition, I am pleased to report that by moving into Phase 3, our residents will also have some restrictions removed regarding activities. We will be allowed to resume the following:
–Outings for residents off facility grounds (modified to meet social distancing requirements, and outdoor settings preferred).
–Communal dining as long as residents can maintain 6-foot distance (formerly limited to 25% of seating capacity).

The care team and I cannot stress enough how important it is that all visitors follow these guidelines. We want to do whatever we can to keep your loved ones safe and healthy, as well as those who work with them. 24/7/365.

Effective Sept. 25, 2020

  • WASMOND CENTER RESIDENTS CLEARED

After two rounds of testing, all of the residents evaluated at the Marklund Wasmond Center have received negative test results for the COVID-19 virus.
IDPH regulations required that we test those residents and staff who had possibly been exposed to a PSP who had reported a positive result. Those individuals were identified through contact tracing.
Currently no other staff members have had a positive result. We are awaiting the report for the second round taken on employees.
Once through this testing process, we are confident that the Wasmond Center will advance to Phase 3 of the State’s Long Term Care facilities reopening plan.

Effective Sept. 21, 2020

  • GENEVA & BLOOMINGDALE SITES MOVE TO PHASE 3! INDOOR VISITS ALLOWED WITH RESTRICTIONS

Based on meeting requirements for the State of Illinois Long Term Care Reopening Plan, the Marklund Hyde Center and Philip Center have moved into Phase 3. While Outdoor Visits remain the preferred option during Phase 3, Indoor Visits will be allowed with the following guidelines. These guidelines are meant to lessen the risk of exposure to our residents and staff. Keep in mind, any positive test will move the affected site back to Phase 1.
* Outdoor visits remain the preferred option during Phase 3 due to decreased risk of exposure to COVID-19 for all residents and staff in our facilities. When weather or other circumstances do not allow for outdoor visits, indoor visits may be scheduled.
* Visits are by appointment only. Please call the facility to schedule a visit. Each indoor visit will be limited to 30 minutes to allow for thorough cleaning/disinfection between scheduled visits.
* Indoor Visiting Hours: Monday – Friday 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
* Evening/weekend visits are available upon request and if staffing/circumstances allow.
* Visitors must be at least 18-years old and are limited to parents/guardians, siblings, and individuals listed on the guardian’s approved visitation list. Residents may have up to two visitors at a time, but visitors must be from the same household if visiting together. (Exceptions may be made for younger siblings and compassionate care visits.)
* Visitors must remain in the designated meeting area, and will not be able to use the building’s facilities (restrooms, water fountains, etc.)
* Visitors must be pre-screened on the phone by facility staff between 12-24 hours before their appointment time and be screened in person by facility staff at the time of their appointment.
* Visitors with any of the CDC COVID-19 Symptoms (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html) should not visit the facility! Please review the symptom list each time before coming to Marklund as the listed symptoms may change.
* Visitors must notify the facility’s Administrator or Director of Nursing immediately if they develop any of the COVID-19 symptoms listed on the CDC website within the three days following their visit.
* Residents with any of the COVID-19 symptoms listed on the CDC website will not be able to have in-person visits. Virtual visitation may be possible as an alternative for some of these situations.
* All visitors must wear a face covering/face mask at all times when on Marklund property for a visit, maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from residents, and practice proper hand hygiene as directed by Marklund staff.
The Indoor Visitation Fact Sheet is attached to the email, and is also available on the Marklund website at www.marklund.org.
In addition, I am pleased to report that by moving into Phase 3, our residents will also have some restrictions removed regarding activities. We will be allowed to resume the following:
* Outings for residents off facility grounds (modified to meet social distancing requirements, and outdoor settings preferred)
* Communal dining as long as residents can maintain 6-foot distance (formerly limited to 25% of seating capacity)
* On-site hair salons can open.

  • WASMOND CENTER EMPLOYEES HAVE NEGATIVE TEST RESULTS

More great news! We are very pleased to report that in addition to the first round of COVID-19 tests that were negative for residents, the first round of tests completed on MWC staff have also come back negative. Only those who may have come in contact with the one staff member who had a positive result two weeks ago are being tested. We are still awaiting results of the second round of tests for those residents who had been identified through the contact tracing process. Employees will also take part in second-round testing this week.
Since MWC is currently in the testing process, it must remain in Phase 2. We anticipate it progressing to Phase 3 in the near future.

PHASE 3 INDOOR VISITATION FACT SHEET

Click here to see our Fact Sheet for Phase Three Indoor Visitation

Effective Sept. 11, 2020

  • WASMOND CENTER EMPLOYEE TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID

A Personal Support Professional (PSP) at the Marklund Wasmond Center (MWC) in Elgin, has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Her most recent shift was on Monday, Sept. 7, during which time she wore a medical mask, as is required by all staff.
This is the first positive case we’ve had since early June.
Per new IDPH requirements, we will need to do testing of residents and staff at MWC who may have come in contact with her.
In addition, all staff and residents will continue to be screened for symptoms at every shift change, and staff is continuing to clean high-touch surfaces as often as possible.
At this point, no other staff members or residents have been diagnosed with the virus.

PHASE 2 OUTDOOR VISITATION FAQs

Please click HERE to see our “Phase 2 Outdoor Visitation FAQs” sheet.

Effective Aug. 31, 2020

  • FLU SHOTS WILL BE MANDATORY

For the 2020-21 flu season, Marklund will make the influenza vaccination mandatory for all staff and residents.

Requiring an annual flu vaccine demonstrates our commitment to protect the safety and health of our residents, many of whom already have compromised immune systems, as well as our staff.

Flu vaccination for health care personnel has been recommended by health facilities for years, yet many people choose not to get vaccinated. So, while the nation still faces the COVID-19 pandemic, and specific treatments and vaccinations are not yet available, we felt this is one way we could work to keep our Marklund family healthy. Staff who receive the vaccination not only help control the spread of the flu virus to others on our campuses but to their loved ones in their own homes as well.

Flu vaccinations will be offered to staff free of charge during flu clinics held at each campus this September and October. (Announcements as to specific dates and times will be made in the Connections employee newsletter.)
The only exemptions to this mandatory policy include:
* Medical contraindication to receiving the vaccine
* Religious belief that prohibits the vaccination
* Received flu shot elsewhere
* Personal

Making the flu vaccine mandatory is a step that has also been taken by many of the health care organizations throughout the nation.  We hope that families who plan on visiting their loved ones during the upcoming flu season will consider getting vaccinated as well for the same reason—to keep our residents and staff as healthy and safe as possible.

Effective Aug. 25, 2020

  • UPDATES MADE TO MODIFIED TEMPORARY ABSENCE POLICY

All staff received a the updated Modified Temporary Absence Policy today via email. Please review the policy in its entirety for important changes. Highlights include the following:

Implementing Bonuses for Essential Staff
Hyde, Philip and Wasmond Center Essential Staff listed below will receive a 10% bonus for hours worked from 11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 6 through 11:59 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31:  PSPs* (this includes full-time, part-time, IHR and Therapy Aides and other positions who are picking up as PSPs), TAAs, Nurses, Housekeepers, Houseparents, Laundry, and Dietary. *Please note that salaried staff who pick up essential staff shifts are not eligible for the 10% bonus. In addition, Day School Essential Staff listed below will receive a 10% bonus while working in the Multi-Needs classes and a 20% bonus while working in Life-Skills classes for hours worked from 11 p.m. Saturday, August 22 through 11:59 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31: Paraprofessionals, Teachers, Nurse, BCBA, Instructional Coaches, RBT, Housekeepers, and Dietary.

Mandatory Quarantine for Travelers—including 24-hour trips
To protect our residents and staff, we are implementing a mandatory 14-day quarantine period for staff who will be returning from traveling for 24-hours or more to any state determined to be a hot spot for COVID-19.
Any parents or guardians who plan on visiting with our residents will also be required to follow this policy by waiting 14 days after returning from a high-risk state before coming to a Marklund site to see their loved ones.

  • ADDITIONAL PPE TO BE PROVIDED

Direct care staff will be provided with new PPE (personal protective equipment) including goggles and/or face shields. Direct care staff will be required to wear the equipment when providing personal care or when in close proximity (6 feet or less) for a prolonged period of time of 15 minutes or more.

  • UNDERSTANDING THE PHASES

While Illinois remains in Phase 4 of the governor’s Restore Illinois plan, All of our residential facilities are currently in Phase 2 of the State of Illinois Updated Interim Guidance for Nursing Homes and Other Long-Term Care Facilities and Programs.

Progressing or regressing through the Phases will involve many different factors, including case status in the facility, case status in the community, staffing levels, personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning supply usage and a testing plan and response strategy. Changes in any of these factors could mandate a return to a stricter Phase with more stringent mitigation efforts. The State of Illinois can impose new restrictions/recommendations on facilities based on community virus metrics – this could include temporary stricter visitation, dining and activity policies.

  • A FEW CHANGES OF NOTE FOR VISITATION:

Guidance for Phase 2 will not change much in terms of what we are currently doing at our facilities; however there are a few things that will impact parents and guardians:
* While two people can visit a resident at the same time, they must be from the same household. Therefore
any parents, guardian, family or other approved visitors that do not live in the same household will need to schedule separate visit times moving forward.
* All visitors must additionally sign in with their name, address, and phone number when visiting (and email if available). This is to assist in contact tracing effort should there be a potential exposure at the facility.
* Visitors also must contact the facility Administrator immediately if they have an onset of any COVID symptoms in the three days following a visit to Marklund. The list of current symptoms can be found on the CDC website.
* Unfortunately, we are still unable to offer indoor visitation at this time. Indoor visitation will be allowed starting in Phase 3, although outdoor visitation will remain the primary means of visiting our residents as it offers the safest environment both for our residents and our visitors.

Marklund will communicate with all parents and guardians any time we will be moving forward or backward a phase, or have any additional mitigations imposed by the state.

Effective July 24, 2020

  • MANDATORY QUARANTINE FOR TRAVELERS

To protect our residents and staff, we have decided to follow the City of Chicago/Cook County’s Emergency Travel Order and implementing a mandatory 14-day quarantine period for staff who will be returning from any state determined to be a hot spot for COVID-19. Our policy specifically focuses on travel to a high-risk state for 72 hours or more. This requirement is included in the most recent update to our Temporary Modified Absence Policy and effective Tuesday, July 28, 2020.
Specific details regarding the quarantine is included in the Policy, which was emailed to all staff Friday, July 24. Be sure to read our updated policy in its entirety.
Any parents or guardians who plan on visiting with our residents will also be required to follow this policy by waiting 14 days after returning from a high risk state before coming to a Marklund site to see their loved ones.
As of today, the high risk states are:
Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah. You can also click on this link which will take you to the updated list of high risk states:
https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/sites/covid-19/home/emergency-travel-order.html

Effective June 30, 2020

  • FINAL WEEKLY UPDATE

Since we officially moved into Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan last Friday, I will only be sending out updates on an as-needed basis. I have said it before but I couldn’t be more proud of the way our entire staff stepped up and did whatever was necessary to maintain the excellent care for our residents and students throughout this pandemic. It is a very scary time for everyone and our staff never let our residents and students down.
We continue to report that we currently have no positive COVID-19 cases among residents or staff. Several employees have been tested over the past 3 months but only 6 ended up with positive results and had no hospitalizations. One resident tested positive for the virus, and she recovered amazingly quickly.
We know we’ve been very blessed, and with many areas seeing growth in the number of cases again, are realistic in understanding that we are not out of the woods yet. We are diligently following all CDC and IDPH guidelines with regard to social distancing between staff, wearing masks, deep cleaning, and allowing only outdoor visitations, so we pray we will continue on the path of keeping everyone safe while allowing more staff to return to the campuses.
Our next hurdle is determining the best course of action for resuming class at Marklund Day School. Staff is currently reviewing the newest guidelines sent out by the Illinois State Board of Education and will determine how to provide the best education—whether in person, remotely, or a combination of both—to our students.
Residentially, we know that the CDS program will be closed at least through Aug. 31st, and we are hopeful that it will open soon after that. We are waiting on guidance from IDPH concerning that.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me at 630-593-5476 or at gfonger@marklund.org.

Effective June 23, 2020

  • MOVING INTO PHASE 4: Outlining the plan!

Monday morning, the State of Illinois announced guidelines for reopening and restoring Illinois businesses by moving into Phase 4: Revitalization, effective June 26, 2020. These restrictions will be re-evaluated and possibly revised throughout Phase 4 by State of Illinois officials. We will keep you informed of changes. In addition, an updated Modified Absence Policy will be sent to all staff this week.
Based on the guidelines, our administrative/office and non-direct care areas will adhere to updated guidelines including the following:
The Revitalization Phase of the Restore Illinois allows gatherings/meetings of up to 50 people with proper social distancing and wearing masks.
Everyone must be accountable to continue to social distance, frequently wash hands, and wear face coverings to maintain progress in overcoming COVID-19. Please be sure to be especially conscious to cover coughs and sneezes to reduce potential spread of illness as well as reduce any concerns of others.
Continue staff entry health screenings for COVID-19 symptoms via in-person with temperature testing and conversation.
Offices/Common Areas may operate at maximum occupancy of 50%, encouraging staggered start/end times and attendance days. Those who can work remotely may do so on a rotating basis per manager’s approval.

  • NO NEW COVID-19 CASES

We are pleased to report that we currently have no positive COVID-19 cases among residents or staff.

Effective June 19, 2020

  • WONDERFUL NEWS—OUTDOOR VISITS ALLOWED BY APPOINTMENT!

IDPH announced this morning that Long-Term Care Facilities may allow outdoor visitation for residents when THE FOLLOWING conditions are met:
-Visitations must be limited to two visitors at a time per resident.
-Visits are limited to outdoor areas only.
-For the duration of each visit, the resident and visitor must wear a face covering.
-Visitors must schedule an appointment with the Q of each facility (or the Nursing Unit Coordinator at MPC) to visit a resident.
-The maximum number of residents and visitors in the outdoors space at one time is based on the size of the outdoor space. Each Marklund facility will determine the maximum number of residents and visitors who can simultaneously occupy that area. Staff are required by IDPH to ensure social distancing between the resident and all visitors and the use of face coverings.
-Each facility will set the maximum number of visitors allowed in a single day.
-Staff will prescreen visitors via phone with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) symptom checklist not more than 24 hours in advance. Visitors will also be screened on arrival with the CDC symptom checklist and a temperature check. Visitors displaying symptoms should not visit the facility.
-Residents with active COVID-19 infection, either laboratory confirmed or symptomatic, are not allowed to participate in outdoor visits. (Currently we have no positive cases!) Residents receiving visitors will also be screened with the CDC symptom checklist prior to visitor’s arrival.
-Each facility may set the time duration of each visit. Marklund may cancel visits at any given time, depending on the infection status of the facility, staffing levels, weather conditions, and/or other factors affecting the ability to conduct safe visits.
-These guidelines are part of Marklund’s new COVID-19 Visitation Policy, effective 6.19.20.
-We are so happy to welcome visitors back to Marklund. It is certainly something that everyone needs
after this very long time apart.
-Happy Fathers Day to all the dads and those who serve in father-like roles!

Effective June 16, 2020

  • NO NEW CASES

We presently have no positive COVID-19 reports, nor any clusters of symptom-like illnesses. All residents appear to be doing well. We are continuing to follow protocol of screening all staff when they arrive at work and all residents at shift changes. In addition, all employees are wearing medical masks and are practicing social distancing requirements.

  • PREPARING FOR PHASE 4

Current indications are for Illinois to move into Phase 4 on June 26. Our administrative team is preparing for what that means for Marklund staff and residents. At this point, IDPH (Illinois Dept. of Public Health) has already determined that any CDS (Community Day Services) programs will remain closed through Aug. 31, and that visitor restrictions will continue to be upheld. We know that IHCA (Illinois Health Care Association) representatives are reaching out to IDPH to move up the date in which we allow visitors. We will keep you updated on this matter.

Effective June 9, 2020

  • NO NEW CASES

We are pleased to report that we have not had any positive COVID-19 cases since last week, nor any clusters of symptom-like illnesses. We are continuing to screen all staff when they arrive at work and all residents at shift changes. Direct care staff self-screen at mid-shift as well. All employees will continue to wear masks until further notice.

  • GENEVA CAMPUS SUMMER GAMES

MHC will hold a modified version of Summer Games this Saturday, June 13, beginning at 10:15 a.m. This event is for direct care staff and residents only; no volunteers or family/guardians. Our Marketing & Communications team will post photos and videos on Marklund’s social media sites during and after the games. (Reminder: the Wasmond Center will hold its Summer Games with staff and residents only on June 26.)

  • VIRTUAL EVENT REPLACES ANNUAL GOLF OUTING

The 38th Annual Golf Classic is now going to be a virtual event since we cannot host large events this summer. Please consider joining us for this fun and “unconventional” VIRTUAL Cyber Classic on Thursday, Aug. 27, from 6-7 p.m.  Participation is FREE, but you must register to receive the link.  Registration and sponsorship opportunities can be found at: www.marklund.org/cyberclassic/.

Effective June 3, 2020

  • GENEVA NURSE HAS POSITIVE RE-TEST

We learned yesterday afternoon that a nurse on the Geneva campus who had tested positive for COVID-19 in mid May had a re-test come back positive. She works in the Van Der Molen Home and the Haverkampf Home. She is currently asymptomatic and had been following protocol with being screened at the start of her shift, wearing masks, self-screening at mid-shift, washing hands and using hand sanitizer. We will continue with our practice of screening all residents at every shift change and monitor them along with staff who work in those homes.

  • SYMPTOM-LIKE CLUSTER AT SAYERS HOME, GENEVA

Three staff members who work in the Marklund Sayers Home (MSH)—a therapy aide, a PSP and an IHR PSP —have reported COVID-like symptoms within a 72-hour period. They each will continue to self-monitor symptoms and follow up with their own physicians as necessary. Again, all screening and PPE (personal protective equipment) protocols remain in effect.

  • RESIDENTS / STAFF

To date, since mid-March, we have had one resident and six staff members test positive for COVID-19. All have recovered without hospitalization.

Effective June 2, 2020

  • Mandatory In-Service for Returning Staff

Per Illinois’ Phase 3 guidelines, one of the things that we are required to do when “reopening” the organization to those who have been working remotely is train our returning staff in regard to COVID-19 and related policies. All non-direct care staff should receive copies of the policies from their supervisors today.

Starting June 3rd, there will be an in-service sheet at the front desk of the Hyde Center, Philip Center, Ann Haskins Center at Marklund Day School and Wasmond Center. Please note that everyone except PSPs and nurses will need to sign one of the in-service sheets.
Copies of the in-service will also be available at the desks in case staff did not receive them prior to arriving at work.
These in-service sheets will stay at the front desks for the entire month of June for staff to sign as they rotate back in.

  • PHILIP CENTER SUMMER GAMES

MPC staff will run a modified version of Summer Games this Friday, beginning at 10:30 a.m. This event is for direct care staff and residents only; no volunteers or family/guardians. Please watch Marklund’s social media sites for photos and videos from the games. (Reminder: a similar format will take place at the Hyde Center on June 13, and at the Wasmond Center on June 26.)

  • RESIDENTS / STAFF

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

Effective May 29, 2020

  • ILLINOIS IS NOW IN PHASE 3!

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.

  • VISITATION RESTRICTION

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.

  • RESIDENTS / STAFF

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

  • RESIDENTS / STAFF

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.

  • SUMMER GAMES MODIFIED FOR STAFF & RESIDENTS ONLY

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.

  • MARKLUND SOCIAL MEDIA

Follow us on SOCIAL MEDIA to stay connected. Find us on Facebook, (www.facebook.com/MarklundCharity), Twitter (www.twitter.com/MarklundCharity) and Instagram (www.instagram.com/marklundcharity)

  • REOPENING PLAN

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

Effective May 24, 2020

  • COVID-19 SYMPTOM-LIKE CLUSTER AT WASMOND CENTER

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).

  • RESIDENTS CLEAR

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

  • TODAY’S CHICAGO TRIBUNE ARTICLE

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 May 12, 2020

  • Phase Projections for Reopening Plan at Marklund

As of today, based on information provided by Gov. Pritzker’s office, we have created a projection of how we are seeing possible phases for our getting back to normal—or at least a new normal. This is obviously our prediction for the best case scenario, and dates/specific guidelines are still subject to change.
As we are currently in Phase 2, we see Phase 3 going into effect on May 31. At that point, Social Distancing/Wearing Masks/Screening for fever will remain active, our School/CDS programs will remain closed, gatherings will be allowed only for groups of 10 and under, and Outings and visitor restrictions will still be in place. Small groups (under 10) may work in the office although telework is still encouraged for non-essential staff, and intercampus travel will be allowed only as needed.
In Phase 4, which we hope will go into effect in mid-July, we see more restrictions lifted, particularly with regard to allowing residence visitors, outings with guidelines, larger gatherings of up to 50 people, welcoming back volunteers with restrictions, and reopening of our School and CDS programs under specific guidelines. During this phase we also expect to continue the Social Distancing/Mask/Screening protocol.
I will continue to update everyone on the phases as we move forward.

  • No Residential COVID-19 Cases

We are pleased to report that as of today, there are no positive cases of COVID-19 among our residential population.

  • Celebrating our Nurses and Teachers

Last week, we celebrated our sincere appreciation of our nurses and teachers during National Nurses Week and National Teacher Appreciation Week. These staff members have taken on so much more over these past 7+ weeks and have done so with incredible passion and professionalism. We are blessed to have such amazing people on the Marklund team!

Effective April 28, 2020

  • COVID TEST STATUS

Effective today, we continue to have no COVID-19 cases.

  • GOVERNOR EXTENDS STAY-AT-HOME ORDER

Governor JB Pritzker extended the stay-at-home order through Saturday, May 30. This order will go into effect on May 1. However, an Illinois court temporarily blocked the order, due to a lawsuit by Rep. Darren Bailey, which says the governor exceeded his authority and is violating residents’ civil rights. The Illinois Attorney General is working on behalf of the governor to have that ruling overturned. We anticipate the Governor’s order to be upheld.

  • MASKS REQUIRED FOR ALL STAFF

As of May 1st, all employees will wear a mask when being tested by the nurse before starting work and whenever they will be closer than 6 feet to another employee or resident.

  • ENFORCING SOCIAL DISTANCING ON SITE

Marklund will be putting up “Maximum Occupancy” signs outside of certain areas/rooms such as conference rooms, break rooms, bathrooms, eating areas, offices with multiple work stations, etc., to limit the number of staff who use these areas at any one time.

  • FOLLOWING NEW IDPH GUIDELINES

We received and implemented new procedure guidelines from IDPH re:
Creating a return–to-work plan for any staff who would have a positive COVID test
Adding new symptom-related questions for daily staff and resident screenings to include assessment of: headache, chills, muscle pain, loss of taste and smell.

  • THANK YOU!

Thank you to all who participated in our Virtual Run, Walk & Roll event last weekend! Also, it is very heartwarming to see how many volunteers, parents/guardians, and friends have dropped off home-made masks, food, gift cards and greeting cards for staff and residents. We are thankful for their care and generosity!

Effective April 21, 2020

  • NO CASES THIS WEEK

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.

  • COMMUNICATING ABOUT COVID-19

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.

  • VOLUNTEER WEEK

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

  • WASMOND CENTER RESIDENTS TEST NEGATIVE

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.

  • WELL STOCKED WITH PPEs

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.

  • EVENT CHANGES

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 www.marklund.org/series/5kbloomingdale for details.
The 38th Annual Marklund Golf Classic has moved from June 4 to Aug. 27.  Stay tuned for details.

 

Effective April 2, 2020

  • NEW RECOMMENDATIONS FOR WEARING FACEMASKS

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

  • GOVERNOR’S ‘STAY-AT-HOME ORDER’

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:

  • NO ‘DAY PASSES’

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.

  • VISITATION RESTRICTION EXTENDED

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.

  • CDS TEMPORARY CANCELLATION

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

 

 

 

MEDIA KIT

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.