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Coronavirus

Employee at OLA in Joliet tests positive for COVID-19, recovering at home

More than 14 days ago, Our Lady of Angels in Joliet had one employee test positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.
More than 14 days ago, Our Lady of Angels in Joliet had one employee test positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.

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More than 14 days ago, Our Lady of Angels in Joliet had one employee test positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.

That is the first case and only case at OLA. No residents and no other employees have tested positive, according to Judy Hoffman, OLA’s administrator and Mary Ann Piercy, OLA’s director of nursing,

In response, OLA has stepped up its screening of staff and residents, Hoffman and Piercy said.

Employees now have their temperature taken twice each shift instead of once. Residents have their temperatures and oxygen saturation levels checked every four hours, as opposed to every eight hours, as OLA did before the employee tested positive.

Piercy said the employee, for whatever reason, decided to get tested and then called OLA with the positive results. Both Hoffman and Piercy praised the employee for notifying OLA so quickly.

Piercy said that the employee had extremely mild symptoms and has self-quarantined. The employee was not hospitalized

But OLA required the employee to have two negative PCR tests before the employee can return to work. Hoffman and Piercy and Hoffman said the employee is doing well and they are simply waiting for the tests results.

As of April 23, OLA had no cases of COVID-19. The rest of its procedures for keeping employees – who wear masks and eye shields – and residents safe remains the same, Hoffman and Piercy said.

Residents eat their meals inside their rooms and participate in group activities in the hallway in the doorways to their rooms. Puzzle and other activity items are not shared; they stay with each individual resident.

They do not leave the building (except for medical emergencies) and only employees are allowed inside. Families may do window or FaceTime visits.

"We have a lot of FaceTime visits and a lot of phone calls," Hoffman said.

Hoffman said OLA may incorporate some outdoor visits with families this summers, but that program will be introduced very slowly and social distances must be maintained throughout the visit.

No outside health care professionals come to OLA except for a phlebotomist who only sees patients at OLA. No outside meals or gifts come into the buildings. Any supplies ordered are delivered to the dock and wiped down before coming inside.

If a resident must leave OLA for a medical emergency, they must have a negative rapid swab test before returning. If the test is negative, the resident will shelter in place in a private room for 14 days. If the test is positive – and OLA has not had a resident etst positive for CVOID-129 yet – the resident would move to OLA’s covid wing.

The same applies if the resident was hospitalized, except the resident must have two negative PCR test.

Both Hoffman and Piercy praised the support they have received from the families of residents and OLA’s sponsor, The Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate in Joliet.

Piercy said the Sisters created beautiful signage for all the doors, thanking the employees for their hard work.

"And they pray for us," Piercy said.

Here how other Will County nursing homes compare with OLA.

According to the Illinois Department of Health, these are the numbers of COVID-19 cases among residents and staff, as of April 19:

Alden Courts of Shorewood:

Outbreak reported cases: 8

Deaths: 1

Arbor Terrace

Outbreak reported cases: 26

Deaths: 4

Charter Senior Living, The Cottages

Outbreak reported cases: 11

Deaths: 2

Clarendale of Mokena

Outbreak reported cases: 13

Deaths: 1

Joliet Terrace

Outbreak reported cases: 3

Deaths: 0

Lakewood Nursing Home

Outbreak reported cases: 2

Deaths: 0

Marley Oaks

Outbreak reported cases: 7

Deaths: 1

Meadowbrook Manor

Outbreak reported cases: 173

Deaths: 26

Presence Villa Franciscan

Outbreak reported cases: 58

Deaths: 12

Rock Run Place

Outbreak reported cases: 4

Deaths: 0

Salem Village NH

Outbreak reported cases: 2

Deaths: 0

Senior Star at Weber Place

Outbreak reported cases: 13

Deaths: 4

Shady Oaks

Outbreak reported cases: 31

Deaths: 3

Smith Crossing

Outbreak reported cases: 10

Deaths: 0

Spring Creek Nursing Home

Outbreak reported cases: 7

Deaths: 1

St. Colettas of Illinois

Outbreak reported cases: 2

Deaths: 0

St James Manor

Outbreak reported cases: 44

Deaths: 9

Sunny Hill Nursing Home

Outbreak reported cases: 40

Deaths: 11

Symphony of Joliet

Outbreak reported cases: 127

Deaths: 26 (according to Symphony Care Networks on April 23)

The PARC of Joliet

Outbreak reported cases: 49

Deaths: 9

Victorian Village

Outbreak reported cases: 7

Deaths: 1

Willow Falls

Outbreak reported cases: 6

Deaths: 2

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