Messages

Messages

COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | October 6, 2021

I am grateful to report that our community remains free of COVID-19. The fact that 100 percent of our residents and 90 percent of our employees are vaccinated demonstrates how we value living and working in a community. To comply with CDC and Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines, staff members, who are unvaccinated for medical or religious reasons, are tested every week.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | August 27, 2021

We approach the end of August with good news: Our community still remains free of the virus since June 22, 2021. Also, we continue to move closer to achieving 100 percent compliance for employees being vaccinated no later than September 21.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | August 3, 2021

Since my most recent letter on June 22, our community has been blessed to have no new cases of COVID-19. That remains the case today.

Plan for 100 percent compliance

Because 85 percent of our staff members already wholeheartedly agreed to be vaccinated, our Leadership Team thinks their compliance gives us an advantage in mitigating the spread of the virus. With 100 percent of residents fully vaccinated we truly are a community where we know how to protect ourselves and each other.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | June 22, 2021

I am delighted to share good news about Trinity Health Senior Communities’ approval of more reopening policies. They comply with CDC guidelines that the Illinois and Chicago Departments of Public Health apply to our community. Please review Visitor Guidelines posted on our website to view our complete list.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | May 28, 2021

As we anticipate a lovely three-day weekend, I wanted to share our progress report on the great strides our community continues to make.

We are so proud that 100 percent of our permanent residents and 99 percent of our short-term stay rehab residents are fully vaccinated. And with 85 percent of our staff members fully vaccinated, Mercy Circle significantly exceeds the nationwide average of only 50 percent of vaccinated employees in senior living communities.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | May 10, 2021

This morning, we were contacted by a full-time member of our dining services team, who arranged to be tested at a place other than Mercy Circle and received a positive outcome for COVID-19. This individual decided to be tested over the weekend due to recent contact with someone who subsequently tested positive for the virus. Our staff member, who remains asymptomatic and has no direct contact with residents, is recovering at home and will return to work in compliance with CDC regulations. Please honor this person’s privacy by following all HIPAA rules.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | April 30, 2021

This week, the CDC eased or lifted several restrictions for businesses, schools, restaurants, entertainment venues and attractions so they can reopen or increase occupancy. Naming Restore Illinois Phase 4 “revitalization” conveys the perfect message.

Like all senior living communities, however, Mercy Circle must wait for specific guidelines from our State’s public health agency before changing our safety precautions related to COVID-19. We expect IDPH to inform us about doing so within the next two weeks.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | April 23, 2021

I am very pleased to report that both the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Illinois Department of Public Health issued new guidance about indoor visitations. Now residents can welcome visitors into their apartment or suite. These private visits replace those previously hosted in the Wisconsin Room.

While we work toward completely reopening Mercy Circle, this decision falls into the “new normal” category with some restrictions to mitigate the threat of COVID-19.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | April 16, 2021

First and foremost, my staff and I thank our residents and families for being so gracious about recent unanticipated changes that interrupted our quest to reopen more places and programs for everyone in our community.

Even though restrictions temporarily disrupted some of our most treasured ways to spend time together, they are intended to ensure safety for everyone in our Mercy Circle family. The Chicago and Illinois Departments of Public Health are responding to myriad factors in a very dynamic situation.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | April 9, 2021

We conclude our week filled with dismay with much better news than I shared on Monday. Since then, our Director of Nursing Anita Ajayi, RN and I have dedicated ourselves to advocating with the Illinois Department of Public Health. We value your concerns. We presented them along with our own professional perspectives to IDPH decision-makers. In all our discussions, we kept the spotlight on our shared message about the critical importance of balancing the negative impact of being quarantined with sustaining the well-being of residents who are fully vaccinated.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | April 7, 2021

This letter provides new information regarding requirements recently  mandated by the Illinois Department of Public Health because we identified two cases of COVID-19 in our community on Monday morning.

While I am sure most of us agree that caution and compliance has protected so many of us during the last 12-plus months, we are wearied by what seems like ever-changing regulations even as we reopen more places and programs for residents here.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | April 5, 2021

As part of our regularly scheduled testing protocol for employees which began today, we discovered that two CNAs, who do not have symptoms and were working during the third shift in the assisted living wing, tested positive for COVID-19.

Both immediately left our campus to go home to self-quarantine and recover. Please honor all HIPAA regulations to protect their privacy. They only will return to work in accordance with CDC standards.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | April 2, 2021

As we anticipate the promise of Easter Sunday, we fortified our community spirit when residents from throughout our entire community gathered—for the first time since March 2020—on Holy Thursday in Mercy Chapel. We were energized as residents reflected on the Last Supper when Jesus converted believers into disciples and blessed bread and wine to nourish them, establishing the Eucharist for us.

These reunions and liturgical expressions of hope carry us forward during our intrepid journey during an unprecedented global pandemic…even though there are no active cases of COVID-19 in our Mercy Circle community and so many are fully vaccinated.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | March 26, 2021

Mercy Circle’s motto, life with spirit, takes on new meaning for each of us as we anticipate the saving grace of Jesus Christ. We are grateful to our extraordinary staff members, who so faithfully have supported residents during the last 12 months, and to our residents, who graciously adapted to so many changing restrictions in order to protect everyone who lives and works at Mercy Circle.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | March 12, 2021

On Monday, March 15, Mercy Circle advances to CMS Phase 2, which allows residents to welcome guests for indoor visits. Thank you for your patience and cooperation during the last two weeks as we followed IDPH guidelines to ensure the safety of everyone who lives and works at Mercy Circle.

Indoor visits start week of March 15

One-hour, in-person visits are scheduled from 1pm until 4pm on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays in the Wisconsin Room for as many as 12 residents. If a family member cannot visit then, please ask about making plans for another time.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | March 5, 2021

Mercy Circle remains in CMS Phase 1. We share your disappointment about shuttering so quickly—even temporarily—some of the engaging programs we had just reopened last week due to an occurrence of a new case of COVID-19 in our community.

While we are limiting a few in-person gatherings, we encourage residents to take advantage of ways to stay connected with each other during meals and select small group activities, as well as with family and friends during outdoor visits, vestibule, window and virtual visits. Our hope is to reopen in-person visits on Monday, March 15. For now, please schedule visits by sending an email to LifeEnrichment@MercyCircle.org.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | March 2, 2021

On Monday afternoon, one server, who last worked in our dining rooms for independent and assisted living residents on Sunday, February 28, tested positive for COVID-19. This employee began to experience symptoms and came to our campus for a rapid test which was administered at a location here outside our building.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | February 26, 2021

In addition to reopening more places and programs at Mercy Circle, we have planned some special events for all residents and staff members to celebrate milestones for our community.

  • On Tuesday, March 2, starting at 2pm in the Illinois and Iowa Rooms, a 1950s Happy Days theme-party with mini-burgers, hot dogs, fries and root beer floats is a perfect way to thank everyone for their wholehearted participation in our vaccination program
  • On Friday, March 5, starting at 1pm, the fun continues when we honor all our employees whose talents, professionalism and work ethic placed Mercy Circle in the Chicago Tribune’s annual survey of the 100 Top Workplaces

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | February 19, 2021

Please join me in thanking our remarkable employees who found ways to shovel out of their homes and to trudge through 18 inches of snow to get to work on Tuesday.

And we truly need all-hands-on-deck for so many good reasons! All residents now enjoy dining together, participating in fitness classes, games and other activities, watching movies together, finding comfort in receiving Communion and joining in prayer services. Of course, both residents and staff members comply with all precautions that include wearing a mask and observing social distancing.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | February 12, 2021

Alleluia! Today, I have so much good news to report!

  • This week, all 58 residents in our healthcare settings and all 100 staff members, now only required to be tested weekly, received negative results for COVID-19
  • Governor JB Pritzker last week lifted Tier mitigation across Illinois and moved all 11 Regions to Phase 4 of Restore Illinois
  • With our last new case of COVID-19 on February 1, Mercy Circle meets the requirements of the Illinois and Chicago Departments of Public Health so we can resume more ways to enjoy our community and social life starting on Monday, February 15, with
  • Communal dining for all residents
  • In-person activities for groups with as many as 10 residents
  • Indoor visitations for all residents starting on Wednesday, February 17
  • A beauty shop schedule for all residents starting on or close to February 19

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | February 5, 2021

We continue to move forward with plans to reopen more areas where residents can savor the joys of belonging to a community. With our second clinic last Saturday,  98 percent of our residents and 74 percent of our staff members are fully inoculated with the Moderna vaccine, and these numbers will increase with our final clinic on Saturday, February 27, 2021.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | February 2, 2021

On Monday, one server who was working in our dining room for independent living residents, tested positive for COVID-19. This staff member, who is asymptomatic, immediately went home to self-quarantine and recover, and only will return to work in accordance with CDC standards. Please honor all HIPAA regulations to protect this person’s privacy as well as that of anyone who is coping with a healthcare challenge.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | January 29, 2021

We were delighted to see so many independent living residents savoring every minute as they enjoyed their first meal together in the dining room last night since we closed the dining room in mid-November. And meeting Chefs Mark Ricketts and Aldo Rios, who very recently arrived here, precipitated a big thumbs up from all the diners. Both chefs bring their extensive experience working across the country and around the world in resorts, hotel fine dining rooms and restaurants.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | January 22, 2021

I am very pleased to report that all 56 assisted living and skilled nursing care residents received negative outcomes for the COVID-19 Point of Care rapid tests they took this week.

In addition, all 110 staff members had negative results for the first of two regularly scheduled weekly tests conducted this past Monday and Tuesday. Currently, we are completing the second series for employees and, as of this afternoon, no 0ne has a positive result.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | January 15, 2021

We continue to follow our regularly scheduled testing protocols as well as conduct rapid tests for anyone who begins to experience what may be symptoms of COVID-19 or has been exposed to someone with the virus. These practices are designed to help us monitor the well-being of everyone in Mercy Circle’s community with early detection so we can take appropriate actions.

One positive result for staff member, updates for others’ recovery

On this Thursday to fulfill Mercy Circle’s requirement for bi-weekly testing, a full-time administrative staff member, who has been on a planned medical leave since Monday, January 4, received a positive result for COVID-19. This employee remains at home to recuperate from the virus.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | January 12, 2021

Yesterday and today, we already have tested 90 staff members and the rest of our employees will complete this process before late this afternoon. We continue to use our  rapid testing system to expedite results as a way to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

One CNA, who was asymptomatic when working on the first shift caring for skilled nursing care residents on Monday, January 11, received a positive result for a COVID-19 test taken here. Upon being informed of this outcome, our employee immediately left Mercy Circle to recover from the virus at home, and only will return to work in accordance with CDC standards. Please honor all HIPAA regulations to protect this person’s privacy as well as that of anyone who is coping with a healthcare challenge.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | January 8, 2021

Please join me in praising and thanking our leadership team—and everyone who assisted them—for their excellent preparation for our first clinic day when CVS administered the Moderna vaccine to 100 residents and 76 staff members.

I was proud to hear CVS’ pharmacists and technicians, who were at Mercy Circle, say how our staff’s professionalism contributed to a successful clinic. They also commented on feeling inspired by our residents’ and employees’ exceptionally high level of participation and their enthusiasm for being vaccinated.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | January 1, 2021

Our hope is that this new decade delivers many reasons to anticipate and ultimately realize our liberation from the power of COVID-19.

  • Today, Mercy Circle has no active cases of the virus in our community, and no one is in quarantine or recuperating at home.
  • As a senior living community, we are grateful that our residents and staff members qualified to be among the first to receive a vaccine. Ninety-nine percent of our residents and 80 percent of our employees have registered.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | December 24, 2020

Our fondest wish for each of you is that the joys of Christmas fortify your spirit of faith and hope as we again celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and the faith of Mary.

During 2020, COVID-19 has challenged so many ways we live our daily life and you have responded with wholehearted willingness to do your part. Each time we ask you to adjust your daily routine, we appreciate how you tap your resilience and foster a sense of “we’re in this together.”  We cannot ask for a greater gift!

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | December 21, 2020

Again today, we used our new Point of Care or rapid testing system to test 69 staff members for COVID-19. Sixty-five employees had negative outcomes for the virus.

Four, who are asymptomatic and were working here today, received positive results.  They include

  • Three members of our nursing team in the skilled nursing care unit
  • One server who worked in the independent and assisted living dining rooms

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | December 18, 2020

With Christmas Day just one week from today, let us share with each other the assurance of hope inspired by the birth of the Christ Child. This time of year always is filled with anticipation. And, typically for most of us, packed with a kind of busyness that can overshadow the true meaning of Christmas.

So while this Christmas will be quieter than most and truly unlike any other we have experienced, we might consider it a blessing to have time to remember and embrace a life patterned after the simplicity of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | December 17, 2020

This week, Mercy Circle began a new protocol that uses a rapid testing system for detecting COVID-19 called BD Veritor Plus. Our goal is to identify more quickly positive outcomes for both residents and staff members. In accordance with guidelines from the Illinois and Chicago Departments of Public Health, we will continue to use our lab for PCR tests to confirm any positive outcomes reported by BD Veritor Plus.

Using rapid tests yesterday, we confirmed 20 skilled nursing care residents and 38 assisted living residents had negative outcomes. We also learned

  • One assisted living resident, who is asymptomatic, tested positive for the virus and is now isolated in the person’s apartment and being regularly monitored. Our staff wears all appropriate PPE when providing any care for this person. Please respect this person’s privacy by observing all HIPAA guidelines.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | December 15, 2020

Late on Monday, Mercy Circle learned one housekeeper, who worked yesterday in our assisted living area, received a positive result for a test taken here on Friday, December 11. This staff member, who is asymptomatic, immediately went home to recuperate from the virus, and only will return to work in accordance with CDC guidelines. Please respect this person’s privacy by observing all HIPAA guidelines.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | December 11, 2020

On behalf of everyone who works at Mercy Circle, I thank our residents and their families for their generosity to the Christmas Fund for Staff Members. You clearly spread joy with your gifts, and our employees are grateful for your appreciation for their care and service to you.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | December 8, 2020

On Monday evening, our lab notified Mercy Circle that a CNA, who last cared for skilled nursing care residents on Sunday, December 6, received a positive result for an individual test taken here on Wednesday, December 2. This staff member is isolated at home while recovering from the virus, and will return to work in accordance with CDC guidelines. Please respect this person’s privacy by observing all HIPAA guidelines.

For extra protection for residents in our skilled nursing care unit, we have applied droplet and contact isolation precautions that will continue through Friday, December 11.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | December 4, 2020

Due to the increasing number of people being tested for COVID-19, our lab and others are taking longer to process and send results. For some, we realize a longer waiting period to learn the outcome of your most recent test can cause anxiety.  So, we truly appreciate your patience, and hope you agree that accuracy is paramount.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | December 1 , 2020

On Monday, we conducted COVID-19 tests for 69 staff members and 56 residents in our assisted living, memory care, rehab and skilled nursing care settings. Because we are testing employees twice a week, we used rapid tests for some due to the extended turnaround time that our lab and others are taking to provide results for PCR tests. Both tests are reliable.

Mercy Circle now has the equipment to conduct rapid tests, which provide results in approximately 15 minutes but take longer to administer. Because all residents in our healthcare settings tested negative for the virus last week, we continued to use the standard PCR test for them.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | November 28 , 2020

We were pleased residents decided to celebrate Thanksgiving Day here at Mercy Circle. And I am delighted to hear so many residents and staff members truly were touched by the greetings from their family and friends that were packed into a video album brimming with Thanksgiving wishes. This 40-minute video will air throughout this weekend on Channel 8. Please join me in thanking our Life Enrichment team for their post-production talent and time to compile all the videos people sent.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | November 22 , 2020

Late on Saturday and on Sunday morning, we received positive results for two employees who took COVID-19 tests here on Thursday, November 19.

    • One CNA last helped our Baggott Street residents needing memory support on Saturday, November 21, and immediately went home when notified
    • One server delivered meals, using our contactless system, to the apartment doors of independent and assisted living residents on Friday, November 20

Both, who are asymptomatic, are isolated at home while they recover from the virus. Please comply with all HIPAA regulations designed to protect their privacy.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | November 21 , 2020

This morning, we learned a CNA, who last cared for skilled nursing care residents on Thursday, November 19, received a positive result for a test taken here at the beginning of the week of November 16. This person is asymptomatic and now recuperating at home. Please comply with all HIPAA regulations designed to protect the privacy of the individual and everyone living and working at Mercy Circle.

All other 105 employees received negative results for tests they took at the beginning of the week of November 16.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | November 20 , 2020

Today, we have no new cases of COVID-19 among residents and staff members to report. All 57 assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing care residents who were tested on Monday, November 16, received negative outcomes.

We still await some results for 106 staff members who were tested on Monday and Tuesday, but  we have received 73 results which are negative. As you may know, all employees now are tested twice a week, with the second round of tests administered on Thursday and Friday. We also hope to receive soon results for 41 independent living residents who volunteered to be tested on November 19.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | November 14 , 2020

This morning, we learned two independent living residents, who were tested here on Wednesday, November 11, received positive results for COVID-19. Both are asymptomatic and recovering as they quarantine in their apartments. Also, our lab confirmed that all  other 41 independent living residents, also tested on Wednesday, have negative outcomes. Please comply with all HIPAA regulations designed to protect their privacy.

As an added precaution, we will test all independent living residents again today and administer a second test for them on Tuesday, November 17.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | November 13 , 2020

Today, we learned two Dining Services staff members, who are asymptomatic and were tested on Tuesday, November 10, received positive results for the virus. One person worked here on Thursday, November 12, and the other most recently on November 1. Both are at home recovering.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | November 6 , 2020

Our Region 11 and the entire State of Illinois continues to experience day-over-day increases in the number of new COVID-19 cases. This afternoon, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported for the first time ever more than 10,000 new cases of the virus, citing a total of 10,376 as our State’s daily case count.

Yesterday, the Chicago Department of Health reported a positivity rate of 13.5 percent for our zip code for the week ending October 31—a very big leap from 7.9 percent seven days earlier—and 9.3 percent for 60643—an increase from 7.4 percent reported on October 24.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | November 5 , 2020

Last evening, we learned two assisted living residents, who are asymptomatic and were tested on Monday, November 2, have received positive results for COVID-19. Both are in isolation and recovering in their apartments. Fifty-three other residents, also tested on Monday, have received negative outcomes; results for four residents still are pending.

Today, we received a positive test result for a member of our administrative team, who is asymptomatic and had reported to work this morning. We informed this staff member of the outcome of Monday’s test, and she now is at home recuperating. In addition to this one positive result, 57 of the 101 staff members tested this week have received negative results; 43 await their reports.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | October 30 , 2020

As you know from news reports, the City of Chicago, which is designated as Region 11 in Governor JB Pritzker’s Restore Illinois program, is experiencing record-breaking numbers of COVID-19 cases escalating day-over-day for the last seven days.

Today, the City of Chicago’s positivity rate leapt to 8.1 percent, almost double its status at the beginning of October, and Illinois’ positivity rate spiked to 8.5 percent, up from 8.2 percent on Thursday. Only one of the 11 Regions in Illinois has not been put on Tier 1 status.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | October 22 , 2020

Now that Mercy Circle is welcoming families and friends for indoor visits with residents, please be exceptionally attentive to following the basic precautions—wear a mask, observe six-foot social distancing and practice hand-hygiene often.

Why? Today’s positivity rate of 21.5 percent in our immediate area, zip code 60655, exceeds by more than three-fold today’s positivity rate of 6.4 percent for the City of Chicago.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | October 16 , 2020

All 102 independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing care residents, who were tested for COVID-19 on Monday, October 12, received negative results. As of this morning, 96 of the 105 employees tested earlier this week also received negative outcomes and results for nine are pending.

With these outcomes and the assumption that there are no new cases among residents during the next few days, Mercy Circle will advance to CMS Phase Three, the highest ranking. On Wednesday, October 14, skilled nursing care residents  resumed their communal dining, small group activities and a weekly prayer service with Communion.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | October 12 , 2020

Two residents, who participated in our campus-wide courtesy testing conducted by the Chicago Department of Public Health on Friday, October 9, received positive results for COVID-19 on Sunday. We still await some reports for last Friday’s tests.

Both residents—one person in independent living and one in assisted living—are asymptomatic and quarantined in their apartments. On Sunday, we immediately began the contact-tracing process for each resident. Please join us in observing all HIPAA regulations designed to protect the privacy of everyone at Mercy Circle.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | October 4, 2020

On Saturday afternoon, October 3, we received the test results for the seven employees whose results were pending. Six received negative outcomes.

One staff member, who works in the dining rooms for independent and assisted living residents, tested positive. This employee, whose last day on our campus was Friday, October 2, is now recovering at home. Please observe HIPAA regulations that protect the privacy of this individual and everyone at Mercy Circle.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | October 1, 2020

We have received positive results for COVID-19 for one full-time CNA, who works in our assisted living wing but has not been on campus since this past Monday, and one full-time Dining Staff member, who last worked in our assisted living community on this Wednesday. Both are recuperating at home. Please join us in observing all HIPAA regulations designed to protect the privacy of everyone at Mercy Circle.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | September 25, 2020

We are grateful to report that our two skilled nursing care residents, who last week received positive test results for COVID-19, are recovering in our isolation unit. Our staff wears appropriate PPE when caring for them. Two staff members, who tested positive, remain at home recovering. Also, all test results reported last Friday as pending were negative.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | September 18, 2020

Today, two of our skilled nursing care residents received positive test results for COVID-19. One resident began presenting symptoms for the virus on Thursday so we conducted a test. The second positive test result was for a short-term stay resident, who was asymptomatic and already quarantined because that person was recently admitted here from the hospital.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | September 11, 2020

As Mercy Circle continues to enjoy its status as a CMS Phase Three community, we will reopen more common areas on our campus. Please look for a listing of current practices Mercy Circle follows to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 posted at the top of the page on our website that shares information related to the virus.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | September 4, 2020

The Illinois Department of Public Health has confirmed Mercy Circle is now a CMS Phase Three community and Trinity Health has approved our plans to reopen more amenities and services for residents to enjoy.

This highest ranking is based on that fact that there are no new cases of COVID-19 for all members of our community.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | August 28, 2020

Once again, we gratefully report no new cases of COVID-19 for all members of our community. Residents were tested on August 24 and employees on August 24 and 25.

With our most recent positive case on August 5 for a resident in skilled nursing care, Mercy Circle has achieved 22 consecutive days with no new incidences of the virus among our residents. Currently, Mercy Circle has moved to CMS Phase Two.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | August 21, 2020

We received negative results for COVID-19 for all residents and staff members who have been tested for the virus since August 3, 2020. Achieving 14 days without a new positive test outcome for a resident has put Mercy Circle in CMS Phase One, according to the new Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines that became effective last Friday, August 14.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | August 17, 2020

On Sunday, we received a positive result for one full-time CNA, who last worked on  Sunday, August 9, in our skilled nursing care unit. This staff member is recovering while quarantined at home. Please join us in observing all HIPAA regulations designed to protect the privacy of everyone at Mercy Circle.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | August 14, 2020

Today, new guidelines published by the Illinois Department of Public Health take effect for Mercy Circle and for all senior living communities with skilled nursing care, memory care and assisted living residents across the State. These guidelines start with stating this plan strives to balance enforcing necessary precautions to protect residents from the virus while considering the importance of their quality of life.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | August 8, 2020

Late on Friday, we received a positive result for the virus for one skilled nursing care resident who was tested on Wednesday, August 5, as part of Mercy Circle’s weekly testing protocol. This resident moved to the skilled nursing care’s isolation area staffed and equipped to care for residents who are recovering from COVID-19.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | August 7, 2020

Earlier this week, we reported three residents received positive results for COVID-19 for tests administered here by the Illinois Department of Public Health. All are now recovering in the area we have isolated in the skilled nursing care wing. Our staff is following all CDC-designated precautions as they deliver care for them. Please respect everyone’s privacy by observing all HIPAA regulations.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | August 5, 2020

On Tuesday, we were informed that one assisted living resident has tested positive for COVID-19. This is the first resident in our AL community to have this outcome.

Even though this resident, who tested positive, is asymptomatic, we are moving this resident to the designated COVID-19 isolated area in our skilled nursing care wing for residents with the virus because we have a staff dedicated to caring for these residents there.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | August 4, 2020

When we received most of the results for the COVID-19 tests administered on Friday, July 31, we learned that two residents and one staff member tested positive for the virus. Previously, these individuals had negative test results.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | July 31, 2020

We are concluding the month of July with more encouraging news for our community. There are no new active cases of COVID-19 at Mercy Circle.

Since last Friday, the second resident, whose test outcome was pending,  received a negative result and has no symptoms. All residents, who were tested following one other resident’s positive test result, have tested negative. The employee, whom we reported as having a positive result, has recovered and returned to work according to CDC guidelines.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | July 28, 2020

Starting tomorrow on Wednesday, July 29, Mercy Circle again will host outdoor visits with assisted living residents. We are grateful our community has achieved 14 consecutive days without a new case of COVID-19. This benchmark meets the current CMS requirement to reinstate outdoor visitations.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | July 26, 2020

In my weekly letter on Friday, I informed you we were waiting for two residents’ test results for COVID-19. We now have received a positive result for one resident who is being treated in the hospital. We have not yet received the other test result for the  resident, who is symptomatic and isolated. Please join us in respecting their privacy by observing all HIPAA regulations.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | July 24, 2020

As of this morning, we have no new cases of a resident or staff member who tested positive for COVID-19. Currently, we are waiting for test results for two residents who have symptoms associated with the virus. We cannot be sure of their status, however, until we are notified of their test results.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | July 17, 2020

Residents and staff members have no new cases of COVID-19 since I informed you earlier this week about two skilled nursing care residents and one staff member, whose tests administered on July 10 indicated positive results. Our two residents now are recovering in an isolated area and our employee is recuperating at home.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | July 14, 2020

Since yesterday afternoon, we received all the results for COVID-19 tests which were administered on July 10 to residents in assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing care and to all staff members. Two residents and one staff member tested positive for the virus. All three were quarantined immediately. All other residents and staff members who were tested have negative outcomes for the virus.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | July 10, 2020

Last Friday, I shared with you encouraging news about how our community would start moving forward because we achieved three consecutive weeks when all residents in assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing care continued to receive negative test results. Today, I update that heartening report that Mercy Circle residents have achieved a fourth consecutive week with no positive test results.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | July 3, 2020

We hope to begin hosting outdoor visits with residents on Tuesday, July 7, because Mercy Circle has achieved 14 consecutive days without a new case of COVID-19 to meet the requirement of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | June 26, 2020

We share your extreme disappointment because Mercy Circle now must postpone scheduling outdoor visits with residents. In other parts of our country, we see how not respecting the power and threat of COVID-19 can cause a resurgence of the virus. So it remains our highest priority to adhere to numerous ways to protect members of our Mercy Circle family.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | June 25, 2020

Last Friday, I informed you of a new requirement by the Chicago and Illinois Departments of Public Health to test all residents and staff members who reside and work in Mercy Circle’s assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing care units.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | June 19, 2020

Our residents and staff members continue to be free of COVID-19. This fact encourages us to fortify our commitment to your safety by heeding all guidelines published by the agencies that have provided direction during this global pandemic.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | June 12, 2020

I am very pleased to report the newest achievement of Mercy Circle’s sustained infection prevention and control practices designed to abate COVID-19 in our community. At this time, Mercy Circle has no new cases of COVID-19.  

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | June 5, 2020

During this past week, all 57 residents who live in assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing care were tested for COVID-19 using the PCR swab test.

I am very grateful to report every single resident received a negative test result. With universally negative outcomes, we have concluded droplet and contact precautions in the skilled nursing care unit.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | June 2, 2020

As we make plans to open more areas of Mercy Circle, we balance those eagerly awaited opportunities with prudence and precaution. In consultation with Moira McQuillan, M.D., our medical director, and Mercy Circle’s clinical team, we have devised a new plan for COVID-19 testing for residents and staff members.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | June 1, 2020

This afternoon, we received notification of test results for one more staff member who has tested positive for COVID-19. This employee, who works in our assisted living wing, is recovering at home.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | May 29, 2020

We continue to count our blessings. We have had no positive cases of COVID-19 among our residents. Two staff members in the nursing department, who have tested positive, are at home recuperating from the virus.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | May 28, 2020

We received notification of test results for one additional staff member who received a positive test result. This employee had been working in our assisted living wing and is recovering at home.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | May 22, 2020

We continue to count our blessings. We have had no positive cases of COVID-19 among our residents. Twenty-five employees have tested negative. Three staff have recovered and returned to work in accordance with CDC guidelines.

Another three staff members, who had tested positive, are at home recuperating from the virus. This week, more staff members were tested; currently, 11 test results are pending.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | May 18, 2020

We received notification of test results for additional staff members late on Sunday and throughout today. These test results indicate one more staff member, who is on our dining services team, has tested positive for the virus and is recovering at home. Please respect the privacy of all staff and residents by observing HIPAA’s confidentiality rules.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | May 16, 2020

We received notification from two staff members late Friday evening that they just received positive test results for COVID-19. Neither provided direct care to residents. Both part-time employees—a housekeeper, who has not been on our campus since April 26, and a dining services worker—are recovering at home. Please respect the privacy of these individuals by observing HIPAA’s confidentiality regulations.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | May 15, 2020

We are blessed to be able to report there are no new cases of COVID-19 among our staff members and there has not been a single case of the virus among our residents.

Still, we remain vigilant about adhering to all the guidelines published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Services, as well as the Illinois and Chicago Departments of Public Health.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | May 8, 2020

On Thursday afternoon, we received notification that a third staff member tested positive for COVID-19. This staff member has not been in our facility since April 28 and now is isolated at home to recover.

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | May 3, 2020

On late Saturday evening, we received notification that a second staff member has tested positive for COVID-19. Both staff members, who have tested positive, do not provide direct…

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | May 1, 2020

On Thursday afternoon, we received notification that one of our staff members tested positive for COVID-19. This staff member does not provide direct care to residents and now is isolated…

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | March 26, 2020

As you know, Mercy Circle continues to monitor information regarding COVID-19 cases and updated reports and guidelines for Chicago, especially the southwest sector…

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | March 23, 2020

On Saturday, March 21, following the advice of leading public health officials, Governor Pritzker put into effect a statewide Stay-at-Home order. His goal is to…

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | March 17, 2020

Over the past couple of days, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Services (CMS) have imposed more severe restrictions on visitations. Effective immediately…

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COVID-19 Message from the Executive Director

by Frances Lachowicz | March 11, 2020

As you know, COVID-19 poses a health threat to our entire population, especially to the elderly and those with underlying conditions such as heart disease, lung disease and…

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