By Tanya Andrerson

POSTPONING ELECTIVE, NON-URGENT SURGICAL PROCEDURES/ COVID-19

Given the expanding COVID-19 pandemic, SSH is postponing all non-urgent scheduled elective procedures and surgeries, including endoscopy, interventional and gynecological.

Our aim is to ensure patients and staff are safe and to minimize the unnecessary spread of COVID-19 through community transmission. This also reflects in the need to conserve PPE, medical supplies and hospital beds for patients that need emergent or urgent care.

Effective Monday, March 23 all scheduled elective procedures/surgeries will be postponed at this time. Emergent and Urgent Surgeries/Procedures that will impact the health of a patient will continue as planned. Urgent Surgeries/Procedures are defined as surgical and interventional procedures that need to be performed in the next 30 days to prevent loss of life, limb or critical function. All other surgeries/procedures will be considered elective and will be postponed until further notice. Providers will need to reach out to patients directly to reschedule procedures/surgeries.

The senior management team and medical staff leaders are meeting daily and will continue to monitor the situation and recommendations provided by the CDC, IDPH, WHO and various other sources. Any changes will be shared immediately.

Thank you for your continued support as we provide structure in an everchanging situation.

By

Visitor Restriction Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Safety is our highest priority. South Shore Hospital is striving to stay on top of the evolving COVID-19 situation to ensure safe patient care as well as family and visitor safety.

Effective March 17, 2020 and until further notice, South Shore Hospital is restricting visitors: we are NOT allowing visitors for admitted patients. Some exceptions may apply on a case-by-case basis, upon the approval of the Nursing Supervisor after consultation with the patient’s Attending Physician.

This is a critical step in helping reduce the transmission of COVID-19 to the community. South Shore Hospital provides care to elderly patients with complex conditions, including many with compromised immune systems. These patients are at the highest risk of serious complications from COVID-19 infections, including death.

South Shore Hospital is continuing to provide care for these patients during this outbreak. It is our responsibility to protect them to the greatest extent possible from visitors who may unknowingly have the virus. In addition, South Shore Hospital has a responsibility to protect the safety of its health workers. Preventing avoidable exposure among our workforce also is critical to ensure that we can continue to respond to this pandemic.

We understand this is not going to be an easy or welcome transition.

Patients will be given notice regarding Visitor Restriction upon admission.

We understand family members or loved ones can play an important role in decision making. Patients are invited to choose one family member or loved one to be designated as a single individual who will be the point of contact for all information and conversations with SSH care providers. The Responsible/Primary Nurse will coordinate with the designated individual at least once a day. This chosen designated contact person should be willing to communicate and coordinate with the other family members or loved ones. This will allow SSH care providers to best attend to patients.

Limited exceptions may be granted based on extenuating circumstances
Only one (1) visitor will be allowed
Allowed visitor will be screened at the point of entry to SSH
Anyone with fever, cough, or flu-like illness will not be allowed

Please know this is to ensure everyone’s safety during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Thank you for your cooperation.

By

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) – South Shore Hospital and the community

CDPH/IDPH recently announced new cases of COVID-19. Although there is no widespread transmission of

COVID-19 occurring in Chicago, South Shore Hospital is taking these cases of potential community trans-
mission very seriously.

We are currently working on improving our processes to prevent the spread of respiratory diseases. We
are taking steps to promptly identify and isolate patients with possible COVID-19, including Triage and
Patient Placement. We are also reviewing relevant Infection Control Policies and Procedures, including
administrative rules/guidelines, environmental hygiene, correct work practices, and appropriate use of
PPE to prevent infections from spreading during healthcare delivery to suspected or confirmed COVID-19
patients. We will facilitate staff education and training regarding COVID-19.
For controlling infection, please be reminded of the following:

• Follow strict hand hygiene guidelines: Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Use hand sanitizer when soap is not available.
• Practice social distancing: Put 6 feet distance from each other. Avoid shaking hands or hugging.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or face, particularly with unwashed hands.
• Cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing.

• If you are experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness, please stay home. The best way to stop
the spread of any illness is to stay away from heavily populated areas when ill.
• Anyone exhibiting signs of fever, cough or respiratory infection must wear masks. The wearing of
masks by the ill or possibly infected is essential in containing the spread of infection.
• Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces frequently.
• If you are very ill call your doctor prior to coming into the hospital, so that proper precautions can
be implemented.

Based on CDC’s Information for Travel, South Shore Hospital is implementing precautions to South Shore Hospital
employees who have traveled to countries affected by COVID-19.
Effective immediately and until further notice, anyone who travels to a CDC Warning Level 2 or 3 Country
or Region (current list is below; see CDC travel website for up-to-date list) must remain away from South
Shore Hospital for 14 days after return.

Level 3: China, South Korea, Iran, Italy
Level 2: Japan

We will continue to keep you up to date as the COVID-19 guidelines continue to evolve.

Resources:

www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019

Clinical references: www.chicagohan.org/COVID-19

Community References: www.chicago.gov/coronavirus

Questions: Coronavirus@Chicago.gov • 312-746-7425 (SICK)- CD
• 312 746-4835 (general line)

Thank you for your support and cooperation.