View up to date information on COVID-19 from the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services
You can also visit the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website or our HSHS COVID-19 page.

March 13, 2020

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers.  You will always find people who are helping.’  To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” – Mister Rogers

We find ourselves at a time where the reason so many of us who entered into careers in health care is coming to full light.  We are at a time where we are being called to care for others at a time of uncertainty but certainly at a time of need.  Hospital Sisters Health System is so blessed to have colleagues who epitomize selfless, caring workers who want to help those who seek it.  

We are seeing some difficult situations around the world in the news related to coronavirus (COVID-19), but we are also seeing the helpers as the quote above so aptly portrays. Those helpers are at HSHS.  Our leaders and front-line colleagues are prioritizing the health and well-being of our patients and our community by making proactive decisions now that support state and federal health officials as we all work together to contain further spread of COVID-19.  These decisions are ensuring we are ready to treat to any individual who might test positive for COVID-19 while limiting the spread of the virus to the community.  We are confident in our ability to do so and in the ability of our colleagues to respond to this challenge.  

HSHS is proactively monitoring the impact of COVID-19 and its impact on our colleagues and ministries. The health, safety and well-being of our providers, colleagues, patients and communities is always our top priority. 

We know there are certain things to be true as we face this virus.  Proper hand hygiene is perhaps the best defense.  Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds and do so often, especially before eating, after going to the bathroom, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.  If soap is not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.  Stay home if you are sick.  If you sneeze, do so into the fold of your elbow or into a tissue and then throw the tissue away.  Cover your mouth to cough.  Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.  Practice social distancing and avoid others who are sick.  Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.  

If you think you are sick, please call your primary care doctor’s office, try our virtual doctors’ office called HSHS Anytime Care at www.anytimecare.com or access Prevea Health‘s Virtual Care by visiting www.prevea.com/virtualcare.  You can also call the COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-889-3931. Upon using any of these resources, advice will be given on next steps for you to take. Try to avoid going to the emergency department unless it is a truly urgent situation. 

Outside of these personal steps each one of us can take, HSHS has taken additional measures and put precautions into place to protect colleagues, patients, visitors and the community.  These measures include:

  • Restriction of travel by any method for out of town business.
  • Cancellation of all previously scheduled events, meetings and conferences through the end of April.  
  • Encouraging video or teleconferencing rather than in-person meetings. 
  • Practicing social distancing as recommended by the CDC.
  • Imposing new and/or modified visitor restrictions for each HSHS hospital.  Please see hospital websites or Facebook pages to see the location-specific restrictions put in place.
  • Educating colleagues on HSHS benefits already in place to cover individual and familial needs related to illness, including emergency leave, paid time off and short-term disability.  

These decisions are not made lightly, and they cause us to perhaps be moved out of our comfort zone, but they are necessary precautions we must take now to protect the health of our communities.  As health care professionals, we believe we have a responsibility to demonstrate best practices and lead the way as we navigate through these times.   

This is a rapidly evolving situation, and we are committed to keeping our communities, patients and colleagues safe and informed.  To learn more about COVID-19 and HSHS’s response, please visit our COVID-19 web page at www.hshs.org/COVID-19. We will be updating this information frequently and as necessary.  You can also view up to date information on COVID-19 from the following websites: Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), Wisconsin Department of Health Services (WDHS), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  

We will continue to send out various communications to keep everyone informed with the latest information.  
 

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