60 healthcare workers COVID compromised at New Lenox Hospital

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NEW LENOX – Over 60 healthcare workers at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox were unable to come into work Monday due to a COVID-19 positive or possible exposure.

The news came from Ruth Colby, President and CEO from Silver Cross Hospital, who joined Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s daily COVID-19 press conference via remote Monday afternoon.

“The pandemic has taken its toll on our community and our healthcare workers,” Colby said Monday, adding it’s not only bedside workers being compromised for the disease.  “We have housekeepers and nutrition services workers and we have building services workers, everybody who makes sure that this place operates the way that it does to serve our community.  Today we have over 60 individuals that are not able to come to work because of contacting COVID in the community.”

Colby added the hospital is safe, pointing at PPE and visitation restrictions and asking area residents not to delay emergency care.

“What we are seeing is our staff contracting and being exposed to the disease in small community gatherings or in places that people are not wearing masks.  This makes it more and more difficult for us to take care of people in Region 7.” Colby added Monday.  “Our positivity rate out here has exceeded 18 percent and we have not seen a drop in that for several, several days.”

The last time Region 7 saw a drop in rolling positivity was October 4th when the Region fell from 5.5% to 5.4%. Monday, hospitalizations in Illinois among COVID-19 patients were up with over 400 more residents statewide now hospitalized for the virus than that of peaks seen in spring.

“My message is every time someone in the community does not wear a mask, or observe other safety precautions you’ve outlined, that creates a potential for a healthcare worker to contract COVID.  We’re urging everyone in the community to please, please, help us stem the growth of this disease, especially over the holidays.” Colby asked.

Region 7 was the only region in Illinois to be in warning levels for hospital availability in two categories to start the week. Monday afternoon, the Region 7 rolling seven-day positivity rating was 19.8%.

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