COVID-19 Safety | Coronavirus Resources | Loyola Medicine

Loyola Medicine’s Commitment to Safety

Loyola is committed to using the best available clinical evidence to care for COVID-19 patients. Ultimately, we prefer that all treatments, therapies and vaccines must undergo randomized, double blind clinical trials with enough numbers of patients to justify their safe and effective use in clinical protocols.

Loyola follows all available clinical evidence and guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to protect our patients using personal protective equipment (PPE), and frequently cleaning our patient rooms, treatment areas and common spaces at all our facilities.

Loyola is participating in research protocols and will clinical care protocols and processes that provide the best and safe care to patients.

How Loyola Medicine Is Prepared

Loyola Medicine is collaborating with the CDC and the Illinois Department of Public Health to ensure the safety of our patients, staff and visitors. Our staff has been trained on how to screen for and proceed with care for possible cases of COVID-19.

Screening for COVID-19 and Next Steps for Potential Cases

Health care providers at Loyola obtain a detailed symptom history for patients being evaluated with fever and acute respiratory illness. Patients are considered high risk for the coronavirus if they have had exposure to confirmed COVID-19, patient being evaluated for COVID-19 or recently returned from areas outside the U.S. with widespread transmission of fever and severe respiratory illness.

Isolation: Patients who are under investigation for novel coronavirus will be provided a mask and moved to an airborne infection isolation room (AIIR) or private room, with Precautions sign placed on room entry door.

Patient Isolation Practices

Protecting our patients is our priority during the COVID-19 pandemic. As we have learned more about COVID-19, we have adjusted our patient isolation practices. We now know that some patients who have had COVID-19 may continue to have lingering symptoms, including cough and shortness of breath. Others may continue to test positive on COVID-19 tests (PCR - polymerase chain reaction tests) for weeks after first becoming infected. We also now know that these patients do not remain contagious for longer periods.

Multiple studies support the following:

  • Persons with mild COVID-19 infection stop being infectious by 10 days after their first symptoms (or after their first positive test if they did not experience symptoms).
     
  • Persons with severe COVID-19 stop being infectious by 20 days after their initial symptoms (or after their first positive test if they did not experience symptoms). This is also true of patients who have weakened immune systems due to certain medications or health conditions.

After these initial periods, studies have shown that patients are not contagious, even family members in the home are no longer at risk for infection.

When hospitalized patients at a Loyola Medicine hospital complete their isolation period, they are moved out of a COVID-19 Isolation Unit and into general patient rooms. This is similar to what occurs outside the hospital where a person is allowed to return to work, school or resume community interaction after completing a home quarantine period. Because the person is no longer contagious, we no longer need to isolate them from staff or separate them from other patients. They may eventually move into a shared room with another patient.

Your safety and that of all those we care for is our most important priority.

Safety Precautions at Loyola Medicine

Enhanced safety and cleanliness protocols are in place at all Loyola facilities to protect our patients and visitors, physicians, providers and support staff.

Everyone entering our facilities is screened for symptoms of COVID-19 and required to wear masks at all times. If they do not have a mask, we offer masks to wear to prevent the spread of infection to others.

In addition: 

  • All inpatients are screened for COVID-19 and all patients undergoing an elective surgery or procedure are tested for COVID-19 the day before or the day of the surgery or procedure.
  • If the patient tests positive, their procedure will be postponed until clinically appropriate.
  • We also are following the CDC’s standards with increased cleaning, with special attention to surfaces that are frequently touched, like doorknobs and flat surfaces.
  • We are continuing safe physical distancing measures wherever possible.