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Statement on COVID-19, Visitation Policies

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Dear Trinity families and supporters,

We hope you and your loved ones are continuing to stay safe and healthy.

Since our last statement on January 19, 20 staff members and 10 people we support tested positive for the coronavirus. Also since our last statement, 48 people have recovered. Others are continuing to experience symptoms or need to quarantine longer. We hope for a quick and full recovery for all who have been impacted by the virus.

As a reminder, we always notify immediate family members first if their loved one has tested positive, as well as housemates’ family members, prior to sending out these statements.

We are very saddened to report that someone we supported in the Wilmington area, Dale Schauland, passed away January 19 at the age of 61 after battling COVID-19. Dale was a loving, caring, kind person who enjoyed spending time with his family, especially his nieces and nephews. His sister, Barbara, said he was the family’s angel and was a joy to be around. Dale enjoyed being on and driving the family’s pontoon boat. He attended Trinity’s school in 1967 and began receiving residential support from Trinity in 2001.

Anita Goulding, director of Residential Network II, where Dale resided, remembers Dale as a healer who knew when others were tired or in pain and who would come up and pat them on the head. This simple gesture made everything OK again. She explained that Dale taught us how a simple touch can make a difference to someone who needs it. We will remember Dale fondly. We are heartbroken about this loss, and we ask that you keep Dale and his loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.

We have received numerous inquiries about whether or not our visitation policy will be revised given that a large number of people we support and staff have been vaccinated, and we want to begin to address these questions.

However, it is important to note that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has, to date, issued little guidance regarding interacting with others after vaccination. We also know that many people we support are unable to wear masks.

As we continue to monitor guidance from the CDC on the efficacy of vaccines, particularly around new variants of the coronavirus, we are making some slight modifications to our visitation guidelines. We know that families are anxious to visit their loved ones after nearly a year of social distancing and strict safety protocols. We want to be sensitive to people’s social, emotional and mental well-being while also continuing to stay vigilant to protect people’s physical health.

For people we support who have not received the COVID-19 vaccine, visitation guidelines will remain similar to those we communicated in December. That means if a family would like their loved one to visit, they will need to be home for a minimum of 10 days. This is a decrease from the 14-day minimum visit that was required in December. The family must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test that was completed within two days prior to the person’s return to Trinity. People who test positive for the coronavirus will be required to stay with family members and will not be able to return to Trinity homes until testing negative. For families willing to drive to New Lenox, we may be able to assist with rapid testing through our Medical Clinic.

For people we support who are at least two weeks past receiving the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, visits to the homes of family and friends, of any duration, will be allowed once per month. This limitation is necessary because it is not clear to what extent people who have been vaccinated can transmit the disease to others. Also, many homes have program participants and staff members who have not been vaccinated. When feasible, people returning from visits will be asked to be extra diligent about wearing masks and may be asked to be tested for the coronavirus five days after their return to Trinity (depending on the length of their time away from Trinity).

Parameters for outdoor visits remain unchanged.

To arrange a visit, please contact your network director. There may be additional rules regarding visitation that Trinity must follow for certain homes, such as the Trinity Living Centers, which are regulated by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

We hope that we can relax the guidelines for visitation for program participants who have been vaccinated. We await further guidance from the CDC. The safety and health of our people we support continues to be our number one priority.

If your loved one has not been vaccinated and you would like them to be, please contact your network director, and we will do our best to make this happen in a timely manner.

We will continue to keep you updated on any new information related to COVID-19 as it becomes available.

For faster access to updates, please keep an eye on our website, or send us your email address. Please also look for Trinity Services on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram to view regular Friday update videos. Thank you for your continued support and friendship.

Your Friends at Trinity Services