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COVID-19 Response

NorthShore University HealthSystem is prepared for the ongoing pandemmic. Many of your questions about how we are prepared and where you can get the services you need are outlined below.

NorthShore Readiness

Are NorthShore’s hospitals reporting a spike in COVID-19 positive cases?

NorthShore is currently experiencing a significant downward trend in COVID-19-positive patients who need to be hospitalized, which is encouraging news. However, our inpatient census could increase due to the pandemic’s fluid and evolving nature. We continue to monitor and are prepared in the event there is a spike in COVID-19 patients needing hospitalization. The IDPH coronavirus site is updated frequently and includes figures on the number of cases in Illinois.

How prepared is NorthShore to handle current and future patient demand?

NorthShore has a coordinated plan in place to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. This has been the case since January when we established a group of clinical, administrative, and operational leaders to proactively prepare and implement detailed action plans system-wide. This cross-functional team has met and continues to meet daily and reviews the systems, supplies, people, and communication aspects of the pandemic to inform our readiness planning and activities.

We currently have inpatient and Intensive Care Unit capacity, and if and when necessary, broaden capacity to include converting additional clinical areas at our hospitals into enhanced COVID-19 isolation units to accommodate a patient surge.

We’ve also established COVID-19 enhanced Immediate Care Centers in Gurnee, Lake Bluff, Niles and Skokie; activated E-visits through our NorthShoreConnect patient portal; created a drive-through testing site in Skokie for eligible patients; and addressed patient concerns through our 847.432.5849 (847.HEALTH9) community health phone line.

Is NorthShore able to provide appropriate care for non-COVID-19 patients?

NorthShore has preparedness plans in place to ensure members of our community who have non-COVID-19 conditions are treated and cared for with the same high standards that the community has come to trust from NorthShore. We have expanded other types of access points to support the practice of social distancing such as phone visits, E-Visits, and video visits.

What about adequate access to NorthShore’s Emergency Departments for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients?

As a result of our COVID-19 preparedness, NorthShore has been able to successfully keep our Emergency Departments (ED) from becoming flooded with patients. In fact, our ED volume is down from its historic figures, which is encouraging news.

Due to the pandemic, is NorthShore “prioritizing” care based on a patient’s age, health history, or odds of potentially not recovering from COVID-19?

During these challenging times, please know that we are working diligently and tirelessly to provide safe, effective, and protective care for all our patients, employees, and the communities we serve. Our dedicated COVID-19 medical teams are caring for each individual patient to determine the best course of treatment given their symptoms and health history.


Glenbrook Hospital COVID-19 and Non-COVID Patient Care

Isn’t Glenbrook Hospital the primary COVID-19 (COVID) hospital in your system?

Yes. Glenbrook has served as the primary COVID hospital since early April.

Where at Glenbrook is the hospital reopening care for non COVID patients?

Glenbrook is reopening occupancy to non-COVID patients initially on the 5th floor of the hospital’s inpatient pavilion.

Why is Glenbrook doing this?

The hospital’s physical structure and layout allow for flexibility and adjustments to provide the highest standards of safety and care for all patients.

Since I don’t have COVID, why am I being transferred to Glenbrook for inpatient care?

Glenbrook has non-COVID bed capacity to help with the increasing patient volumes at Evanston and Highland Park Hospitals.

Will I be charged for the cost of being transported from my original hospital to Glenbrook?

If you are at another NorthShore hospital and there are no inpatient beds available to keep you there, then you will be transported to Glenbrook at no cost to you.

What steps have you completed to ensure the cleanliness of the non-COVID patient unit?

Glenbrook’s Environmental Services team has performed and completed a “top-to-bottom” meticulous and thorough deep cleaning, disinfection of the entire 5th floor inpatient pavilion:

  • Using EPA-registered disinfectants that eliminate the COVID virus;
  • Using powerful ultra violet disinfection applications—to complete the process.
  • Disinfecting every object and high touch surface, including:
    • Patient rooms: bed, phone, bathroom, blinds, walls, floors, TV, light switches, remote controls—everything;
    • Nurses stations, waiting areas, utility rooms, storage areas, closets, floors, elevators;
    • Medical equipment, computers—again every object and frequently touched surface.
What is NorthShore’s action plan to identify COVID-19 patients for inpatient status?

Our dedicated COVID-19 medical team first determines if a case should be admitted under our COVID action plan. If the patient is deemed COVID-eligible for inpatient care, appropriate steps are taken to ensure a seamless and safe transition to the appropriate hospital. Our in-house testing capabilities allow us to determine in a timely way whether COVID-19 is the cause of the patient’s respiratory infection.

What steps have you completed to ensure that the staff are free of COVID?

All staff—including anyone who has contact with patients—is properly screened per CDC and IDPH guidelines upon entry to the Glenbrook campus.

All staff will follow proper PPE requirements per CDC and IDPH guidelines. Everyone is required to practice social distancing within Glenbrook, including on the non-COVID inpatient units.

Will the doctors, nurses, medical and non-clinical staff on the unit be treating COVID patients as well?

Staff working on the non-COVID units will only work with non-COVID patients.

Do you have enough staff members to care for me?

We have adequate staffing levels to accommodate all patient needs.

Will my patient room be anywhere near COVID patient rooms?

All COVID-related patient rooms have been designated on different inpatient units from those housing non-COVID patients. This is to ensure that all COVID patients are treated in isolated areas of the hospital.

Please rest assured that you are in excellent hands at Glenbrook. The hospital, like all of our hospitals within the NorthShore system, is following all containment and safety protocols, including social distancing measures, for the protection of our patients and staff.

A member of our team will assist you every step of the way to make you feel as safe and comfortable as possible.

What happens if you run out of beds at Glenbrook for non-COVID patients?

We are in the process of expanding non-COVID units on the 3rd floor if additional capacity is needed. This process is expected to be completed soon.

What happens if there’s another spike in COVID cases? Will I remain at Glenbrook?

If warranted, Glenbrook will revert back to a complete COVID-designated facility but not before all non-COVID patients are transferred safely and seamlessly to one of our other NorthShore hospitals.