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30 July 2020 - Update regarding COVID-19 – Face Masks

In light of some recent community transmissions in NSW and QLD, we have made provisions for care staff in Homes located in areas identified by NSW Health as a known hotspot to wear a mask when providing care for your loved one. We are regularly monitoring Health Department advice.

We have purchased an additional resource of masks, to add to our existing stockpiles.

Our focus is on protecting our residents and staff and we continue to seek to balance the minimisation of risk with optimising the wellbeing of our residents.

We are prepared and remain vigilant

Alongside this, we are continuing to take additional steps. Our Visitor Plan is reviewed daily and has been updated to reflect changes in geographies impacted by recent community hotspots.

We are very well prepared and have developed specific COVID-19 Protocols.

Reminder re visits: Please book ahead and check the latest guidance from NSW/QLD Health

If you would like to visit, please continue to book ahead of time. This is to ensure our staff can manage the screening process as effectively as possible. Please view our Visitor Guide for more details. During this time, you will be advised if care staff in your loved one’s Home will be wearing masks and whether you will also need to wear a mask when visiting.

Along with restrictions in Victoria, NSW Health has released updated guidance that includes several NSW locations. Please refrain from visiting if you are unwell or have travelled to a known hotspot. Latest COVID-19 case locations in NSW are available on the NSW Health website.

As always, thank you for your continued support and understanding. If you have any questions or feedback, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your Residential Manager.

14 July 2020 - Update regarding COVID-19 – Increase in community transmission

In the past few days there has been news of community transmission in south-west Sydney and outbreaks in a number of aged care homes in Victoria.

As of this morning there are over 30 aged care services in Victoria with confirmed cases of COVID-19. In Sydney, there are reports today that one aged care home has gone into lockdown following confirmation that a visitor, had tested positive for COVID-19 (reportedly linked to the clusters in Liverpool-Campbelltown).

We are prepared and remain vigilant

Firstly, we are continuing to monitor the situation and remain vigilant. As you would be aware from our regular updates in recent months, we have had a singular focus on preparing for the risk associated with COVID-19. We have developed specific COVID-19 Protocols (which we activated in managing our situation at Bodington Aged Care Home in Wentworth Falls in April).

Reminder re visits: Please book ahead and check latest guidance from NSW Health

If you would like to visit, please continue to book ahead of time. This is to ensure our staff can manage the screening process as effectively as possible.

If community transmission increases, we will apply our Visitor Plan (detailed below in 22 May 2020 Update) and advise of changes to Homes in key geographies. We are mindful that this risk will be with us for some time and we will continue to seek to balance the minimisation of risk with the impact on wellbeing. Thank you for continued support and understanding.

If you have any questions or feedback, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your Residential Manager.

29 June 2020 - Update regarding COVID-19 – Changes to Visitor Plan

Our COVID-19 Visitor Plan ensures we tailor our approach to each Home. At any given time, our 41 Homes will be assigned to one of four Tiers, which will determine the protocols associated with visits. 

The changes this week are applicable to Tier 3 (details on each Tier are below in the 22 May 2020 update).

New requirements for visits as a result of changes to State Public Health Orders.

The key change is that children under 16 will now be able to visit. Other requirements remain broadly consistent with previous State Health Orders. These include:

  • No visitors who have travelled in past 14 days, been in a ‘COVID hot spot’ or been a close contact
  • Visitors required to have a health screen including temperature check and provide evidence of flu vaccination, this includes children (unless evidence provided to the contrary. Please refer to the Visitors Guide and Code of Conduct for further detail (links to these documents above).
  • Only two visitors at a time
  • No group outings

Bookings will continue to be made by contacting reception at the Home. To the extent there are any changes in Tiers, we will continue to notify authorised representatives advising of the Tier (category) of your loved one’s Home. We ask that the authorised representatives please share this information with other family members and friends.

Finally, we are delighted to note all Homes will be welcoming back Entertainers to their Lifestyle Programs. We will not be recommencing our intergenerational programs yet and will instead continue with our ‘pen pal’ and virtual intergenerational activities.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Manager of your Home. Thank you again for your continued support.

22 May 2020 - Update on COVID-19 Visitor Plan - commenced 26 May 2020

We have been working on our roadmap to support visits to our Homes.

Our COVID-19 Visitor Plan is set out in four stages (tiers) which are aligned with Government directives and guidelines. At any given time, our 41 Homes will be assigned against these Tiers, which will determine the protocols associated with visits. The assessment of a given Home will reflect three key considerations:

(1) Levels of community transmission

  • COVID-19 statistics are being reviewed on a daily basis to inform our view on risk in a given geography.

(2) Physical environment and the ability to support social distancing

  • For example, we note that some of our Homes may be unable to safely support outside visits due to environmental and climate factors.

(3) Resident consultation

  • In line with our everyday approach, and consistent with the principles of the published Code, input from our residents will be sought along the way.

The four stages of the COVID-19 Visitor Plan are:

Tier Description What it means for visits
Tier 1  Actual or potential Outbreak (declared by State Health) No visitors permitted except for compassionate visits (with protocols set by State Health).
Tier 2   COVID-19 activity in local area and/or residents have requested minimal visits. Compassionate visits continue as arranged.
Outdoor or window visits and/or visits to a designated visitor room (where available).
Tier 3   Limited/no COVID-19 activity in local area and residents are supportive of visits. Compassionate visits.
Visits in either Resident rooms or the designated visitor room. However, no access to resident common areas (e.g. lounges, serveries or courtyard)
Tier 4   No restrictions.  Visits within the Home including common areas 7 days a week.

Requirements for visits

For now, visits will be available on weekdays during reception hours, unless arranged with the Residential Manager.

Bookings can be made by contacting reception at the Home and must be made in advance.

To support social distancing and safe practice we will limit the number of visitors in the Home at any one time. It is important that all families have the opportunity to visit their loved one.

Visitors will be required to have a health screen including temperature check and provide evidence of flu vaccination. Refer to the Visitors Guide and Code of Conduct for further detail.

The COVID-19 Visitor Plan came into effect 26 May 2020. 

Authorised representatives will receive an SMS on that day advising of the Tier (category) of your loved ones’ Home. Please share this information with other family members and friends.

Going forward, any changes to each Homes’ Tier will be also advised via an SMS. Again, please share this information with family and friends. Changes may be made at short notice, based on COVID-19 activity.

If you have any questions, please contact the Manager of your Home. Thank you for your understanding and continued support.

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Click here to view previous communications relating to Catholic Healthcare - Residential Aged Care and Covid-19.