Changed Information for Visitors re the Coronavirus/COVID-19 current as at 18/3/2020
Directions from the Prime Minister and Minister for Aged Care as per measures notified by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) on the advice of the Communicable Diseases Network Australia.
There is currently no vaccination to prevent COVID-19; avoidance of exposure is the single most important measure for preventing COVID-19 in RACFs. RACFs must have, and be vigilant in implementing measures to prevent introduction of COVID-19 into their facility.
RESTRICTIONS ON ENTRY INTO RACFs
The following visitors and staff (including visiting workers) are not permitted to enter the facility:
• Those who have returned from overseas in the last 14 days. • Those who have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days. *A contact is defined as anyone who has been in contact with a known case, including the 24 hours before the case became symptomatic. • Those with fever or symptoms of acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath) symptoms. • Those who have not been vaccinated against influenza (after 1st May 2020).
We are required to implement the following measures for restricting visits and visitors to reduce the risk of transmission to residents, including:
• Limiting visits to a short duration; • Limiting visits to a maximum of two visitors at one time per day. These may be immediate social supports (family members, close friends) or professional service or advocacy; • Visits should be conducted in a resident’s room, outdoors, or in a specific area designated by the RACF, rather than communal areas where the risk of transmission to residents is greater; • No large group visits or gatherings, including social activities or entertainment, should be permitted at this time; • No school groups of any size should be allowed to visit RACFs.
Visitors are asked to practise social distancing practices where possible, including maintaining a distance of 1.5 metres.
Children aged 16 years or less are to be permitted to visit only by exception, as they are generally unable to comply with hygiene measures. Exemptions can be assessed on a case-by-case basis, for example, where the resident is in palliative care.
From Friday 20th March 2020 visitors can only access through either the main front entrance at Harkness St and the Burns St (Heath House) entrance and at Raglan House visitors will need to ring the bell to enter from the front. You will only be able to gain entry to the facilities via these entrances. We are asking for your understanding and support in this to assist in the protection of residents.
We are also requesting that you restrict visiting times to between 9am and 5.00 pm. This will allow us to have staff on hand to greet visitors at that time to remind each to take precautions re hand hygiene and social distancing and we may even monitor visitors to ensure those with a temperature above 37 degrees do not visit. We also request that you restrict the amount of people visiting at the one time to two people, that you visit within each resident’s own room or in the grounds/garden areas; and also that you reduce the time of your visit to 15 minutes and maintain the social distancing range of 1.5 metres.
In regards to palliative care and end of life residents, we are able under the current directives to make decisions on a case by case basis. Any current arrangements will remain in place but you are asked to comply with the rules by visiting only within the resident’s room or in the grounds. Please do not hesitate to speak to staff should you have any queries around this.
For those with card access you may find that this is restricted during the restricted visitor period. Once these precautions are removed the access will be returned to current settings.
Staff are continuing to monitor all residents on a daily basis which now includes temperature testing. Staff are also now self-monitoring their temperature upon arrival to the facility.
While, at this stage we are not undergoing a full lock down of either facility, we advise all visitors to please not enter either facility if you are at all unwell or have a temperature.
We are doing what we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we are also asking that all family and friends assist us with this. I would like to remind you to practice good personal hygiene; please wash your hands regularly and use hand hygiene solution as you move through our facilities when you are visiting your loved one or friend.
This is a rapidly changing situation and we will be required to act on any direction by the Victorian or Commonwealth Governments with regard to visitors and isolation. We will keep you informed of any changes as we are advised ourselves.
If you have any queries or concerns, please raise them with myself or the nurse unit manager.