COVID-19 information for our aged care facilities (NSW)

August 23, 2021

Dear Residents and Relatives,

COVID-19 Update

In response to the evolving Delta outbreak, the Government has extended the lockdown in Greater Sydney until the end of September. Sydney remains under strict Stay at Home Orders. Our Homes in NSW remain closed to visitors except under exceptional circumstances, such as where a resident is on a Palliative pathway. Requests are being assessed on a case by case basis.

HAIRDRESSING SERVICES

As per the Stay at Home Orders, hairdressers are presently not permitted to work. We look forward to welcoming our in-house hairdressers back onsite once restrictions ease.

MANDATORY STAFF COVID-19 VACCINATIONS

Christadelphian Aged Care fully supports the Government’s recent decision to mandate the COVID-19 for residential aged care employees.  Commencing 17th September 2021, all of our employees must have had a minimum of at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.  We have been supporting staff in ascertaining this vaccination with staff vaccinations at each of our homes. After this date, staff who remain unvaccinated will not be able to continue working in aged care.

The Government continues to encourage Australian to get vaccinated and there is talk around a COVID-19 Vaccine Passport.

COVID-19 RESPONSE AND PLANNING

We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation responding to the developing situation on a daily basis to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 entering one of our homes.

The Aged Care Quality & Safety Commission have conducted Infection Control and COVID-19 Outbreak Preparedness inspections at several of our Homes. Pleasingly, we have received positive feedback on the practices and processes that we have in place.

COVID OUTBREAKS IN RESIDENTIAL AGED CARE FACILITIES

I am sure you have all seen in the media a number of Residential Aged Care Facilities in Greater Sydney have unfortunately had positive outbreaks.  Currently, there are no cases of COVID-19 in any of our Homes in NSW. Please rest assured that as part of our Outbreak Management Plan we would endeavour to immediately notify relatives/representatives in the event of an outbreak.

You may be aware that we did have an exposure risk at Casa Mia where an agency nurse who worked one shift and later tested positive to COVID-19. We worked with State Health and quarantined Casa Mia for 14 days with no resident or staff infection.

RESIDENT WELLBEING

We understand that this is a difficult time for residents and their loved ones.  Speaking to loved ones reduces loneliness and improves wellbeing. Our Leisure and Lifestyle Teams are working hard to keep everyone connected by assisting with telephone and video calls during this time.

We encourage anyone who is not yet vaccinated to seriously consider having the vaccination to protect themselves, their family and friends.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Kind regards,

Bruce Thornthwaite
Chief Clinical Officer