Coronavirus up to Date Information for Residents, Friends and Family
Last Updated: 25 November 08.55 hrs
Please use this page for the most up to date information regarding the Coronavirus and Respect Aged Care. This page will be updated regularly.
It has become exceedingly apparent that traditional methods of communication are failing during the recent outbreak of Coronavirus. Respect Aged Care has created this page as a single source of truth for residents, friends, and family regarding the Coronavirus and steps Respect Aged Care are taking to minimise the risk to our residents.
To sign up to our newsletter to receive instant notifications, please visit respect.com.au/signup
Brett Menzies 0408 562 498 or email@example.com.
- Each resident is permitted up to five visitors per day, including dependants.
- Visitors who have been recently exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case, awaiting the result of a COVID-19 test, displaying COVID-19 symptoms or required to isolate or quarantine will not be able to enter care facilities. Visitors must sign a declaration upon entry to state that they have not been in contact with a confirmed case in the past 7 days if fully vaccinated and if not a household contact, or the last 14 days if not fully vaccinated or if a household contact.
- You must not visit a care facility to see patients if you tested positive to COVID-19, a household contact, have COVID-19 symptoms, waiting for a COVID-19 test result, or if you are an overseas traveller or an international aircrew service worker who just arrived in Victoria.
- Visitors must wear a face mask indoors unless an exception applies, and you should take extra care to wash your hands and keep at least 1.5m physical distance at all times.
- All visitors are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated. Where visitors are not fully vaccinated, all visits should occur either outdoors or else in the resident’s own room(s). They should not attend common areas.
The Directions continue to retain requirements that support safe visits including excluding people who are unwell, requirements to wear masks, check in and make a declaration.
As with all Victorians, aged care visitors are strongly recommended to be vaccinated. This is in line with the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) recommendations which strongly encourages all visitors, aged 12 and over, to aged care facilities be vaccinated.
Tips to support safe visitation
- Follow the directions about wearing masks indoors, screening visitors and visitor declarations.
- Visits to occur in a resident’s room, outdoors or in a specific area rather than communal areas with other residents.
- Indoor visits should occur in well ventilated areas. Open windows to provide natural ventilation provided outdoor temperature is suitable.
- Where visitors are not fully vaccinated, all visits should occur either outdoors or else in the resident’s own room(s). Visitors should not remain in common areas.
- Remind visitors about safety measures such as hand hygiene and wearing masks properly (by both directly reminding visitors and indirectly such as via signs in the facility reminding visitors about these measures).
- Practice social distancing where possible and appropriate.
- Visitors should not visit if they are unwell.
While visitors are allowed, under the Care Facilities Directions, some people are not permitted to enter a care facility. This includes people who:
- have symptoms of COVID-19
- have had a COVID-19 test because they have symptoms or have attended an exposure site and are waiting for the result
- are required to isolate or quarantine
- have had contact with a COVID positive person in the past 14 days.
In Tasmania, visits to residential aged care homes are permitted for people providing care and support, with the following restrictions:
- Visitors must not have any symptoms, even if mild, of COVID-19, including fever (a temperature higher than 37.5 degrees), symptoms of fever (chills, night sweats), cough, sore throat, shortness of breath or loss of taste or smell. Unless an exemption has been granted by the facility in relation to end-of-life care.
- People who are subject to quarantine must not visit a residential aged care facility unless an exemption has been granted. That means they must not have:
- been in an area or premises identified as medium or high-risk for COVID-19 in the previous 14 days
- had contact with anyone known to have COVID-19, or reasonably suspected of having COVID-19, within the previous 14 days (except as part of their employment while wearing effective personal protective equipment).
There are further guidelines for visiting aged care homes in Tasmania:
- If visits are being carried out in communal areas, it is important that a physical distance of 1.5 metres be maintained between people whenever possible.
- Influenza vaccine is strongly encouraged for anyone who spends time in residential aged care facilities.
- Children under the age of 16 years and visiting services such as hairdressers and allied health professionals may visit aged care facilities.
- Residents may leave the facility, for example with family and friends
New South Wales Homes
Residents are permitted a maximum of two (2) visitors per day in residential age care facilities that are in areas not currently under stay at home orders, provided they have not been to any stay at home area in the last 14 days.
From 11 October, all visitors aged 12 years and over to all aged care facilities must have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine as least 14 days prior to their visit unless they can provide a COVID-19 medical contraindication certificate or the visit is for end of life. Children under the age of 12 will not be permitted to enter an aged care facility.
New South Wales Visitors
Visitors must not enter the facility at all if they:
- have been to any close, casual or monitor for symptoms locationsin NSW in the last 14 days
- have been to COVID-19 exposure locationsin ACT in the last 14 days
- have been to any close or casual contact locationsin Queensland in the last 14 days
- have been in Victorian places of high concernin the last 14 days
- have been in Greater Melbournein the previous 14 days
- have COVID-19 symptoms– fever (37. 5°C or higher) or symptoms of COVID-19
- are a close contact of a person with confirmed COVID-19 and are within their self-isolation period
- live in a household with a person who is currently self-isolating
- are waiting for a COVID-19 test result
From 1 June to 30 September 2021 visitors should not enter an aged care facility if they have not received a dose of the 2021 influenza vaccine, unless they meet the criteria under the exceptional and special circumstances.
Booking A Visit
Although it is no longer a requirement to book a visit in our Tasmanian homes, we still strongly encourage you to do so first here if possible as it will save you from entering the same information when you are on-site.
The check-in process involves the following:
- Entry to our homes will be limited to designated entry and exit points where Zipline and temperature scanning stations have been set up
- In addition, all visitors must comply with our active screening process, which includes temperature checking, and questions regarding any respiratory symptoms
Once you have checked in you will receive a visitor sticker, which you must wear at all times once inside the homes. No sticker, No visit.
Visitors, once on site, will be asked to:
- complete a risk-based questionnaire regarding recent travel and activities;
- have their temperature taken;
- be supervised on entry to ensure proper hand sanitisation;
- maintain social distancing from their loved one of 1.5 meters throughout the duration of their visit;
- only visit their loved one in their room and with no access to public or communal areas (Vic/NSW only), or to visit other residents; and
- wear personal protective equipment if deemed necessary in the future depending on the circumstances.
Current Visitation Restrictions
No person may enter the premises of a Respect site if they:
- are unwell with flu-like symptoms, such as a cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath, or fever;
- have had known contact in the last 14 days with a person who was a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19); or
- have a temperature higher than 37.5 degrees.
- are a diagnosed person or close contact under the Diagnosed Persons and Close Contacts Directions;
- have, during the 14 days prior to entry, arrived in Australia from overseas (other than on a quarantine-free flight from an overseas location designated by the Australian Government as a green travel zone);
- have, during the 14 days prior to entry, had known contact with a confirmed case (except in the course of your employment while wearing the appropriate level of personal protective equipment in the circumstances);
- have SARS-CoV-2 Symptoms; or
- if you are a visitor – have been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting your test results.
Residents in the Community
Residents will now be permitted to enter the community for outings such as shopping, provided they are following government regulations regarding masks. Due to social distancing requirements we are still not in a position to recommence bus trip outings or large group activities, and all of our staff and residents continue to adhere to density regulations. Respect is implementing every measure possible to prevent coronavirus entering one of our sites.
Loved ones can still be contacted by telephone and video chat facilities if they wish to do so. If you would like to speak with your loved one by video chat please don’t hesitate to contact the home your loved one resides in so this can be arranged.
We do not currently have any cases of coronavirus at any home, and will continue to closely monitor the situation and make changes to visitation as necessary.
There are 202,107 confirmed cases in Australia with 1,973 recorded deaths.
What is the Coronavirus?
The Coronavirus is a new virus, distinctively different from existing viruses such as Influenza or Gastroenteritis.
Despite reports to the contrary, the Coronavirus is not just like Influenza. Humans have not had previous exposure and therefore have no pre-existing immunity to the virus.
How can I see or talk to my love one?
Loved ones can still always be contacted by telephone, and during this time we have setup video chat facilities so friends and family can see and talk to their loved one face to face if they wish to do so. If you would like to speak with your loved one by video chat please don’t hesitate to contact the home your loved one resides in so this can be arranged.
We have seen ingenious ideas such as this in other countries where lock downs are occurring:
As a progressive aged care organisation, Respect will investigate all types of ways to keep our residents engaged with their loved ones. Next to their personal safety, their emotional well-being is paramount to us and we encourage family and friends to stay in contact as much as possible during this time.
What are the extenuating circumstances where I can see my loved in the home?
If your loved one is passing away, please contact the aged care home where your loved one resides so we can ensure you see them if you do not pose a risk to other residents. Other extenuating circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
If the visit is deemed necessary then you will be met at the front entrance, and;
- will be shown how to properly sanitise your hands;
- will need to complete a brief questionnaire which will include questions regarding recent travel including interstate, recent health issues, and contact with any known person with Coronavirus;
- will be required to have your temperature taken; and
- may also be required to wear personal protective equipment depending on the circumstances at the time.
Tasmanian sites only – What should I do if I am currently on the mainland or plan to travel out of Tasmania in the near future?
The Tasmanian Government has declared that from midnight on Friday, 20 March 2020, anyone arriving into Tasmania will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. This includes Tasmanian residents returning home to Tasmania.
Whilst the self-isolation will not apply to essential travelers, including health care workers, at this stage, we believe it will apply to all other non-essential visitors to the state including family of residents.
Are all elderly in general at risk?
It appears as people age so does their chance of having pre-existing conditions, and less fitness to “fight off” the Coronavirus which puts them at higher risk.
What pre-existing condition puts someone at higher risk?
Pre-existing conditions which currently appear to put people at higher risk than others include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, hypertension, and cancer.
Should I be personally worried?
More than 80% of cases experience mild symptoms only.
The mortality rate of persons with no pre-existing conditions appears to be less than 1%, however this may include undiagnosed pre-existing conditions.
People most at risk are those with pre-existing conditions. If you have a pre-existing condition, we recommend considering self-isolation.
How can I help?
The best thing family and friends can do is keep in contact with your loved ones so they do not feel socially isolated. Please remember to reassure them the lock down is precautionary.
You can also follow hygiene instructions from trusted sources, including the the Department of Health and World Health Organization (WHO), to do your part in the community.
Please see the following video for proper hand hygiene using the WHO method.
Cough and Sneeze Etiquette
Please see the following poster for proper cough and sneeze etiquette.
Social distancing is an important way to mitigate the risks of the virus in the community.