Visitations Update 29 April 2020
29 April 20
Respect were the first aged care organisation in Australia to voluntarily put their homes into lockdown. The decision to do this was an extremely difficult one, which needed to weigh the risks associated with community transmission versus the safety of our residents which is always our first priority. The decision was made when the doubling rate of the Coronavirus in Australia was less than three days (meaning the number of people infected doubled at least every three days) and it appeared as if Australia was on the same trajectory as many countries that are now in a tragic condition. If the doubling rate had stayed at three days, more than half of the population of Australia would have contracted the virus by the end of May 2020. Respect were not comfortable at the time with the Government’s recommendation to leave aged care homes open when the virus was doubling every three days.
The doubling rate in Australia is now 425 days, and even higher in many of the communities where our homes are located. Respect has therefore assessed the risk in the current climate as very low and will begin controlled visitations in Victoria. We intend to begin controlled visitation in the North and South of Tasmania on 6 May 2020 if the directive from the Director of Public Health (which requires us to remain in lockdown) is lifted. We will assess the North West Coast of Tasmania on a day-by-day basis from 6 May 2020 because the community risk in the North West Coast is still considered high.
The controlled visitations will occur as a proportionate lessening to our visitor restrictions. The initial phase will allow one 30 minute visitation from one visitor for each resident between 9:00am and 4:30pm Monday to Friday. We will increase visitations when we’re comfortable that the system is adequately controlling the risk, and if community risk remains low. If the risk in a community increases, we will increase restrictions on visitation accordingly using this flexible system.
Please note, the restrictions do not apply to end of life care, however these visitors will need to follow the same process.
Each visitor will need to contact the facility and they will be given a code and instructions on how to make a booking through our online booking application (https://cov.respect.com.au/).
- Complete a risk assessment regarding recent travel and activities.
- Make a declaration that they have had a flu vaccination as per new Government regulations for aged care visitors.
- Watch read and understand education on the Coronavirus, hand hygiene, sneeze and cough etiquette, and social distancing.
- Have their temperature taken prior to entry.
- 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, or to visit other residents.
- Wear personal protective equipment if deemed necessary in the future depending on the circumstances.
We have deployed extra staff resources within the home to meet the needs of residents at this time and please remember you can still call at anytime, or video call by arranging this with the home your loved one resides in.