Information on Coronavirus
Updated 23 March 2020
With the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) across the globe since late last year, St Vincent’s Care Services has put in place a range of measures designed to keep residents in its aged care facilities safe and well.
With elderly people most vulnerable to COVID-19’s impact, and based on consultation with Commonwealth and state health departments we have introduced a policy of ‘controlled containment’ in all stand-alone, residential aged care facilities on 16 March 2020 to reduce the spread of the virus.
On 22 March 2020, the Government announced additional specific residential aged care sector restrictions, that we as an aged care provider must adhere to. These restrictions directed by the Government continue to evolve, however, are the best way to limit the potential transmission of COVID-19 in our facilities. These new directives were in line with what measures we already had in place at all our Residential Aged Care Facilities.
We can now advise as of 23 March 2020, as per Government directives, changes to our residential aged care sites include:
- All sites maintain a controlled single-entry point through which all people (visitors, staff, health care professionals and contractors) must enter.
- Each person is required to complete a health declaration form before being permitted entry. This helps trace any potential COVID-19 contact and is in line with advice from health authorities.
- Restrictions to visits from families and next of kin are as per Government directives. https://www.health.qld.gov.au/system-governance/legislation/cho-public-health-directions-under-expanded-public-health-act-powers/aged-care
- No-one is accepted onsite under the age of 16, who have travelled overseas in the past 14-days, anyone who has been in direct contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case, is unwell or has flu- like symptoms.
- Residents cannot go out into the community during this period unless to access essential services, such as attending a medical or allied health appointment.
To help residents and their families and loved ones manage these new measures, St Vincent’s Care Services has put in place:
- Increased lifestyle and pastoral care services at sites to keep residents engaged and connected, especially during this period of restricted visiting hours.
- Increased cleaning services at sites.
- Extra administrative support at sites and increased Contact Centre opening hours over weekends to manage increased family questions and inquiries.The Contact Centre team can be called on 1800 778 767 from Mon-Fri, 8 am – 6 pm and Sat-Sun, 9 am – 1 pm.
- Currently investigating new and different ways to keep families and residents connected using various technologies (i.e. apps and online chat) and will roll-out these initiatives as soon as possible.
Independent Living Units
We have applied some restrictions to those of our independent living units that are co-located with our residential aged care facilities. These vary at each site, please call the contact centre for more information.
The pandemic is evolving rapidly and we are working closely with the Government to adhere to these ongoing restrictions to keep our clients and staff safe. Please call us to get an up-to-date list of services we offer and restrictions we are adhering to.
Contact St Vincent’s Care Services
St Vincent’s Care Services has set up a COVID-19 Support Line on 1800 518 130 to help residents, family members, loved ones and members of the public with information about our new requirements.
The pandemic is evolving quickly so we encourage you to keep up to date linking into the below Government websites. We will aim to send regular communication updates to families and next of kin and if you would like to receive this information please let the contact centre via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where can I get more information about COVID-19?
Visit the Australian Government Department of Health homepage at www.health.gov.au.
Call the Public Health Information Line on 1800 004 599.
Contact your state or territory public health agency:
- NSW call 1300 066 055
- Qld call 13HEALTH (13 43 25 84)
- Vic call 1300 651 160