Dear Family Member or Friend,
As you are aware the Queensland Government has made it clear that there will be changes from tomorrow as to who can and cannot enter an aged care home which I have already communicated to you and which I am sure you have heard or read on the news. As we consider our approach to living with COVID-19 as it begins to spread throughout the communities we operate in we are attempting to balance our response between keeping residents safe whilst also enabling them to remain connected with the people that they love.
Our challenge is that each organisation is required to meet the directions from the Queensland Government (https://www.health.qld.gov.au/system-governance/legislation/cho-public-health-directions-under-expanded-public-health-act-powers/aged-care) and in doing so must in essence police who is entering our sites. As I hope you can appreciate it is not a matter of simply leaving this up to our access control system as unfortunately there are some who would simply walk past this equipment thereby potentially leaving our residents, staff and this organisation exposed to the risks that this could bring.
Further, there is no restriction on residents leaving our site to visit family and friends and this of course is also a risk due to the potential for this person to become infected with COVID before returning to their home. Again this risk impacts not only the resident but all the people they then subsequently come in contact with if they become infectious.
As a result, we will be implementing the following procedures to do all we can to minimise the potential risks we have identified:
- Visiting hours on weekends and public holidays will be limited whereby entry to visit will only be available between 10am and 3pm. A person who has arrived during this time may remain on site until later but only those that arrive between the hours will be permitted on site unless special arrangements have been made prior to the weekend. Likewise on weekdays (not including public holidays) access to the site will be limited to the hours that our reception is open unless special arrangements have been made.
- Once there are confirmed cases within the local government areas in which we operate or where a resident is visiting with people who are from an area that has confirmed active transmission of COVID we will request that once the resident returns that they submit to a COVID test every second day for the next 6 days (3 tests) to enable us to actively monitor their condition and to enable us to act early and quickly should they test positive. Where a resident is not prepared to receive this COVID test they will be required to isolate in their room for a 1 week period to enable us to mitigate the risk to our residents and staff.
- Where a resident is going offsite to visit with family and friends, we will also require that records are kept of who they are visiting with and the date / time and locations that the resident has visited to enable us to provide this information to contact tracers as necessary. Also, please inform the facility if following a visit with your loved one if you become unwell, are awaiting a covid -19 result or have a family member or close contact who has been deemed a close contact so that the organisation can ensure the correct process is put in place for your friend or family member.
- Where a resident is taken off site and is spending time with friends or family who have chosen to not be vaccinated, we would also ask that extra precautions are taken such as the use of masks and appropriate distancing where possible to reduce the possible inadvertent transfer of the covid -19 virus to the aged care consumer.
Of course we would ask all visitors whether they be visiting residents onsite or elsewhere to do all they can to protect the people that they love by focusing on their hygiene and ensuring that they do not visit with a person if they have any COVID symptoms no matter how mild. Vaccinations have been proven to significantly reduce the severity of COVID symptoms thereby also reducing how infectious a person is that has it, therefore, we strongly encourage anyone visiting with one of our residents to consider the impact on not only themselves but the broader aged care community when making a decision as to whether they will be vaccinated.
Thank you for your understanding as we do all we can to navigate safely through this next chapter of COVID.
Adventist Retirement Plus
Seventh-day Adventist Aged Care (South Queensland) Ltd
P 07 3218 7777
400 Boundary St, Spring Hill QLD, 4000 | PO Box 577, Spring Hill QLD, 4004