Updated advice regarding COVID-19

Vacenti would like to sincerely thank all residents, families and friends for your cooperation and understanding at this unprecedented time. Vacenti continues to take advice and direction from the Commonwealth Department of Health and Chief Medical Officer.

Measures Announced by the Prime Minister and Queensland Government’s Chief Health Officer
Aged care facilities must take extra precautions when it comes to visits and action must be taken to restrict contact between residents and non-residents of a residential aged care facility. These include:

• making sure visits are kept short
• allowing no more than two visitors, including doctors, at a time, on a particular day
• making sure visits occur in a resident’s room, outdoors, or in a specific area they designate – there should be no visiting in communal areas
• ensuring there are no large group visits or gatherings, including social activities or entertainment
• No school groups of any size are allowed to visit residential aged care facilities.
• No children aged under 16 years are permitted to visit residential aged care facilities except in special circumstances.
• Residential aged care facility must not permit a resident, excluding an end-of-life resident, to leave the facility except to receive, or access, health care or in the case of emergency.

Visitors MUST NOT enter an aged care facilities if they have:
• returned from overseas in the last 14 days
• been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days
• have a fever (temperature equal to or higher than 37.5 degrees) or symptoms of a respiratory infection such as a cough, sore throat or shortness of breath

Visiting Restrictions

Visiting restriction advised on the 27th March remain in place, specifically:

  • Vacenti will be restricting visitor access during business hours only for all facilities (Monday – Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm).
  • According to Government requirements, a resident may only have 1 care and support visit per day.
  • The care and support visit is no longer than 2 hours.

Visit outside of these hours will only be granted under the following circumstances:

• for the purposes of end of life support for a resident; or
• persons who provide significant assistance in providing care for residents.

Taking residents off site

    • New restriction relaxation – a resident may leave the site to attend a funeral, or on any other compassionate grounds.

    Specifically the wording says “The operator of a residential aged care facility in the State of Queensland must not permit a resident, excluding an end of life resident, to leave the facility except to receive or access health care, to attend a funeral, in the case of emergency or on any other compassionate grounds.”

    Our reading of this is that to leave on compassionate grounds then the exemption has to be granted by the CHO. Applications can be made through the CHO Exemption portal. We have asked the question whether one has to apply for an exemption to attend a funeral and will advise once we get a response.

Communal Areas

We wish to reinforce that all Internal communal areas i.e. lounges, dining rooms and TV areas are closed to all families and visitors. We welcome your visits to our outside areas or resident’s rooms.

Hand hygiene
This is one of our strongest defences against the spread of COVID-19. If you are visiting any of our home pleas ensure that use the hand washing and hand sanitising stations made available throughout the home.
We all play an important role in keeping our loved ones safe.

Influenza Vaccination Requirements

As initially advised in our update No 6 (27th March) the Australian Government and Queensland Health require all visitors to aged care have an influenza vaccination by the 1st May, which is 2 weeks from today.

This includes all resident’s family and friends. Extracts of that advice were:

“Specifically, the requirements set out that individuals must not enter or remain on the premises of a residential aged care facility if the person does not have an up-to-date (i.e. 2020) vaccination against influenza, if such a vaccination is available to the person.

Aged care providers are required to take all reasonable steps to ensure that a person does not enter or remain on the premises if they do not meet the influenza vaccination (and other) requirements set out in the relevant state and territory directions. This applies to staff, visitors, health practitioners, volunteers and others.

Approved providers may need to seek appropriate evidence of immunisation status from individuals seeking to enter the service. Appropriate evidence may be a statement or record from a health practitioner; or an immunisation history statement available from Medicare online or the Express Plus Medicare mobile app.”

The specific links relating to that advice are:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Restrictions on entry into and visitors to aged care facilities (16th April)

Qld Chief Health Officer public health directions – Aged Care Direction (21 March)

Neither of these advices allow for any exceptions as at today. It is important that you provide evidence of your 2020 Influenza Vaccination to our homes’ Administration Staff prior to 1st May. Acceptable records are anything that clearly has your name, the fact it was for a flu vaccination and date of vaccination. Guidance is also provided in the Government links above.

From early next week all sites will have an electronic sign-in process replacing the paper-based ones in operation on most sites. Our sighting of your Influenza Vaccination record will be logged in a database in that electronic sign-in register, thereby continuing to allow access to the home after the 1st May. For those tech-savvy families, this process will also provide you with a QR Code which will fast-track the sign-in process. If there is no record in that database, then the sign-in system will not allow access. This requirement applies to all visitors, staff, contractors and service providers. 100% of Vacenti staff working in our homes on 1st May will be vaccinated. Please see our Admin staff personally with your record, or email them with a scanned copy of the Vaccination Certificate. We must see the actual record.

Email addresses are:

Home

Admin Email address
Portofino Hamilton Admin.PH@vacenti.com.au
Casa D’amore Admin.CD@vacenti.com.au
Marebello Admin.MB@vacenti.com.au
Lorocco Admin.LO@vacenti.com.au
Esida and Esida Lodge Admin.ES@vacenti.com.au

 

I know this will be a sensitive topic to those who cannot, or choose not to have an influenza vaccination. This is Government policy, not Vacenti’s, so please do not ask our Admin staff for dispensation nor vent any views on them. If the Government position changes in the next two weeks then we will advise, however we suggest you do not wait as there is extremely limited vaccine stock in the community. If you cannot, or choose not to register your vaccination status then, by all means, please continue to phone in or make use of our Telehealth services.

Admissions
Vacenti are still welcoming new residents – both permanent and respite – subject to them going through a review period, being well, and not having travelled internationally or had exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days.

Please be aware that the situation is constantly evolving and we are refining our own plans on day to day basis as this advice changes. Vacenti can assure you that the health and safety of residents, families, visitors and staff is of utmost importance. If you have any concerns about the COVID-19 virus, or any other matter, please contact your Facility Manager.

For further information refer to Vacenti Updates

Click here  – Vacenti Update on Coronavirus – COVID-19 – Update no 13, 25th May, 2020

Click here – Vacenti Update on Coronavirus – COVID-19 – Update no 12, 9th May, 2020

Click here – Vacenti Update on Coronavirus – COVID-19 – Update no 11, 30th April, 2020

Click here –  Vacenti Update on Coronavirus – COVID-19 – Update no 10, 27th April, 2020

Click here – Vacenti Update on Coronavirus – COVID-19 –  Update no 9, 17th April, 2020

Click here– Vacenti Update on Coronavirus – COVID-19 –  Update no 8, 17th April, 2020

Click here – Vacenti Update on Coronavirus – COVID-19 – Update no 7, 31st March, 2020

Click here – Vacenti Update on Coronavirus – COVID-19 – Update no 6, 27th March, 2020

Click here – Vacenti Update on Coronavirus – COVID-19 – Update no 5, 24th March, 2020

Click here – Vacenti Update on Coronavirus – COVID-19 – Update no 4 , 18th March, 2020

Click here – Vacenti Update on Coronavirus – COVID-19 – Update no 3, 06th March, 2020

Click here – Vacenti Update on Coronavirus – COVID-19 – Update no 2, 02nd March, 2020

Click here – Vacenti Update on Coronavirus – COVID-19 – Update no 1, 17th February, 2020