COVID-19 Update 16 March 2020



Things have been moving quickly over the past few days and we now have rules Australia wide relating to the need to stay at home in isolation for fourteen days if you have returned from an international flight.  We would therefore respectfully ask anyone who has travelled internationally to remain away from the facility for fourteen days post your return.  We would also request that you observe the fourteen-day period and stay away from the facility if you have spent time with someone who has returned from an international trip in the past fourteen days.

We have now imposed this same requirement on all staff, although thankfully there are not many who are travelling.

Our COVID-19 Working Group met this morning and we will now implement the following additional protections for our residents:

  1. Further restrictions on external visitors entering the site have been put in place effective immediately.  This ban includes our nursing, personal care, chiropractic and osteopathy students and only allowing contractors carrying out essential maintenance.  It will also cover lifestyle activities provided by external visitors.
  2. Cleaning will be further increased to a night-time clean of common touch points.
  3. We will be isolating St Francis and St Claire units from the rest of the facility for coming weeks.  In practice this means that care, lifestyle, food and cleaning staff will be dedicated to those two units and remain in those locations rather than working or moving across the facility.  It also means that any visitors who must visit the site only go into one of these three locations rather than moving across the facility.

The Working Group has also received feedback from family members over recent days suggesting a complete lock-down of Assisi Aged Care.  Given the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic, management support this suggestion.  However, we appreciate that some families might find this unacceptable in a situation where we have no confirmed infections.  The value of restricting any visits into the facility is that it reduces the chance of the virus arriving here.  Given this, I suggest the following:

  1. families who support a total lock-down are asked to remain away.
  2. families who insist on visiting, please observe fixed visiting hours, seven days per week of 11am – 1pm and 4pm – 6pm

These are extreme measures, but reflect the seriousness of this pandemic and our desire to prevent it arriving at Assisi Aged Care.  I know you will support the measures given they are intended to protect your loved ones.

The other advice we have for everyone is not to travel anywhere and to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water.  The Commonwealth has developed a resource for aged care that has been attached to this message.

I thank you as always for your support.

Paul Cohen