Re: Postponement of Tuesday Night Family Meeting as Pandemic Management Precaution
A number of you have raised concerns about whether gatherings of people inside Assisi Aged Care should continue in coming weeks given the global COVID-19 pandemic.
There are also increasing calls from across our community to follow the example of other countries internationally and self-isolate over coming weeks to prevent the spread of infection.
As a result, we are reluctantly postponing the family and resident meeting scheduled for Tuesday 17th March. Given the focus of the meeting was to discuss infection management, I will outline some of the actions taken to date:
- Insisting people who have travelled to China, Italy, Iran and South Korea do not enter the facility for two weeks on return. This includes insisting people who have been in contact with travellers from those countries also do not visit for two weeks.
- Monitoring staff travel to ensure none are working after visits to those four countries.
- Increased cleaning.
- Cancelling larger meetings inside the centre, including visits from kindergarten, schoolchildren and the men’s choir.
- Outbreak folders and kits in each unit.
- Insisting all staff complete mandatory training on hand hygiene 6. Stockpiling some items of personal hygiene and the protective equipment needed in the event of an outbreak.
- Only having external contractors visit for essential services.
- Commenced weekly meetings with residents discussing the actions we are taking on their behalf and seeking their input.
- Created a COVID-19 Working Party that meets twice-weekly for planning purposes.
- Met with a group of nine other independent aged care providers to compare current plans.
- Closely monitoring any Commonwealth advice on the pandemic.
- Increased staff monitoring of residents with relevant symptoms.
- Isolating residents with respiratory symptoms quickly and organising GP visit, with staff using full protective equipment when interacting with the resident. To date this has occurred on two occasions. Both times, the infection has not been COVID-19.
From the coming week:
- We will extend the ban on international visitors entering the centre to any overseas location. This is in line with developing international practice.
- We will increase cleaning further.
- We will remove from the roster anyone who has yet to complete hand hygiene training.
We are also about to enter flu season and it is important that we do everything to reduce the impact of that virus on our residents also. The flu vaccine will be available in coming weeks and management will be doing everything possible to ensure all staff are vaccinated. We will be offering this as a free service for our staff to encourage maximum participation.
It is really important that you and your loved one to be vaccinated. Please contact your GP over coming weeks to organise this.
We have taken this step of cancelling Tuesday’s meeting in order to protect our residents and ensure their well-being. As we will not be meeting as a group, please email any concerns to myself, firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, please raise any questions you might have with us when visiting.
This is a very difficult and uncertain time for all of us, including our team of committed care staff.
We appreciate your support at this time.