Lockdown lifted in aged care

May 8th, 2020

The protective measures we have put in place within aged care during the COVID-19 pandemic have successfully maintained the health and wellbeing of residents. There have been no cases of COVID-19 nor any cases of respiratory illness. This outcome is a credit to the patience and support of residents and families, and the professionalism of our staff.

As there have been no new positive COVID-19 in the Mount Alexander Shire, we plan to cautiously and incrementally lift lockdown arrangements in residential aged care from Wednesday, 6 May. This will be done gradually to help us maintain the protections we have achieved in a managed way.

New visiting hours

Visiting hours will be opened for two periods each day, seven days a week. Visits will be limited to 30 minutes, with one visitor per visit and a maximum of two visits per week for each resident. These restrictions will allow us time to ensure that the new system is working and after that, we hope to be able to increase the amount of time for each visit.

Visiting hours each day will be:

  • 9.30am to 11.30am, and
  • 3pm to 4.30pm.

We ask visitors to be vigilant with hand washing, use of alcohol hand-rub, social distancing and timing. Processes that are already in place will continue as follows:

  • visitors will be temperature checked and asked a series of health screen questions on arrival
  • all visitors will sign into the visitor logbook to enable monitoring of visitor movements.

All visitors to residential aged care must now have an up-to-date influenza vaccination. Please bring proof of this along on your first visit and a copy of the proof will be kept onsite for subsequent visits. The proof of vaccination can either be a copy of the certificate from your pharmacy, GP or can be accessed from your AIR – Australian Immunisation Record on the MyGov website.

Will family members be able to take loved ones out for day trips?

Government restrictions around essential trips that are in place across the whole community still apply to aged care. That means that essential outings for the purpose of shopping and exercise, for example, are allowed. However, those outings can only be undertaken by people from the same household. This means you will not be able to take your relative out because the trip would combine people from multiple households.

 How to book a visit

Please call the Ward Clerk in your residence to book in your visit. We are asking you to book your visit in advance to ensure that we are able to safely manage the number of people visiting at any one time. The Ward Clerk will also discuss flu vaccination evidence with you to ensure yours is in place before the visit.

Please remember that COVID-19 may still be present undetected in the community so we must all remain vigilant. Visits should be restricted to when they’re absolutely necessary. We will continually review the restrictions in relation to risk. Should an outbreak of COVID-19 occur in the community surrounding the service, it may be appropriate to impose a lockdown again.

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