Ozcare is closely monitoring the Australian Government Department of Health for the latest updates on COVID-19, as well as following the advice from our federal and state-based health authorities and our peak bodies.
We take great pride in providing services within our aged care facilities, day respite centres and to the wider community, and we are committed to minimising the spread of COVID-19. As always, the health and well-being of our clients, staff and volunteers, remains our number one priority.
Ozcare already has in place extensive outbreak management policies and procedures to manage any suspected form of outbreak in our aged care facilities. All outbreaks are managed by these set protocols, and reporting requirements, as set by Queensland Health Public Health Units.
Additionally, our staff are trained, and adhere to, several policies and procedures for infection control and environment management.
Ozcare has formed an executive working group to implement a number of preventative measures across Ozcare to keep our clients, staff and volunteers safe and well.
We have taken the following precautions to date:
- Implemented outbreak cleaning protocols throughout Ozcare
- Enforced a restricted visitor policy at our aged care facilities
- Introduced mandatory temperature checks to all visitors to our aged care facilities
- Place additional hand-sanitisers throughout our services
- Vigilant monitoring of clients by all staff members for any early ‘flu like’ symptoms and immediate reporting of these to Clinical Management, Seniors Management and GPs
- Additional internal reporting protocols for unwell clients, staff and volunteers
- Closed head office to visitors and where possible, head office staff are working remotely. Enquiries still to go to 1800 Ozcare (1800 692 273) or firstname.lastname@example.org
Restrictions on entry into Ozcare Aged Care Facilities
Effective 20 March 2020
The Australian Government has announced restrictions on entry into residential aged care facilities to manage outbreaks of coronavirus. Avoidance of exposure is the single most important measure for preventing COVID-19 in our aged care facilities, and to protect vulnerable Australians.
The following visitors, employees, visiting contractors and workers will not be permitted to enter our aged care facilities:
- Those who have returned from overseas in the last 14 days.
- Those who have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
- A contact is defined as anyone who has been in contact with a known case, including the 24 hours before the case became symptomatic.
- Those with fever or symptoms of acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath) symptoms.
- Temperature checking is currently in place and any person with a temperature at 37.5 or above cannot enter the facility.
- Those who have not been vaccinated against influenza (after 1 May 2020).
In addition to the above requirements, we are now implementing other recommended measures for restricting visits and visitors to reduce the risk of transmission to clients, including:
- Limiting visits to a short duration. All visits are set to a maximum of 1 hour.
- Limiting visits to a maximum of two visitors at one time per day. These may be immediate social supports (family members, close friends) or professional service or advocacy. This means you can only visit once per day.
- Visits are to be conducted in a client’s room or outdoors, not in communal areas where the risk of transmission to clients is greater. If you have a meal when visiting you cannot attend the dining room and will need to have this either in the bedroom or outdoors.
- No large group visits or gatherings, including social activities or entertainment can be permitted at this time. These ceased on 18 March 2020. Facility management will work with the Lifestyle and Leisure team to determine a new program suited to the current situation.
- No school groups of any size are allowed to visit. These ceased on 9 March 2020.
- Visitors are encouraged to practice social distancing, where possible, and maintain a distance of 1.5 metres.
- Children aged 16 years or under, are permitted to visit only by exception and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, for example where the resident is in palliative care. No children aged 16 years or under can visit without prior approval from the Facility Manager or Clinical Care Manager.
Please read Senator The Hon. Richard Colbeck’s full statement here: https://www.health.gov.au/ministers/senator-the-hon-richard-colbeck/media/strengthened-guidelines-to-protect-aged-care-residents
Changes to Visiting Hours
To assist with the implementation of these changes, we will be limiting visiting hours to Ozcare aged care facilities.
Visiting hours: Monday to Sunday, from 8am until 6pm.
There will be a staff member on reception over the next two weeks during visiting hours to assist with implementing these new measures. No families will be prevented from spending extended time with a relative when they are palliative or acutely unwell.
These precautions have been taken to protect our clients, staff members, families and volunteers. For further information please visit the below websites:
Department of Health - https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert
Residential and Aged Care Workers - https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-health-care-and-residential-care-workers
Residents, Family Members & Visitors - https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-residents-of-residential-care-services-family-members-and-visitors
Translated COVID-19 Resources - https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/translated-coronavirus-covid-19-resources