COVID-19 Information Update (March 19th, 2020)

Prime Minister Scott Morrison Announcement

Yesterday, the Prime Minister announced that visits to residential aged care will be short, and limited to a maximum of two people at one time during the day.

Only family and close friends and professional service workers will be allowed into the Home. Visits must take place in a resident’s room, outside, or in an area designated by the facility. Children under 16 years will only be able to visit “by exception”.

Ballarat Health Services takes the safety of our residents and staff seriously, hence we plan to implement these official changes as of Thursday 19 March 2020.

“It’s about protecting the residents at the end of the day” the Prime Minister told a media conference in Canberra.

Special arrangements will be put in place for end of life care, to ensure family members have an opportunity to spend time with their loved one. Your Nurse Unit Manager will work with you to ensure this happens.

Group visits, school groups and gatherings, including social visits or entertainment, were cancelled earlier this week. The following visitors and staff are not be permitted to enter an aged care facility: • 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 o 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. • After 1 May this year, those who have not been vaccinated against influenza.

As communicated in our letter on 16 March 2020 we ask that you continue to assist us during this time by:

• Washing your hands or using hand sanitiser regularly.

• Coughing/sneezing into your elbow.

• Get the flu vaccine in April.

• Adhering to social distancing guidelines (available at Australian Government, Department of Health Coronavirus disease (COVID_19) https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2020/03/coronavirus-covid-19-information-on-social-distancing.pdf

We encourage you to maintain contact with your loved ones by phone or social communication apps where available and appropriate.

BHS understands that it is a difficult time for everyone and want to ensure that we are working together to protect the health and well-being of our residents.

If you have any specific concerns regarding our response, or any other issue, please discuss this with the Home Nurse Unit Manager.