Planning and preparation for notification of a confirmed COVID-19 positive person at a Resthaven residential home
From observing events elsewhere in Australia and globally, we are all aware that the impact of a confirmed positive COVID-19 test result can be very significant for a residential aged care home community.
Resthaven continues to regularly review the plans we have in place to incorporate the experiences and learnings from other aged care services and national and state departments of health who are/have experienced this event.
As an integral part of our community, we believe it is important to inform you about our planned response and actions, particularly in the first few days, should we be notified of a resident or member of the workforce in Resthaven having a confirmed positive COVID-19 test result.
We have assurance of immediate assistance at the home from the Commonwealth Department of Health and the South Australian Department of Health.
In preparation for this event Resthaven has:
- Developed documented organisational management plans that detail roles and immediate responsibilities of the Resthaven head office senior and site management teams and the workforce more generally.
- Developed a communication plan to guide us in informing you of the situation in a timely manner, regularly updating you about what is occurring at the home and the health of your family member. A dedicated phone line will be in place for any additional queries or concerns you may have at the time.
- Provided education to our workforce on required infection control practices, including the correct use of personal protective equipment. Training is repeated on a regular basis.
- Purchased a stockpile of goods and equipment that would be required at the time. Goods and equipment will be delivered to the home as it is required.
- Developed a range of contingency plans to support the continuity of care and services provided at the home to our residents.
- Processes for monitoring both national and state directions / ongoing information released to the aged care industry regarding COVID-19.
Our focus is always the wellbeing of our residents. We will continue to deliver high quality care, support and services to meet resident needs in the event of being notified of a confirmed COVID-19 positive case involving the home. Each Resthaven home has the support of corporate services based at head office to provide ready assistance to our workforce.
Should we be notified of a confirmed COVID-19 infection, our initial information to you may be brief, as the priority in the first few hours will be to ensure that all required steps are in place. Please ensure that you have provided your Resthaven site with all your current contact details. It is important that you understand all communication from the home will be to each resident’s primary contact, who is responsible for sharing information with all other family members and/or significant others as appropriate.
We continue to endeavour to be as prepared as possible. The current steps in place to prevent COVID-19 infection occurring at the home remain our first and most significant defence.
We appreciate your continued support and cooperation with all current arrangements; including visiting arrangements, screening and supporting social / physical distancing both within the residential aged care home and in circumstances where a resident is out and about in the general community. Please remember how important it is not to visit the site if you are unwell.
We continue to closely monitor the Commissioner of Police’s South Australian (SA) Emergency Management Direction (COVD-19) issued to Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACF). The Direction was reissued on 14 August 2020.
From 27 August 2020, this requires that:
- All personal care workers are only permitted to work at one residential aged care facility. We are working with our staff to ensure we meet this new Direction. We will take all steps possible to ensure that care and services provided to our residents will not be impacted by this direction.
- Persons providing care and services to a resident must wear a face mask whenever a distance of 1.5m between themselves and the resident cannot be maintained. Resthaven has a sufficient supply of face masks to meet this requirement.
- The workforce must complete COVID-19 infection control training. Resthaven has already actioned this requirement. Training records have been maintained.
- Resthaven is to have a workforce management plan identifying additional places of employment. Resthaven has commenced collecting this information.
- Workforce is to notify Resthaven if they are aware of a confirmed positive COVID-19 case at another place of employment. This will be communicated to our workforce.
- The home is to submit a COVID-19 infection control plan for RACF communal areas to the Department of Health and Wellbeing for their approval. Resthaven is preparing this plan for each residential home.
While at this time there have been no changes to entry / visiting arrangements, possible future change/s to the SA Emergency Management Direction (COVID-19) for RACFs may require visitors entering the home to wear a face mask during visiting periods. We suggest you consider purchasing a face mask/s in readiness for this potential change.
Should you have any queries related to the current situation please feel free to speak with your site Manager Residential Services.
For the latest public advice, visit www.health.gov.au or call the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080.