In March 2020, a major emergency was declared under the Emergency Management Act 2004 due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
Pursuant to section 23 of this Act, there have been Emergency Management (Residential Aged Care Facilities – COVID-19 Directions in place. Resthaven’s residential services are required to follow these directions.
Late yesterday, further updates were made to the Emergency Management Directions regarding individuals entering a residential aged care facility, and these directions will be put in place at Resthaven residential sites.
Visitor restrictions continue regarding entering an aged care facility, with the following changes:
- Children aged under 16 years are now permitted to enter for visiting, provided they meet all screening criteria, including evidence of having had their 2020 seasonal influenza vaccination.
- Babies aged under six months old are not required to have had a 2020 seasonal influenza vaccination.
- A person who has returned from the Northern Territory, Western Australia, Tasmania and Queensland within the past 14 days, is permitted to enter an aged care facility. (There are exemptions to this in relation to end of life support visits.)
- Visiting continues to be restricted to only one visit per resident per day for a maximum of two people (noting that this includes any children present).
- With approval, Resthaven may, as the provider, allow additional visits.
As a result of these changes, Resthaven has further reviewed how this will be managed at our sites.
From Monday 22 June 2020, visiting hours will be extended to:
- Monday to Friday: 10 am to 4pm
- Weekends and Public Holidays: 1pm to 3pm
Entry screening processes, including temperature monitoring, will continue to be undertaken for all visitors, including those aged under 16 years, in accordance with the requirements of the government direction.
Additionally, all visitors continue to be required to provide evidence of having had their 2020 seasonal influenza vaccination (with the exception of babies under 6 months of age).
We do ask that visitors continue to comply with social distancing and follow all infection control requirements, as described in the factsheet for visiting arrangements. There is a factsheet regarding end of life visits available should this be required.
Whilst we welcome these changes, we emphasise the need to remain vigilant and not become complacent, given the vulnerability of older people.
Importantly, the updated direction now permits residents to leave the facility without any restriction.
The following approach is to be followed when residents are leaving our residential sites:
- Residents enter and exit via the main entrance door only.
- Staff are to be notified that a resident is leaving the site, and notified of the time of their anticipated return.
- Visitors entering the site to collect or return a resident must undertake the screening process and meet the relevant entry criteria.
- On return, should a visitor wish to accompany and assist a resident to their room, this will be deemed as the one visit to that resident permitted for the day, unless approved prior to the visit (to allow a further visit).
- When residents are leaving the facility, we strongly encourage social distancing, and regular hand hygiene.
- We ask that any person the resident spends time with during their outing is to be well. Should any person show any signs or symptoms of a respiratory illness or fever, the resident should not remain in contact with that person.
Please read the Guidance for Residents and Families for external outings Fact sheet regarding leaving Resthaven’s facilities.
Thank you for your ongoing support and cooperation as together we manage requirements associated with keeping you and our community safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.