Adjust text size

Letter from CEOs Regarding Updated NSW Health Advice – Updated 7 October

VISITOR RESTRICTIONS

Dear Residents and Families,

As you will no doubt be aware the Central Coast local government area is currently still in a COVID-19 lockdown. The NSW government announced this week that from 11 October 2021 the lockdown will be lifted and there will be a reduction in restrictions related to COVID-19.

Today NSW Health has advised that “from 11 October 2021 two visitors per day aged 12 years and over will be permitted to visit a resident in an aged care facility if they are fully vaccinated and their second dose was received at least 14 days prior to their visit. Children under 12 are not permitted to enter an aged care facility”.

We are looking forward to welcoming visitors back to our facilities from Monday and we will be following the following NSW Health directions in order to facilitate visits in a way that keeps everyone safe:

• Each resident may have up to two visitors per day
• Visitors must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and will need to provide proof of vaccination each time they visit the facility. (We are unable to keep vaccination records on site due to privacy issues).
• All visitors aged 12 years and over to all aged care facilities must have received their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to their visit unless they can provide a COVID-19 medical contraindication certificate or the visit is for end of life. Children under the age of 12 will not be permitted to enter an aged care facility.
• Visits will be held either in the resident’s room or in outdoor spaces. Visitors will not be permitted to enter communal areas such as dining rooms and lounge areas.
• Visitors will be required to complete COVID-19 screening prior to entry including checking in with the Service NSW app.
• Visitors will be required to book in advance. This will enable staff to ensure that visitors are appropriately screened prior to entry. Please contact the facility to make a booking.
• Visiting hours will be between 9:00am and 4:00pm every day. (If you need to visit outside of these times, please call the facility manager to make alternate arrangements).
• Visitors will be required to wear a surgical mask at all times when they are in the facility (masks will be provided at entry) and may be directed from time to time to wear additional personal protective equipment including gowns, gloves, face shields etc.

Visitors must not enter a residential aged care facility at all if they:

• have been to any close, casual or monitor for symptoms locations in NSW OR Victoria, Queensland, and the Australian Capital Territory OR New Zealand in the last 14 days
• have been in a stay-at-home area in the last 14 days and are not an essential visitor
• have COVID-19 symptoms
• are a close contact of a person with confirmed COVID-19 and are within their isolation period.
• live in a household with a person who is currently isolating.
• are waiting for a COVID-19 test result.

In addition to the above visitation guidelines, from Monday 11 October 2021residents not under stay at home orders will be permitted to leave the facility and attend small family gatherings but must abide by the current Public Health (COVID-19 Additional Restrictions for Delta Outbreak) Order (No 2) 2021. It is strongly advised that residents wear a mask at all times when they are out of the facility. Residents must not go into an area that is currently under a stay-at-home order. Please contact the facility manager to discuss arrangements regarding residents leaving the facility.

NSW Health have advised that bus outings are not permitted at this time.

For further information please visit the following NSW Health website for regular updates:

https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/covid-19/Pages/aged-care.aspx

The advice from NSW Health is constantly being updated and I would encourage you to regularly check for updated information.

We will continue to provide opportunities for staying in contact with residents via electronic means (Skype, Zoom etc) and I am aware that many families have taken up this option and residents have reported enjoying these virtual visits. Please contact the facility to book a time for a virtual visit if required.

The Board and Management are aware that this is a difficult time for families and are regularly reviewing policies and practice. I encourage you to use our feedback channels if you wish to comment on any issue.

Once again, the safety & well-being of our residents and staff is our number one priority and your compliance with these requirements will greatly assist us in maintaining a safe environment for all. The engagement and willingness of families & residents to comply with recent changes has been overwhelmingly positive and I would like to once again thank everyone for their understanding and cooperation during these difficult times.

I would once again remind you that the Australian Aged Care Quality & Safety Commission have produced several useful resources outlining what families and residents can expect during a COVID-19 outbreak and I would encourage you to access these resources through the Commission’s website. The link to the site is:

https://www.agedcarequality.gov.au/consumers/covid-19-consumer-resources#how%20to%20stay%20safe%20from%20covid19

If you have concerns regarding any aspect of our policy regarding these restrictions, please contact the Facility Manager Anna Ross We will do our best to ensure that you stay connected with your loved ones.

In addition, residents and their family or representatives who need support or have any concerns can contact the Older Person’s Advocacy Network (OPAN) on 1800 700 600 or Senior Rights Service on 1800 424 079.