Covid 19 - Latest Rules

Covid-19 in Aged Care - Latest Rules

Covid-19 has begun to circulate in the community, and in the event of an outbreak at any aged care home, the residents, staff and internal service providers are vulnerable.

The following information will assist you to understand the measures that quality aged care providers are taking to prevent a Corona Virus ( Covid-19 ) outbreak, and the part you can play in reducing the risk.

What are the Early signs of Covid-19?

The symptoms of Covid-19 can range from a mild illness to pneumonia. Most people will recover easily from coronavirus, but others may get sick very quickly. People with coronavirus may experience:

  • fever
  • flu like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and fatigue

Do you need to isolate?

In order to help limit the spread of coronavirus, you must isolate yourself in the following circumstances:

  • if you have returned from overseas you must isolate yourself for 14 days
  • If you have been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus, you must isolate yourself for 14 days from the date of last contact with the confirmed case

What measures can be taken to prevent the spread of Corona Virus?

Physical contact: Avoid physical contact with others including, handshakes, kissing, hugging etc.

Social Distance: Keep a safe social distance of 1.5 m between yourself and others.

Handwashing: Handwashing with soap and water regularly by all staff, visitors, residents is the preferred measure.

Hand sanitiser

Hand sanitiser units are available throughout the aged care home, but handwashing is the preferred measure.

Cough / sneeze etiquette:

Anyone with symptoms are encouraged to cover their cough or sneeze with a tissue or the crook of your elbow. Please ensure that you place all used tissues in a waste basket.

Isolation:

Residents of aged care homes with coronavirus symptoms will be kept isolated in a single room and visitors will not be permitted.

Aged Care Home staff who have recently travelled:

Staff with symptoms of coronavirus and/or who have travelled overseas will not be permitted to work for at least 14 days.

Cleaning:

Extra cleaning of frequently touched surfaces regularly, such as mobile phones, keyboards, remote controls, door handles, taps, tables, and benches.

Outings for residents:

Until further notice, there should be no bus outings for residents.

Unless discharging, residents will not be permitted to leave the premises:

  • for overnight stays or outings with family and friends
  • for trips to the local shops or neighbourhood

Residents may only leave the premises for necessary or urgent medical appointments. Additional screening procedures for residents attending medical appointments will be required on exit and re-entry to the aged care home.


What other measures will the aged care home be taking to ensure the safety of residents, staff and visitors?

As mandated by government authorities, the following measures should be implemented effective from 20th March 2020:

  • visitors must present for temperature, travel history and symptom checking measures on entry and complete the Staff, Contractor and Visitors Register including the details of who you are visiting.
  • maximum of 2 visitors per resident
  • only 1 visit to each resident per day
  • visits must be no longer than 2 hours
  • visits must take place in the resident’s room, outdoors, or in other areas designated by the General Manager
  • no large groups or gatherings
  • no school groups
  • visitors must practice social distancing (1.5 m distance between visitors and residents)
  • children under the age of 16 may not be permitted
  • you must perform hand hygiene before entering and after leaving a resident’s room

If you have a relative who is in palliative care, please contact the General Manager of the home - special allowances will apply.

Anyone entering the aged care home will be screened for temperature (non-invasive) and asked to declare any recent overseas travel.

Any person misrepresenting recent international travel will be subject to legal action, as this puts all people at risk, including your loved ones.

Any person with a temperature over 37.5 degrees and/or having recently returned from overseas will not be allowed access to the aged care home.

What happens if an aged care resident becomes unwell?

If a resident becomes unwell, they will be isolated in their room. The general practitioners and staff will continue to provide care and support to the residents while they are isolated. During that time, visitors will only be permitted to see the affected resident in exceptional circumstances and under special conditions for the safety of the community.

The general practitioners and staff will be provided with all personal protective equipment required as per the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines.

The aged care home will implement outbreak measures in the event of a resident or staff being diagnosed with coronavirus and will continue to update you regularly in the event of an outbreak.

What are aged care home reporting obligations?

The aged care home will follow their obligations to report to the Public Health Unit in the event we have confirmed or suspected cases of coronavirus. They will liaise with the State Public Health Unit daily and continue to provide you with regular updates.

For further information please to contact the General Manager of the aged care home, the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080 or visit www.health.gov.au for the latest advice and resources.