Avonlea Update

 

 

2 August 2020, 3.00pm

We are pleased to report that Avonlea’s test results are starting to come in from the testing conducted on Friday. Over 130 tests were completed across the Home, and promisingly all resident results received to date are negative as are those for staff.

We will be contacting families as results come in.

Currently there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Home.

As always, we greatly appreciate the patience and understanding of our residents and families, and are thankful for the kind words of support to staff which have been conveyed to them.

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 31 July, 2020

Testing was completed today for residents and staff as directed by the DHHS. We now await results which we envisage will progressively come in over the next 48 hours.

Please be assured that as test results are received, we will be contacting families and residents directly.

Currently there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Home.

We recognise that it has been an anxious time for everyone, not just during Avonlea’s precautionary lockdown, but how COVID-19 has impacted our lives more broadly.

The ramifications for businesses, employment and people’s financial situation are just some of the things that have inevitably taken a toll on our mental and/or emotional health.

As such, we have reached out to our Employee Assistance Program providers (AccessEAP), and requested that this free confidential counselling service be extended to our residents and families to assist in whatever way they can during this difficult time.

Be assured that the service is completely confidential and Allity does not receive any personal information or details of discussions. We will only be provided with the number of people who have used the service.

If you feel you would like to use AccessEAP, simply call 1800 81 87 28 or visit accesseap.com.au When you call you will asked for your employer, please use “Allity-Residents and Families” to make sure you receive the service free of charge.

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30 July 2020, 4.00pm

A reminder that testing will be conducted by DHHS tomorrow for residents and staff.

We have been notified by the DHHS that there has been a significant increase in COVID-19 testing required in Victoria and as such we would anticipate that there may be an extended wait for results to come through. As always, we will be in contact with families as soon as we are notified of results.

Currently there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Home.

Please don’t hesitate to contact the Home with any questions or concerns you may have in relation to your loved one.

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27 July 2020 3.00pm

As we move into week two of our precautionary lockdown, we would anticipate further testing will be conducted in the coming days by the DHHS, at which time, we will contact families with the results as they come in.

Currently there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Home.

We are now also having discussions with the DHHS and PHU as to the next steps for Avonlea in relation to the duration of the precautionary lockdown and the corresponding enhanced surveillance period. In the meantime, we will continue to maintain all outbreak procedures with the necessary infection control and PPE practices to prevent potential entry of the virus into the Home.

The Department of Health and Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission have now made available general information resources to help explain what happens when an outbreak of COVID-19 occurs in an aged care facility.

In addition to your daily conversations with us, you may find these resources useful.

Information guide from the ACQSC

Watch a video from the Department of Health

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26 July 2020, 12.30pm

No changes to report with all results received and no positive cases of COVID-19 identified in the Home.

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25 July 2020, 3.00pm

As communicated yesterday, we have now received all results from the first round of testing for our residents and staff, and are pleased to report that there have been no positive cases of COVID-19 identified in the Home.

We will continue to be directed by the DHHS on any further testing and appropriate next steps for the Home in light of the promising results of the testing just completed.

Many families have told us that daily calls are no longer necessary with no new developments. For families who have expressed wishes to keep getting the calls, they will continue.

In the event of further testing, we will contact all families as their loved ones’ results come in.

Our aim is to ensure families stay informed, therefore, we will continue to provide information via email and here on the Avonlea Update page.

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24 July 2020, 4.00pm

We have now received all results from the first round of testing for our residents and staff at Avonlea Aged Care, and are thankful to report that there have been no positive cases of COVID-19 identified within either population.

This is undoubtedly welcome news, and a good first step in ensuring that we continue to keep our Home COVID-19 free. We will now await further guidance from the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Public Health Unit, as to how to proceed.

We understand many of our families may be keen to visit loved ones and look forward to having you join us at our Home when it is safe to do so.

However it must be reiterated that in the interest of the safety of our residents and staff, that until otherwise advised, our current visiting restrictions will remain in effect. We encourage families to take full advantage of the Wellbeing Zoom Call system during this time, bookings for which can be made by contacting our administration team at reception.

We will continue to provide families with further information during the daily check-in calls. This is the best opportunity to discuss any concerns or questions relating to loved ones, or test results.

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23 July 2020, 3.00pm

The first round of testing was completed yesterday with over 120 tests conducted across the Home for residents and staff. We have not received any results as yet, but will be contacting families with results as they start to come in.

One of the most critical infection management and control processes is the ongoing supply and use of PPE. We are confident that we have a good ongoing supply of PPE accessible from Avonlea’s stock here at the Home, which is supplemented by the government stockpile as and when needed. In addition, we are doing daily checks on the correct use of PPE and providing training sessions as reminders for staff.

While safety is our priority, we recognise that the restrictions on movement within the home during a lockdown period can be frustrating for residents. We are working on building individual activity packs for residents and also including suggested options for online entertainment and virtual experiences for those with tablet devices.

Please remember that we will be conducting daily check-in calls with families, which is the best opportunity to discuss any concerns or questions relating to your loved one that you may have.

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22 July 2020, 5.00pm

The first round of COVID testing is being conducted at Avonlea today for all residents and staff. We expect the results to start coming in over the next 24-48 hours at which time we will be contacting families with results as we receive them.

Most people who have been infected with coronavirus will develop symptoms within 14 days of infection. Because of the variation in the period of incubation, the DHHS will determine how many rounds of testing will be required at the home before an outbreak period can formally be declared over. We expect this process to take 4 to 8 weeks.

Set daily meetings are held with a dedicated Outbreak management team to assess and review essential areas such as PPE, staffing rosters and clinical assessments of residents. We also have scheduled daily calls with federal and state authorities.

Ensuring a stable staff roster to look after residents is a priority, and as necessary the Avonlea team may be supplemented with agency staff as required, who are all stringently screened.

Thank you again for your patience and understanding as we do everything necessary to ensure the safety of our residents and staff, we will be in touch with you on your daily calls.

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21 July 2020, 3.00pm

We are thankful for the opportunity to speak personally with our families and representatives over the past 2 days in relation to the precautionary lockdown at our Home.

We want to reassure you we are doing everything possible to maintain the health and safety of your loved ones.

Our intention is to provide you with quick and informative updates during the course of the outbreak lockdown period.

Today we want to address some common questions.

Currently there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Home

COVID-19 Testing

Since our last communication, we have received negative test results for the 3 staff members who were identified as close contacts of the cleaner who received the positive COVID result. Regardless, these three staff members will not be returning to the home for at least 14 days until their period of self-isolation is complete.

The DHHS has determined that general testing will be conducted at the Home tomorrow (Wednesday 22-July) for all residents and staff. Results should start coming back within 24-48 hours. Please be assured that we will be contacting families promptly when we receive notification of your loved one’s result. 

Most people who have been infected with coronavirus will develop symptoms within 14 days of infection. Because of the variation in the period of incubation, the DHHS will determine how many rounds of testing will be required at the home before the outbreak can formally be declared over. We expect this process to take 4 to 8 weeks.

General Information on COVID-19

There is good information available on COVID-19, and we always recommend only referring to those provided by official health authorities such as the Australian Department of Health or the World Health Organisation.

We understand that this can be an anxious time for families and residents, and encourage you to ask questions when you receive your daily call. Daily updates will also be emailed to all Families.

If you have any general queries, you can call the COVID information line (1800 708 236) for any non-resident related questions. The information line operates Monday-Friday 10.00am to 4.00pm.

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20 July 2020, 2.00pm

In keeping with the Department of Health’s advice, Avonlea Aged Care, like all health and aged care homes across Australia, has a risk management plan in place for Coronavirus (COVID-19).

In addition to our usual processes and protocols for infection prevention and control, we have taken extra measures to protect the health and safety of our residents and employees.

Despite these additional safety measures, on 19 July, a contractor who is a weekend cleaner was diagnosed with COVID-19 and is now in self-isolation.

With immediate effect, Avonlea was put into Precautionary Lockdown with our COVID-19 emergency response plan activated and all staff now in full PPE.

The local PHU and the Department of Health and Human Services have been contacted and will be providing guidance to the Home on the next steps to ensure any potential risks are managed effectively.

Currently there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Home

Communication

Keeping you informed is a priority, and as such, we will be calling families on a daily basis with any specific matters relating to your loved one.

A daily email update will also be sent to all authorised representatives. A general COVID information line (1800 708 236) has been set up for queries that are non-resident related. The information line is now available and operates Monday-Friday 10.00am to 4.00pm.

Visitor restrictions

The ongoing safety and protection of our residents, families and staff will always be our first priority, and as such the Home has been put into precautionary lockdown.

This means we will continue to restrict all visitors from entering the Home. However, we want to reassure you that we will always take a compassionate approach to any visitor requests.

We thank you for your patience and understanding as we work towards containing the situation and moving through the quarantine period to restore our Home to its normal operations.

We want to reassure you that we will continue to update families on any developments as they occur.