CORONAVIRUS UPDATES

 

 

 13 January 2021

Visitor Access and Resident Leave Update – NSW
NSW Health Aged Care Visits and Outings Advice until further notice

NSW Health has today released advice relating to visitors to aged care homes and residents leave from facilities across NSW.

Until further notice:

  • Residents from residential aged care facilities in the following areas - Northern Area of the Northern Beaches, City of Wollongong, Cumberland City Council or the Canterbury Ward of Canterbury Bankstown Council should not leave the facility to attend family gatherings and group excursions unless the visit is essential (such as a medical appointment) or for exercise.

  • People living in the following areas - Northern Area of the Northern Beaches, City of Wollongong, Cumberland City Council or the Canterbury Ward of Canterbury Bankstown Council are excluded from visiting residential aged care homes.

  • All residential aged care homes must exclude visitors who have been in the following Local Government Areas of Queensland since 2 January 2021: City of Brisbane, Logan City, City of Ipswich, Moreton Bay Region, Redland City, Lockyer Valley Region, Scenic Rim Region or Somerset Region.

The tables below provide the guidance for visitors and resident leave as directed by NSW Health:

* Residents of facilities located outside of these areas are able to leave the facility to attend family gatherings of fewer than 5 people in Greater Sydney (including the Blue Mountains and Central Coast LGAs) or 50 for regional NSW, if there will be no persons at the event that during the last 14 days have been:

  • A close contact of a person confirmed with COVID-19 and are within their self-isolation period
  • In any of the locations listed on the self-isolate and get tested immediately page, at the times and dates listed

  • In any of the locations listed on the monitor for symptoms page, at the times and dates listed, except where noted otherwise

  • In the following Queensland Local government Areas since 2 January 2021: City of Brisbane, Logan City, City of Ipswich, Moreton Bay Region, Redland City, Lockyer Valley Region, Scenic Rim Region or Somerset Region.

Stay informed and stay safe - Stay abreast of NSW Health Alert areas

08 January 2021

Visitor Access and Resident Leave – NSW 
NSW Health Aged Care Visits and Outings Advice until further notice


NSW Health has today released advice for NSW. The advice relates to Visitors to aged care homes and Residents leave from Facilities.

  • Until further notice, residents from residential aged care facilities in the following areas Northern Area of the Northern Beaches, City of Wollongong, Cumberland City Council or the Canterbury Ward of Canterbury Bankstown Council should not leave the facility to attend family gatherings and group excursions unless the visit is essential (such as a medical appointment) or for exercise.

  • Until further notice, people living in the following areas Northern Area of the Northern Beaches, City of Wollongong, Cumberland City Council or the Canterbury Ward of Canterbury Bankstown Council are excluded from visiting residential aged care homes.

  • Until further notice all residential aged care homes must exclude visitors who have been in the following Local Government Areas of Queensland since 2 January 2021: City of Brisbane, Logan City, City of Ipswich, Moreton Bay Region, Redland City, Lockyer Valley Region, Scenic Rim Region or Somerset Region .

The table below provides the guidance for visitors and resident leave:

*Residents who are from Allity facilities outside Northern Area of the Northern Beaches, City of WollongongCumberland City Council or the Canterbury Ward of Canterbury Bankstown Council are able to leave the facility to attend family gatherings or group excursions outside of the Northern Area of the Northern Beaches, City of Wollongong, Cumberland City Council or the Canterbury Ward of Canterbury Bankstown Council if there will be no persons at the event or excursion that during the last 14 days have been:

  • A close contact of a person confirmed with COVID-19 and are within their self-isolation period

  • In any of the locations listed on the self-isolate and get tested immediately page, at the times and dates listed

  • In any of the locations listed on the monitor for symptoms page, at the times and dates listed, except where noted otherwise

  • In the following Queensland Local government Areas since 2 January 2021: City of Brisbane, Logan City, City of Ipswich, Moreton Bay Region, Redland City, Lockyer Valley Region, Scenic Rim Region or Somerset Region.

Stay informed and stay safe - Stay abreast of NSW Health Alert areas

________________________________

 

01 January 2021

COVID-19 Asymptomatic Testing – NSW
Aged Care Staff and Residents

The Australian Government has today announced an important initiative to proactively conduct Asymptomatic COVID-19 testing for aged care staff and residents in specific NSW local government areas (LGAs). These include: Inner West, Burwood, Canada Bay, Canterbury Bankstown, Strathfield and Cumberland. These areas have been prioritised for testing because of the potential transmission risk in these LGAs.

The testing will be implemented to give health authorities the best chance to find people with COVID-19 before they appear unwell and to identify where community transmission may be happening before there are COVID-19 outbreaks. Australians living in aged care are among the most vulnerable, and as such have been prioritised.

By doing asymptomatic testing, aged care providers will know the COVID-19 status of staff and residents on any given day, which is critical information to pre-empt the risk of transmission or a significant outbreak in the Home.

 

Allity Homes identified for testing

There are 7 Allity Homes to be included in the asymptomatic testing:

  • Bass Hill – testing to be conducted 10.30am Saturday 2nd January
  • Pendle Hill – advised testing should be conducted within the next 3 days
  • Redleaf Manor - advised testing should be conducted within the next 3 days
  • Pemulwuy - advised testing should be conducted within the next 3 days
  • Beechwood, Rosemore and Willandra – awaiting advice

 

Who will be conducting the testing?

Douglass Hanly Moir will be sending testing teams to visit the Homes and will be conducting the testing on site. Specimens will be collected from every staff member and resident who agrees to a test and is at the home on the day the test team’s visit.

The test teams will also leave self-collect testing kits for staff who are unable to attend on the day of the team’s visit.

Please note that testing is voluntary and will be provided free of charge.

We have strongly encouraged all staff to participate as asymptomatic testing is an effective way of protecting our residents and each other.

For more information, please see the Australian government’s FACT SHEET, or call the General Manager of your Home if you have any further queries and confirmation of dates for testing.

Stay informed and stay safe - Stay abreast of NSW Health Alert areas

________________________________

31 December 2020 6.30pm

Visitor Access and Resident Leave Update – Victoria
Enhanced COVID-19 Restrictions

As you will be aware, there has been an emergence of active COVID-19 cases in the Victorian community. Late this afternoon, in response to these recent cases the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced enhanced measures that need to be immediately applied by Residential Aged Care Facilities within Victoria.

Allity will be implementing these measures across our homes in Victoria in accordance with government directives as issued as soon as practicable.

Enhanced Visitor restrictions will now apply to all Aged Care Facilities in Victoria

Currently visitors from restricted areas in NSW are excluded persons. Up to date information on the locations can be found on the following website: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/travel-restrictions-new-south-wales 

 

What the enhanced visitor restrictions mean:

Only the visitors defined below are able to attend Allity Homes in Victoria:

  • ‘Normal’ visitors: Where the visitor is the parent, guardian, partner, carer or support person of the resident, and the person's visit is for the purpose of providing emotional, cultural, spiritual or social support to the resident that cannot reasonably be provided by that person via electronic or other non-contact means (1 visitor at any time, once per day for maximum of 2 hours)
  • Essential care persons: Visitor’s presence at the facility is for the purposes of providing essential care and support necessary for the resident's physical wellbeing that optimises the care and support delivered by workers at the facility and cannot reasonably be provided by that person via electronic means (1 visitor, no time limits)
  • Essential behaviour assistance person: Visitor’s presence at the facility is necessary to support individual behaviours of concern, such as for people living with dementia, cognitive impairment or cognitive disability, or who have a known or emerging serious mental illness (no time limits)
  • Interpreters or informal language support (no time limit)
  • End of life Support – 2 visitors, no time limit applies

 

Residents Leave and Excursions

Under current restriction levels, residents can leave their care facility for any reason, provided they comply with current restrictions in Victoria and are aware of the measures on return to the home.

Returning to the Home

Residents will screened for COVID-19 symptoms on their return to the home. On return to the facility from day leave or non-essential visits, residents having visited Mentone, Mitcham or Hallam OR have visited a listed exposure site OR having spent time with someone that would otherwise have been an excluded person (this includes persons from or who have visited the restricted zones in NSW) will be tested and managed as a suspected COVID-19 case until their results are known. This means residents will be screened, complete a COVID-19 test and isolate in their rooms until the test results are known & COVID has been excluded.

Please take this communication as notification of this requirement. We request that families and representatives advise other relatives of the enhanced visitor restrictions and if they intend to take residents on leave, to be aware of the requirement for residents returning to the home after taking leave or excursions.

 

Use of PPE

Staff & visitors are now required to wear both surgical masks and protective eyewear when visiting the home.

 

Stay informed and stay safe

Please stay abreast of the locations from any of the DHHS Exposure Sites before making plans to visit an aged care home to avoid any potential disappointment.

We kindly ask for your patience and support with the implementation of the enhanced visitor restrictions across our homes as directed by the DHHS. Please be assured that we will continue to keep you updated on any changes to government directives and visitor access policies.

If you have any questions relating to visiting your loved one, please don’t hesitate to contact your General Manager.

______________________________________

30 December 2020 - 4.00pm

Visitor Access and Resident Leave Update – NSW

NSW Health Aged Care Visits and Outings Advice to 11.59pm Wednesday 6 January 2021
NSW Health has today released advice for the Greater Sydney Region and Regional areas of NSW. The advice relates to Visitors to aged care homes and Residents leave from Facilities.

Until at least 11.59pm on Wednesday 6 January 2021, residents from residential aged care facilities in Greater Sydney should not leave the facility to attend family gatherings and group excursions unless the visit is essential (such as a medical appointment).
The table below provides the guidance for visitors and resident leave:

*CONDITIONS FOR REGIONAL NSW RESIDENT LEAVE

Residents who are from facilities outside Greater Sydney are able to leave the facility to attend family gatherings or group excursions outside Greater Sydney, if there will be no persons at the event that during the last 14 days have been:

Stay informed and stay safe

With the sophistication and detailed level of contact tracing, NSW Health has been able to swiftly identify and publish newly established community hotspots. Please stay abreast of the locations from any of the NSW Health Alert areas before making plans to visit an aged care home to avoid any potential disappointment. This also applies to any NSW travellers who are now interstate.

We also ask families to communicate the information provided in this update to any friends or other family members who may be considering visiting an aged care home.

Our sincerest thanks and appreciation for the patience and support of our families and residents with the implementation of visitor access policies across our homes. Please be assured that we will continue to keep you updated on any changes to government directives and visitor access policies.

If you have any questions relating to visiting your loved one, please don’t hesitate to contact your General Manager

 

______________________________________

23 December 2020 - 6.00pm

Visitor Access and Resident Leave Update – NSW

The NSW Premier has released modifications to the NSW Community COVID restrictions with the aim of balancing safety and wellbeing for the community over the official 3 days of the Christmas period. Information on the restrictions over Christmas can be found on the NSW government website.

NSW Health Aged Care Visits and Outings Advice to 11.59pm Wednesday 30 December

NSW Health has consulted with the aged care sector and has today released advice for the Greater Sydney Region and Regional areas of NSW. The advice relates to Visitors to aged care homes and Residents leave from Facilities.

  • It is strongly advised that visits to aged care facilities be delayed and festive gatherings be postponed.
  • Furthermore, until at least 11.59pm on Wednesday 30 December 2020, residents from residential aged care facilities in Greater Sydney should not leave the facility to attend family gatherings and group excursions unless the visit is essential (such as a medical appointment).

The table below provides the guidance for visitors and resident leave:


*CONDITIONS FOR REGIONAL NSW RESIDENT LEAVE

Residents who are from facilities outside Greater Sydney are able to leave the facility to attend family gatherings or group excursions outside Greater Sydney, if there will be no persons at the event that during the last 14 days have been:

  • A close contact of a person confirmed with COVID-19 and are within their self-isolation period
  • In any of the locations listed on the self-isolate and get tested immediately page, at the times and dates listed
  • In any of the locations listed on the monitor for symptoms page, at the times and dates listed, except where noted otherwise

Stay informed and stay safe

With the sophistication and detailed level of contact tracing, NSW Health has been able to swiftly identify and publish newly established community hotspots. Please stay abreast of the locations from any of the NSW Health Alert areas before making plans to visit an aged care home to avoid any potential disappointment. This also applies to any NSW travellers who are now interstate.

We also ask families to communicate the information provided in this update to any friends or other family members who may be considering visiting an aged care home.

Our sincerest thanks and appreciation for the patience and support of our families and residents with the implementation of visitor access policies across our homes. Please be assured that we will continue to keep you updated on any changes to government directives and visitor access policies.

If you have any questions relating to visiting your loved one, please don’t hesitate to contact your General Manager.

______________________________________ 

22 December 2020 12.00pm

Visitor Access Update – NSW and interstate travellers

We take this opportunity to extend our sincerest thanks and appreciation for the patience and support of our families and residents with the implementation of visitor access policies across our NSW homes.

As expected, we have had questions from families about visiting on Christmas Day. We are not able to provide a definitive answer until we have further clarification of any changes to the current directives from the NSW Government and Public Health Advice.

We acknowledge that these last few days have caused disruption, anxiety and uncertainty as to how this Christmas and New Year will pan out. Please be assured that we will continue to keep you updated as we receive notification of any changes from health authorities.

There has been much activity over the past 48 hours in relation to the various state border restrictions, significant community testing with decreasing numbers of new cases of COVID from the Northern Beaches cluster. Whilst this is encouraging, the NSW government has reinforced they will need to maintain a cautious approach to easing of any restrictions.

 Next Steps

We are now awaiting the next announcement of directives scheduled for Wednesday by the NSW Premier. Until then, we will need to maintain our policy of essential visits only across NSW homes.

Once we have all health authorities’ advice in hand, we will assess our response levels to align with government orders and ensure the necessary policies and practices are in place across our Homes to facilitate safe ways of connecting with loved ones over the Christmas / New Year period.

Meanwhile, we strongly encourage people from any of the NSW Health Alert areas to not visit any aged care Homes and utilise alternative means of communication to stay connected. This also applies to any NSW travellers who are now interstate.

As the situation is changing constantly, we recommend that all travellers check the relevant state health authority website for up to date information before you make plans to visit loved ones.

QLD Health   SA Health   DHHS VIC   NSW Health

Again, we can’t thank our families enough for your patience with the changes to visitor access policies, your support and understanding is appreciated.

If you have any questions relating to visiting your loved one, please don’t hesitate to contact your General Manager.

______________________________

21 December 2020

Further to our recent updates, in the last 24 hours, all states have now increased their border restrictions to travellers from NSW with specific reference to the Greater Sydney, Central Coast and Illawarra/Shoalhaven regions.

There will be instances where residents of NSW have travelled prior to the border restrictions being announced. The table below provides a summary of the locations defined by each state as NSW hotspots. In line with directions from NSW government health authorities, people from any of the NSW Health Alert areas should not visit any aged care Homes.

As the situation is changing constantly, we strongly recommend that all travellers check the relevant state health authority website for up to date information before you make plans to visit loved ones.

QLD Health     SA Health     DHHS VIC    NSW Health

Thank you for your patience and understanding with the changes in visitor access policies.

If you have any questions relating to visiting your loved one, please don’t hesitate to contact your General Manager.

__________________________________

20th December 2020

Visitor Access Aged Care Homes NSW

The NSW Premier, Minister for Health and Chief Health Officer issued an update today with clear messages for the Greater Sydney region (including the Shoalhaven district) reinforcing the need for heightened precautionary measures in the coming days to contain further community transmission of the Northern Beaches cluster.

Allity’s COVID Response Taskforce met earlier this afternoon to review the announcements from NSW Health to ensure our risk assessment and our visitor access policies are aligned to the heightened precautionary measures issued.

Additional venues have now been identified with advice for self-isolation and increased testing published.

In light of these further developments, we have now raised our outbreak response precautionary practices for all NSW metropolitan homes, Bayside Morisset and the Coastal Waters region. Please note that Calare and Gosling Creek Homes’ visitor policies will not be changing.

The heightened visitor access policies will apply with immediate effect as follows:

  • Essential visits only will be permitted, with the exception of end of life support for residents
  • Social visits will be temporarily suspended – please contact your Home to arrange Zoom calls
  • Face masks must be worn at all times while in the Home
  • Essential visits should be conducted in a resident’s rooms only or in a specific area designated by the Home, rather than communal areas
  • People from any of the NSW Health Alert areas should not visit any aged care Homes

It is extremely disappointing for everyone that the need for these enhanced precautionary measures have become necessary at a time when we were looking forward to festive season celebrations.

We will be monitoring NSW Health advice and directives closely over the coming few days, and will provide an update on Tuesday, if not earlier as to any changes to our risk response level based on health authority advice and community transmission rates.

Our priority will always be the safety and wellbeing of our residents. We will continue to take a very considered and balanced approach to the visitor policies to support essential visits. Our aim is to be able to provide a safe environment and/or alternatives for our families and residents to celebrate this important time together.

Meanwhile, we encourage you to continue to keep good hygiene and respiratory practices top of mind and maintain vigilance and caution when going out into the community.

We ask for your patience and understanding with the changes in visitor access policies. If you have any questions relating to visiting your loved one, please don’t hesitate to contact your General Manager.

___________________________

18 December 2020 5.44pm

NSW Health has issued a directive stating that Residential aged care facilities in the Northern Sydney Local Health District should exclude all visitors. 

Greenwood falls within this local health unit which means we will have to close our Home to visitors temporarily as directed. The exception to the restriction in visits is for end of life support for residents.

We are acutely aware that this will be distressing for some families and residents and assure you that we will maintain close monitoring and contact with the local health unit over the weekend.

At this stage we have not been notified of the period for visit exclusions, but will provide an update on Tuesday if not earlier in the event of any changes to this risk response level based on health authority advice and community transmission rates.

Our priority will always be the safety and wellbeing of our residents. We encourage you to continue to keep good hygiene and respiratory practices top of mind and exercise caution when going out into the community.

________________________________

18 December 2020

Visitor Access Aged Care Homes NSW

NSW Health has continued to issue further updates resulting from an increase in new COVID-19 cases reported since yesterday. Additional venues have now been identified with advice for self-isolation and increased testing published.

In light of the current situation we have raised our outbreak response precautionary practices for all NSW metropolitan homes and the Coastal Waters region, noting our Bayside, Calare and Gosling Creek Homes’ visitor policies will not be changing.

The heightened visitor access policies will apply with immediate effect as follows:

  • Essential visits will be permitted, please assist the Home by booking in advance
  • Other visits outside of those classified as Essential should be conducted via Zoom/Video calls where possible
  • Face masks must be worn at all times while in the Home
  • Screening and health declarations will be maintained for all visitors and staff
  • Physical distancing of 1.5m should be adhered to when in the Home
  • Essential visits should be conducted in a resident’s rooms only or in a specific area designated by the Home, rather than communal areas
  • People from any of the NSW Health Alert areas should not visit any aged care Homes

We acknowledge it is extremely unfortunate and disappointing for everyone that the emergence of this new cluster has occurred in the week prior to our much anticipated festive season celebrations after a challenging year.

As such, please be assured that we are taking a very considered and balanced approach to the visitor policies to support essential visits and enable our families and residents to celebrate this important time together in a safe way.

As we conveyed in last night’s update, we will continue to monitor health authority advice over the weekend and will provide an update on Tuesday as to any changes to our risk response level based on health authority advice and community transmission rates.

Our priority will always be the safety and wellbeing of our residents. We encourage you to continue to keep good hygiene and respiratory practices top of mind and exercise caution when going out into the community.

If you have any questions relating to visiting your loved one, please don’t hesitate to contact your General Manager.

___________________________________ 

 17 December 2020

Health Alert Sydney Northern Beaches NSW

NSW Health has issued a health alert for the Northern Beaches LGA resulting from 17 new COVID-19 cases being identified today.
As a number of new cases are currently being interviewed, it is likely that new venues may be identified and that people in the northern beaches may have attended venues listed in the health alert.

To assist contact tracing and to contain any potential spread of COVID-19, for the next three days, people living in the Northern Beaches Local Government Area should take the following steps:

• Work from home and remain at home as much as possible
• Do not visit friends or relatives in aged care facilities or hospitals unless essential
• Avoid unnecessary gatherings
• Keep to your household group
• Avoid visiting high-risk venues including clubs, restaurants, places of worship and gyms
• Avoid unnecessary travel outside the Northern Beaches area

People from outside the area should avoid unnecessary travel to the Northern Beaches.

Visiting our Homes

Subject to the alert released by NSW Health for people living in the Northern Beaches LGA’s, NSW Health recently announced the easing of visitor restrictions for aged care homes.

The following policies will apply to NSW Homes:

  • There are no restrictions on the number of care and support visits a resident may receive
  • Bookings will no longer be required – we do ask for your understanding and patience as we transition back into unscheduled visits while still maintaining the requirement to conduct health screening / declarations for all visitors.
  • Visitors must sign in and out of the Home to assist contact tracing if an identified case of COVID-19 is confirmed
  • Physical distancing of 1.5m should be adhered to wherever possible
  • Visits should be conducted in a resident’s room, outdoors, or in a specific area designated by the Home, rather than communal areas
  • Visitors should be aware of NSW Health Alerts


The changes to the visitor policies above has been aligned to a Level 1 risk assessment rating. Should there be cause for escalation of the risk levels as advised by health authorities, restrictions will be reinstated appropriate to the level of assessed risk.

Our priority will always be the safety and wellbeing of our residents. We encourage you to continue to keep good hygiene and respiratory practices top of mind when visiting. If you are unwell, we ask that you do not visit to protect the safety of residents and staff.

We are delighted to be able to have visitors return to our Homes and resuming operations in a COVID safe way for the enjoyment of all. If you have any questions relating to visiting your loved one, please don’t hesitate to contact your General Manager.