As at 23-March 2020
What is Allity doing to prevent the Homes from being infected with COVID-19?
Our COVID-19 Emergency Response Plan outlines a proactive 3-tier system that introduces different restrictions during each phase. Movements become more limited as we escalate which is key to minimising the risk of transmission. We are now at Level 2 which is why we have introduced further limits on visitation.
This system is designed specifically with the aim of, (a) initially preventing entry of the virus, and, (b) should the virus come into the home then containing the spread
Our policies and procedures are continually updated to reflect the latest guidelines from the Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA), around managing COVID-19. We have confidence in our ability to manage any form of outbreaks in our Homes, consistent with our Infection Prevention and Control Policies and Practices.
Why is Allity restricting access to Homes that are stricter than what the Government has announced?
The health and safety of our residents, families and staff are our first priority and we have a commitment to do whatever we deem is necessary to prevent the possibility of infection in our Homes.
We do not take decisions of visitor restrictions lightly, so while our additional measures appear to be more restrictive than the recommendations announced by the government, they are reflective of what our broader aged care industry providers are implementing.
We have also explored what our counterparts in the UK, and Europe are doing to mitigate the risk of infection. Our aim is to not get to the levels of infection that are being experienced overseas. We strongly believe that putting in additional measures to minimise our residents’ exposure to COVID-19 will be the most effective way of maintaining a safe environment.
What if I / my mother wants to go out to the shops on her own as she usually does?
We are strongly encouraging all residents to remain in their Homes. Residents choosing to go out into the community are risking the health of others in our Homes, not just their own. As such, any residents who leave will have to go into mandatory isolation for 14 days in their room, upon return. This is to ensure there are no symptoms of infection before being allowed back into their Home’s resident community.
Allity's primary objective is to do everything we can to protect our entire community of residents. This requires us to focus on the actions we need to take to prevent the possibility of transmission both from external visitors and/or exposure between residents and/or staff in our Homes.
I visit my loved one every day. How do I know that my loved one’s care needs are being met?
The care needs of our residents are determined through collaborative consultation with the family and health practitioners. We encourage families to work with the General Manager or Care Manager at the home to ensure we have appropriately captured your loved one’s care needs within their care plan.
What are other measures I can take to prevent infection spread?
The best way of ensuring you are doing everything you can to prevent infection spread is by understanding how COVID-19 is transmitted and taking action to mitigate risk. The Department of Health's website provides resources that is accessible to everyone.
We also encourage you to maintain contact with your General Manager to ensure you have up to date information on the things that we can all collectively do to prevent infection spread in our Homes and thereby maintain a safe environment for your loved one.
Useful information can be found in relation to:
• Social Distancing
• Home Isolation
• Holiday Travel
• Use of PPE
What happens if I think my mother / father has Coronavirus and living in an Allity Home?
In the first instance we would assess the symptoms to identify if it is influenza while at the same time commence isolation and management protocols. Based on the symptoms, testing would be done for influenza or COVID-19 and if the latter, we will immediately contact the Public Health Unit (PHU) to assist and advise us in managing treatment and containment of the virus.
What happens if we get a confirmed case of COVID-19 in our Home?
Allity will activate our COVID-19 Emergency Response Plan and outbreak procedures in line with the latest guidelines from the Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA). Allity has established an Outbreak Management Team who will be responsible for directing and overseeing management of the outbreak.
This will be led by Allity's support office to enable the local team to focus on care delivery. The local PHU will be contacted and the Home will work alongside the PHU. Our COVID-19 Emergency Response Plan includes a Workforce Management Plan that allows us to be flexible in our planning to ensure we meet the esential needs of our residents.
There have been no cases of COVID-19 reported in our any of our homes or affecting any of our staff; however, it is in the interests of our residents, staff and visitors to treat our response to COVID-19 with an abundance of caution.