Glendale Update

 

 

3 August 2020, 4.00pm

Four weeks have now passed since the start of the outbreak here at Glendale. It has been an anxious time for our families and residents and for this we are truly sorry. We know that for all the measures that we have put in place to contain and protect our residents, it does not take away from the distress of not being able to see loved ones.

Since the beginning of the outbreak, we have regrettably had thirty-six residents and twenty-six staff test positive for coronavirus. Some of our residents were in good health and others were more clinically vulnerable, living with pre-existing health conditions, or receiving end of life support.

While we may have become accustomed to daily news reports on numbers of people impacted by COVID-19, to our staff at Glendale our residents will never be just a statistic. Each and every resident is an individual who gives us purpose for coming to work each day.

It has been some time since we have given a collective update to this family group on our residents who have sadly passed away with COVID-19. We have always felt it important to approach this with families in a private way and with respect and discretion. But this does not take away our desire to also acknowledge the sadness of life passing in the community here in Glendale. Since the start of the outbreak, eight residents have passed away with the virus while frail and usually suffering other underlying conditions.

We share in the distress and grief of all our families who have lost their loved ones. It is heart-breaking to have our residents lose their life to this virus. Our thoughts are sincerely with you during this difficult time.

We have received queries on what the formal process is for designating recovery from COVID-19. Some of our residents who first tested positive over 14 days ago are no longer displaying symptoms of coronavirus or never developed them in the first place. We continue to discuss this matter with the health authorities and hope to provide an update shortly.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if there is anything that we can do to support you or your family members during this time.

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2 August 2020, 3.00pm

A sincer thank you to families who we were able to reach yesterday for taking the time to talk through our CEO update and the letter from the Commission which you should have received late Friday.

It was important to get in touch personally to clarify the Commission’s move in formalising their approach during the COVID-19 pandemic. This was not unexpected, with all homes that have experienced large outbreaks of coronavirus being issued with a formal notice.

Be assured that we support the Commission’s objectives and we will continue to work closely with them as we have been since the start of the outbreak. We are heartened by the encouragement and support from the commonwealth and state health authorities who have repeatedly advised us that our practices and infection control processes are sound.

Please contact us if you have not received the letters from our CEO and the Commission, and we will email them to you and organise to give you a call to answer any questions you may have.

Another round of testing for residents and staff was completed this weekend. We are expecting results to progressively come in over the next 24-72 hours. Our apologies for any extended timeframes on calling families with results. The DHHS has advised that due to the high volume of testing being conducted across Victoria we should expect possible delays.

As always, from everyone at Glendale, we thank you for your kind words of support and will continue to do everything possible to return the home to our normal operations.

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31 July, 2020 4.00pm

We have now received all test results back from the recent round of testing. All residents who have tested positive remain in the covid area of the home. We would like to thank the staff and residents for your adherence to and cooperation with the infection control processes in place.

Unfortunately a further four residents have tested positive which means we have a total of thirty-four residents testing positive since the start of the outbreak. In addition to this, a total of twenty-three staff members have tested positive.
We have just been advised by Melbourne Pathology that another round of testing will be conducted tomorrow.

Resident and Family Support - AccessEAP

We recognise that it is an anxious and distressing time for everyone. In addition to the events at Glendale, 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.

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

There has been no change from yesterday’s update as we await results for the last series of tests.

We have been notified by the DHHS that there has been a significant increase in COVID-19 testing required 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.

We have completed the temporary relocation of residents as directed by the DHHS to best manage any further potential spread of the virus in the affected area of the Home. We are thankful to the families who have been understanding of, and assisted us with the moves, as we recognise the disruption can be distressing for residents.

We want to thank the families who have contacted us over the past week with your words of encouragement, they mean a lot to our staff during this very difficult time.
 

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29 July 2020, 3.00pm

As we write this update the testing cycle continues with tests being conducted for residents and staff today. We are cognisant that the ongoing cycles have been disruptive for some residents, please be assured that we are doing everything we can to manage the comfort of our residents during testing.

Regretfully, from the outstanding results of the weekend’s testing, we have received three further positive results for residents in the impacted area of the Home. The number of residents testing positive since the start of the outbreak is now thirty.

Following yesterday’s visit from the DHHS Outbreak Squad we have reviewed all the feedback provided to ensure any additional recommended measures are actioned promptly. It was reassuring that the DHHS was overall very supportive of our practices.

One of the measures we are now working on is the separate cohorting of positive and negative residents in the affected area of the home.The DHHS has directed that relocation of some residents is done as a priority to contain further spread of the virus. For residents and families impacted by the temporary moves, you will have already been contacted by the Home to work through the process.

There has been much attention recently from the commonwealth and state government on the subject of transferring covid positive residents from homes to hospital. We continue to have daily discussions with the DHHS where a transfer would be in the best interests of the individual and residents at large. We hope that following recent government announcements this process will become less challenging. 

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28 July 2020, 4.00pm

Nearly all of the weekend’s test results have now been received with only a few still pending. As the volume of aged care testing increases we are seeing extended timescales for receiving full results, which come through randomly across all areas of the Home.

Again, we have seen no new positive cases in any areas of the home that have so far been coronavirus free. We are thankful that the COVID-free areas of the Home have continued to remain as such and are continually monitoring infection control practices to keep our staff and residents safely quarantined to those areas.

We are sorry to report that since our last update, we have received two positive test results for residents in the impacted area of the Home. The number of residents testing positive since the start of the outbreak is now twenty-seven.

In addition to daily calls with the health authorities, we today had a visit from the DHHS Outbreak Squad. They are supportive of our practices in the covid impacted area, and the overall administration of our PPE protocols.

While some of our staff have returned from self-isolation, we still need to supplement our rosters with agency staff, therefore, you will hear that there are some unfamiliar faces in the Home. We provide training for agency workers in the Home to ensure they have the required knowledge of our infection control practices.

The volatile nature of this virus has been, and continues to be devastating for everyone. We are working around the clock both internally and with health authorities to do everything possible to mitigate the impact of the outbreak. There are days we feel we are progressing and then days where we experience disappointment when an additional test comes back positive.

We know that some of our families are becoming more anxious as each day passes. Our genuine intent is to keep you as informed as possible and do what we can to alleviate your concerns. If there is anything that we can do to support you, please don’t hesitate to discuss it with us and we will do our utmost to work through how we can assist.

A sincere thnk you to our families for your support and patience, and also to our dedicated staff who have shown nothing but resilience and commitment to keeping our residents safe.

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27 July 2020, 3.00pm

We have started to receive results from the weekend’s testing. All resident results received so far have been negative. As always, we will be contacting families as soon as we are notified by the pathology clinic.

We have received an additional positive test result for a staff member working in the covid affected area of the home. They are now isolating at home. The number of residents tested positive since the start of the outbreak remains at twenty-five.

With the focus of media attention on aged care in Victoria and the reporting of linked cases in residential aged care facilities, we have received some questions on why the DHHS number for Glendale differs from those we report in our daily updates.

The number reported in the media from the DHHS refers to ‘linked’ cases which includes individuals who are household members or social friends of impacted staff members and have not had any direct contact with Glendale. As such the number reported by the DHHS is higher than the number of residents and staff who have tested positive in our Home.

The Department of Health and the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission have now released information for residents and families as a resource to help explain what happens when an outbreak of COVID-19 occurs in an aged care facility.

This information covers all aspects of visitor policies, PPE, communication, infection control, testing and isolation of residents which could include temporarily moving residents’ rooms if required. You may already be familiar with much the content, noting, if there are any temporary room changes for your loved one, you will already have been contacted by the Home.

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 2.00pm

There has been no further change or additional updates since yesterday. We expect results from the weekend testing to start coming through over the course of the next 24 hours and will be contacting families as soon as we are notified of individual results.

There has been considerable media recently questioning the capability of aged care providers to manage COVID-19 outbreaks, as cases linked to residential aged care facilities in Victoria have increased. We understand that this may cause concern for families and would like to reassure you that our outbreak management plan complies with the latest health authority directives and advice. Please remember, any concerns can discussed on the family daily calls.

We are in daily contact with all relevant health authorities to ensure this remains the case and also discuss specific issues as they arise as well as any forward planning required.

On a daily basis, a senior RN is responsible for leading a review of, and reporting to a centralised Outbreak Management Team on the clinical assessment of residents, workforce numbers, PPE supplies, and our staff infection control practices across the Home. All actions and outcomes are relayed to the DHHS and PHU at the daily meeting.

General information and queries: Contact the COVID information line: 1800 708 236 Monday - Friday: 10.00am to 4.00pm

Information on Individual Residents: Family members and representatives wanting information relating to loved ones should be discussed during the daily family calls

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25 July 2020, 2.00pm

There has been no further change from yesterday’s update with further testing taking place today under the direction of the DHHS.

Following our daily risk assessment and planning with the DHHS and PHU we have been able to transfer to hospital a number of covid positive residents over the past few days.

Hospital transfer of residents who are unwell or whose behaviour may pose a risk to others is an important part of the broader COVID-19 plan. We are continuing to work with state and federal government, aged care peak bodies and local health units on this important issue.

Keeping the COVID-19 free areas of the Home protected, and putting further measures in place to contain and manage infection in the impacted area of the Home are our priorities. With the advice and direction of the DHHS, we are putting further containment measures in place in the COVID positive area, and will be consulting with families in this impacted area of the Home with any changes and/or actions to ensure you stay updated.

A reminder that Care Packages can be delivered from this Monday. We have put in place a process to make sure we are able to efficiently deliver packages while maintaining strict infection control procedures.

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24 July 2020, 2.00pm

We have now received the majority of results back from the recent round of testing and pleased to report that there have been no new positive cases identified in any areas of the home that have to-date been coronavirus free. This reassures us that the infection control measures we have in place are successfully preventing the spread of the virus beyond the area where it entered the home.

We are sorry to say that a number of additional residents have tested positive in the impacted area of the home. This brings the total number of residents who have tested positive since the start of the outbreak to twenty-five.

We continue to work closely with the Commonwealth Department of Health, DHHS and PHU on further measures to assist in resolving the infection in the impacted area of the home.

A key objective is attempting to secure the transfer to hospital of covid positive residents. This has always been Glendale’s strong preference – not simply for residents who are unwell, but also those who, due to the challenges of a lockdown environment may pose a heightened risk to the wellbeing of others.

We understand this is an anxious time, particularly as positive results continue to be reported. We are committed to doing everything possible to protect our residents and staff during this very challenging time.

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23 July 2020, 5.00pm

The results are starting to come through from the latest round of testing. As previously mentioned, the purpose of regular tests is to capture as definitively as possible any residents who experience longer incubation periods.

With the configuration of the Home, we continue to assess the situation in Glendale against DHHS protocols in relation to neighbourhoods that are COVID-free. The first step is called “enhanced surveillance” where we appropriately adapt the current restrictions and practices that are in place. Our objective is to be able to transition neighbourhoods to this state as soon as the DHHS approves and it is safe to do so.

All positive cases identified in the home are currently living in the same area. As previously emphasised, this area is strictly limited to specially assigned staff and has been secured to prevent entry and exit by unauthorised personnel. We continue to practice vigilance in our adherence to infection control practices and PPE usage.

Care Packages

We are pleased to announce that we have been given the go ahead to commence receiving care packages for our residents commencing Monday 27 July 2020. The Home being in lockdown means we have to ensure a heightened level of infection control protocols for any packages brought into the Home. A schedule of drop off times and process has been emailed to families.

We understand this is an anxious time, particularly when additional positive results are reported, but please be assured that we are doing everything possible to protect our residents and staff in the Home. Please don’t hesitate to discuss any of your concerns with us on your daily call.

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22 July 2020, 5.00pm

The fourth round of testing was conducted in the Home yesterday for residents and staff.

The scheduled testing is a vital process during the typical incubation cycle within the standard 14 day observation period. We anticipate that we will be much closer to having identified any residents who have experienced a longer incubation period than average.

While we await test results we will maintain close observation of any residents who show symptoms of being unwell, however slight, and will contact families to advise of any changes as they occur; this is in addition to the daily calls.

We want to provide assurance that our residents who have tested positive are being looked after by specially assigned staff, and are all in one area of the Home with no crossover with other staff or residents.

We recognise that this has been an anxious time for our families and residents, particularly with the multiple testing rounds and the wait for results.Thank you again for your words of support and patience which are always appreciated. 

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21 July 2020, 2.00pm

Today sees the commencement of our fourth round of testing for residents and staff. As always, we can assure you that we will be in contact as soon as we receive pathology results for your love one. We are hoping that any previous issues that were causing delays for the pathology clinic have been rectified.

There has been no further change from yesterday with 14 residents who have tested positive in the home all in the same localised area, and are being cared for by specially assigned staff who do not crossover with any other areas of the Home. 

The use of PPE is stringently in place and is being used in line with DHHS protocol. Additionally, we can confirm we have good ongoing supplies of PPE in the Home, supplemented by the government stockpile and Allity centralised supplies as needed.

Queries around social leave have again been raised, it is important that you know you are able to take your loved one home through the non-hospital ‘social leave’ process. This is subject to the resident having a current negative test result.

If this is your wish, please discuss this on your daily call so that you are clear on the ongoing care needs of your loved one which will need to be continued while they are away from Glendale. Please note your loved one will not be able to return to Glendale until the outbreak is declared officially over by the health authorities. 

We mentioned previously that we are coming up to the time where some of our staff who have been in self-isolation are able to come back to work in the Home. We now have a list of staff who will be returning to the roster. This is good news, as it means we will have less reliance on agency staff and residents will see a return of familiar faces, albeit with face masks on.

Thank you again for your patience and understanding.

General information and queries: Contact the COVID information line: 1800 708 236 Monday - Friday: 10.00am to 4.00pm

Information on Individual Residents: Family members and representatives wanting information relating to loved ones should be discussed during the daily family calls

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20 July 2020, 3.00pm

A sincere thank you to all of our families who have contacted us with words of support and encouragement. This is a very anxious and challenging time for everyone and in particular, not being with your loved ones can be distressing.

One source of frustration has been the flow of test results which we believe has now been rectified by the pathology clinic. Please be assured that we are committed to calling all families with their loved ones’ results as and when we receive them.

We currently have 14 residents who have tested positive in the home who are all in the same localised area. Staff are specially assigned to these residents and there is no cross over of staffing between areas.

We appreciate that families will experience frustrations, and in some cases this has been directed at our staff. I can assure you that everyone in the Home is doing their utmost to support our residents, and putting their wellbeing first each and every day that they come to work. 

We thank you for your patience and understanding as we manage the situation and move through the quarantine period to restore our Home to its normal operations.

General information and queries: Contact the COVID information line: 1800 708 236 Monday - Friday: 10.00am to 4.00pm

Information on Individual Residents: Family members and representatives wanting information relating to loved ones should be discussed during the daily family calls

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19 July, 2020 4.00pm

We have experienced frustrating delays in obtaining further test results over the past 24 hrs. The pathology provider’s online system is being slow to update with results; we are checking regularly.

We have been directly notified via telephone however, that a further six residents have tested positive. All six live in close proximity to the residents in the home who have previously tested positive, suggesting they are part of the original infection cluster. Their families have been notified.

Strict access in and out of the impacted area has been reinforced in conjunction with other precautions that are firmly in place.

Daily discussions with state and federal health authorities, including the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission have continued throughout the weekend. We are thankful for their assistance and support as we work together to resolve the situation.

We appreciate these are anxious and stressful times for all our residents and their families.

Please be assured we are doing everything we can to keep our families' loved ones safe and well.

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18 July 2020, 2.00pm

The third round of testing for residents and staff took place yesterday – day 11 of the outbreak. Health protocols dictate retesting at this point as it remains within the standard 14 day observation period and can therefore identify any residents who have experienced a longer incubation period than average.

We have started to receive results through and unfortunately a further two residents and one staff member have tested positive. In addition, a resident who remains in hospital for reasons unrelated to coronavirus has tested positive whilst there.

This means we now have a total of six residents in the Home who have tested positive. Precautions are firmly in place so that they are under close observation and have dedicated staff caring for them.

With the possibility of more positive test results from the recent testing, we have been extra attentive to residents who show any symptoms of being unwell, however slight. We are contacting families to advise of any changes as they occur; in addition to the daily calls.

Focussing on the needs and wellbeing of covid positive or unwell residents is a key priority. We continue to have daily calls with the DHHS and Commonwealth Department of Health to provide updates, escalate concerns and communicate our support needs.

In particular, maintaining a sufficient and stable workforce to care for residents is a critical component of our COVID-19 Plan. This can be challenging since staff who test positive as well as staff deemed their close contacts need to self-isolate and cannot work. We have therefore been supplementing our workforce with agency staff.

Over the last couple of days we have experienced some minor shortfalls in staffing as demand for agency workers has risen due to increasing outbreaks across other aged care homes. However, we are now at the stage where our staff who have been self-isolating can progressively return to work in the coming days after completing their required isolation period and being COVID negative.

This is welcome news for our residents as familiar faces return to the Home to provide care during this difficult time.

Please be assured that we will be contacting our families as soon as your loved one’s test results have come through.

 

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17 July 2020, 1.00pm 

Our update today brings no change to the situation from yesterday’s report.

The 3rd round of testing for all residents and staff takes place today. We expect results will come in progressively over the weekend, and will be contacting authorised representatives as we receive them.

We continue to closely monitor our residents who have returned a positive result to inform our daily discussion with health authorities on the possibility of transferring them to hospital. The issue of hospital transfers is now receiving greater attention from the aged care industry bodies, government and media.

Our absolute priority up to now has been on ensuring the safety of our residents and staff through strict infection control practices to stop further potential spread of the virus within the home. We are now starting to discuss with the DHHS what the next steps will be once testing results stabilise. I look forward to keeping you informed on the progress of these discussions.

We will continue to call you on a daily basis, which is the ideal time to discuss any specific concerns or questions you may have about your family member. Alternatively the COVID information line is open from Monday to Friday, 10am–4pm for any general COVID enquiries.

 

General information and queries: Contact the COVID information line: 1800 708 236

Information on Individual Residents: Family members and representatives wanting information relating to loved ones should be discussed during the daily family calls.

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16 July 2020, 2.00pm

We have now received the results for virtually all of the 400+ tests that were conducted at the Home on Monday.

Most importantly, no new resident cases have been detected. This means there is no change to the situation previously reported: we currently have four residents in the Home who have tested positive. They are located in close proximity within the same neighbourhood and being looked after by specially assigned care staff who do not interact with other residents.

Three further staff members have tested positive. This brings the total number of staff members who have tested positive during the outbreak to thirteen.

We understand the DHSS has allocated a further five cases to Glendale as being close contacts. These are individuals who are household members or social friends of impacted staff members; without having had any direct contact with the Home.

As a reminder, we will be conducting the 3rd round of testing tomorrow.

Communication:

We hope that the daily calls are helping you stay up to date with your loved one’s health status and any other concerns. As you may be aware, calls are made to the authorised representatives of our residents.

We are cognisant that there will be extended family members and friends who may also be waiting anxiously for updates.

Could we ask that whenever possible, representatives pass on the details of the updates to the rest of the family to ensure as many relevant people as possible are kept informed.

Hospital Transfers:

A key topic for the media over the last few days has been whether aged care residents who test positive should be transferred to hospital. Allity’s strong preference is for all residents who test positive to be transferred to hospital. We want to reassure you that we are actively working with the Victorian health authorities and the families of affected residents to try and effect transfers. However, the ultimate decision lies with the DHHS.

 

General information and queries: Contact the COVID information line: 1800 708 236

Information on Individual Residents: Family members and representatives wanting information relating to loved ones should be discussed during the daily family calls.

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15 July 2020 2.00pm

As we communicated last night, we have started our daily calls to families and representatives and opened the 1-800 COVID information line for general enquiries. We will also endeavour to provide these email updates earlier in the day so that any questions or concerns that you have can be addressed in your daily calls.

The key updates for today are as follows:

Testing:

We are still waiting for confirmation of some of the pathology results from Monday’s testing. We will make sure these are communicated to you individually as soon as we receive them.

In line with public health advice, we are aiming to conduct a third and final round of testing for all residents this Friday 17 July. This is to ensure that we identify anyone who has a delayed onset of infection after being exposed. Following this we should have a reliable picture of the extent of the outbreak in the Home. We will again be contacting all families with the results as we receive them.

PPE:

We have maintained consistent supplies and staff usage of full PPE to date. As an enhanced measure we have now also procured 1,000 face shields with another 5,000 to be delivered this week. The use of face shields offers an additional level of protection that will further minimise any potential spread of infection.

Resident leave:

In line with our previous communication it is important that you know you are able to take your loved one home through the non-hospital ‘social leave’ process. This is subject to the resident having a current negative test result.
You should discuss your wishes at your daily call, as it is important that you are clear on the ongoing care needs of your loved one which will need to be continued while they are away from Glendale. Please note that residents will not be able to return to Glendale until the outbreak is declared officially over by the health authorities. More information can be sourced here in relation to the government’s information on emergency leave.

Hospital Transfers:

The decision on whether to transfer a resident with a positive COVID test result to hospital is determined by the local health authorities. This is made on a case-by-case basis taking into account the resident’s care needs and health status. Our priority is to look after everyone who is entrusted to our care to the best of our ability. Residents who have tested positive are being looked after by specifically assigned care staff who do not interact with other residents. We are monitoring them closely and regularly for any developments to ensure all parties are aware of the latest information. Our primary objectives are to ensure we are doing what is best for the affected resident and to provide confidence that we are also considering the health and wellbeing of all residents and staff.

General information and queries:  contact the COVID information line: 1800 708 236

Information on Individual Residents: Family members and representatives wanting information relating to loved ones should be discussed during the daily family calls.

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14 July 2020, 8:00pm

A key element of our coronavirus response plan is the early detection of cases which was activated at Glendale on 7th July. Identifying an outbreak as soon as possible is vital in order to contain its potential spread. That is one of the reasons why all residents at Glendale were tested last week, not just those displaying symptoms or identified as close contacts of a confirmed case.

In the early stages of the covid infection cycle people will often test negative. It takes a few days after transmission for the virus to take hold and reach the point where the coronavirus test is able to detect it. That is why it is important to re-test residents five days after their initial test, in line with health authority recommendations.

We have now started to receive the results for yesterday’s tests. I am sorry to announce that a further three residents have tested positive. This brings the number of positive residents in the Home to four – all are located in close proximity within the same neighbourhood.

We have contacted the family members and are working closely with them and the DHHS to determine what is best for each resident including whether they should be transferred to hospital at this stage.

The increasing rate of infections reported in Residential aged care in the Melbourne area is attracting a lot of media attention. We understand that this causes families, residents and representatives to become more anxious. As such, we have made the decision to increase our communication and information to families in addition to our current daily updates.

In response we have implemented two new ways to facilitate this:

  • Daily telephone calls – we will be making calls to all resident representatives on a daily basis to update you on your loved one’s wellbeing and answer any questions about how they are getting on or to book 10-4 Wellbeing or Zoom calls if desired
  • COVID enquiry line – a dedicated line has been set up for addressing general questions around coronavirus issues and procedures. This includes what is happening in the Home, where to find updated information or additional details and what is planned in the Home. The enquiry line will be staffed from 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday and the number is 1800 708 236. Please note that you should still call the home if you need any specific information on your loved ones.
    We will also aim to be bring forward our daily email updates so that you get them earlier.

As always, thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through these difficult times together.

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13 July 2020 7.00pm

There was again no change to the status of the Home today with the final two pending resident test results from last week’s round of testing being returned as negative.

Today saw the commencement of the 2nd round of testing with all residents and a majority of staff members being tested. Results are expected over the next couple of days and we will be calling each resident’s nominated representative as they are received.

We have received queries on why there are occasional discrepancies between our reported infection results and those published by the DHHS. There are two reasons for any differences:

  • Timing – reports are always at a point in time and will sometimes not coincide. Particularly if a staff member who is self-isolating and tested outside Glendale has not yet reported their positive result to us 
  • Linked cases – our published infection results reflect the number of Glendale residents and staff who have tested positive for coronavirus. As of this update that is 2 residents and 10 staff. The DHHS also reports linked cases who have had no direct contact with the Home. For example, a family member or close contact of an infected staff member who subsequently tests positive.

 

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12 July 2020 6.00pm

Since our last update yesterday evening, there has been no change to the status of the Home as we continue to focus on maintaining strict adherence to our infection management and control protocols and conducting any further contact tracing required.

We continue to conduct our regular check-ins with residents and want to remind families that a good way to stay in touch and connect with loved ones is through booking Zoom wellbeing check-in calls by calling the Home directly.

Social Leave

We have received questions from families querying the ability to take loved ones out of the Home temporarily. If this is something that you would like to consider we can assist you in arranging a period of ‘social leave’ in a safe manner.

It is important to note that the minimum leave time is dependent on how long it takes to resolve the outbreak since residents will not be able to return to Glendale until the outbreak is declared officially over by the health authorities. We estimate this to be between 4-8 weeks. Should your loved one become ill during their social leave period, they will need to be taken to hospital.

Residents are currently entitled to 63 days of social leave per year, however the government is currently reviewing extending this.

Please don’t hesitate to contact the Home if you want to discuss this further as it is also important that you are clear on the ongoing care needs of your loved one that will need to be continued while on social leave.

General updates:

  • Waste Management – As of this morning, we have 2 maintenance officers joining the Glendale team who are in addition to current resources. They will ensure the waste collection process is efficiently managed as well as ensuring other maintenance aspects of the home are attended to. There has been a necessary increase in waste disposal related to the use of PPE. While there has been a backlog this weekend, there is no infection risk and extra collections commence from tomorrow.
  • Registered Nurses – From tomorrow, we will have 2 RN’s with extensive COVID-19 experience joining the team to supplement our existing workforce. They have previously worked at the Dorothy Henderson home in Sydney during its outbreak.
  • Testing – A reminder that we will be commencing the second round of coronavirus testing for all residents and staff tomorrow
  • OPAN – we have progressed discussions with OPAN (Older Persons Advocacy Network) in relation to assistance for families who would like to resource additional support. They have provided us with further information, including a letter and information leaflet highlighting the services they are able to provide and how to access the support via the link below. We also recommend viewing OPAN’s information videos which you may find helpful. www.opan.com.au/covid

Outbreak Explainer Video

COVID support line (via facebook)

OPAN Letter and Brochure

 

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11 July 2020 5.00pm

It is with much sadness that we were informed today of the passing of a 90-year old resident overnight. He was being treated in hospital for underlying conditions and while there, returned a positive COVID result.

This is heart breaking news and we have been in contact with the family and extended our sincerest condolences. We will continue to provide the family with any support we can during this difficult time.

Our focus remains steadfast in ensuring all residents under our care and our staff are provided with a safe environment in which to live and work. Our infection management control procedures and any additional measures required to minimise the threat of the virus spreading further are firmly in place.

As you may be aware, wide-spread coronavirus testing of all residents and staff at Glendale was carried out earlier this week. 484 tests have been conducted for 277 staff (some of whom were tested away from the Home), and 207 residents.

The receipt of results is now virtually complete. A total of 472 tests have been returned negative with only two more results pending. One resident has tested positive as was previously announced in our evening update yesterday. Five additional staff members tested positive overnight meaning we now have a total of nine staff members who have tested positive and are in self-isolation. Contact tracing is continuing.

It is important that you have transparency as to what the next steps are:

  • Testing – a second round of coronavirus testing for all residents and staff will commence on Monday 13 July as part of standard outbreak procedures. This will again be conducted by the DHHS and we will personally advise resident representatives of the results upon receipt as we did this week. In the meantime, residents will need to remain in their rooms and staff will continue to use full PPE at all times. 
  • Hospital transfers – we have been liaising with the DHHS on the correct process in the event of any positive resident test results. They have instructed us that the decision to transfer is based on clinical assessment and need i.e. evidence of symptoms. As such, the one resident who has tested positive in the Home and is asymptomatic and otherwise well, will remain at Glendale under quarantined care for the time being. They are being closely and regularly monitored.
  • Family support – we have contacted OPAN (Older Persons Advocacy Network) who will be assisting us with family support on a case basis. OPAN can be contacted on 1800 237 981 from 6am to 10pm, seven days a week. More information on their services can be found at www.opan.com.au/covid

 

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10 July 2020 6.30pm

We have now received the majority of results back from the testing conducted at the Home earlier this week. Over 230 staff results have now been provided and we are awaiting the result of only four more resident tests.

Subsequent to our earlier update today, we received notification of an additional resident who has returned a positive result despite being asymptomatic and otherwise well. This resident is currently being cared for in quarantine.

Staff are continuing to wear full PPE at all times and are attending only to their specific allocated neighbourhoods while conducting regular check-ins with residents who remain in their rooms.

We continue to provide stable staffing levels to maintain care for our residents and ensure their physical and mental wellbeing whilst they are required to remain in their rooms at this time.

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10 July 2020 12.00pm

Glendale management and staff continue to work closely with the Department of Health and Human Services and local Public Health Unit to ensure all infection control processes are effective and in place to protect residents and staff and contain the potential threat of the virus spreading. This has included conducting home-wide testing of all residents and staff at Glendale.

Subsequent to our communication yesterday evening, overnight we received notification that 4 staff members at Glendale Aged Care have reported positive COVID-19 results. All four staff members are now at home in isolation, and we are staying in contact with them to ensure they are supported. Further contact tracing is underway.

Importantly, we are extremely grateful for the collaboration, timely and significant support that the state and federal government authorities have provided the Home.

Current status:

  • 4 staff members tested positive and are now self-isolating
  • All test results received for residents so far are negative
  • 90 year old resident remains in hospital and is receiving treatment there
  • All residents remain in their rooms and are being attended to regularly by staff wearing full PPE who have been allocated to specific neighbourhood
  • The home has good accessible supplies of PPE
  • Care staffing levels in the home continue to be stable, supplemented with additional workforce

We are working in volatile times where things change rapidly and want to reassure you that we are committed to keeping everyone informed as quickly as possible as we learn more about the situation.

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9 July 2020 6.00pm

It has been a busy 24 hours working together with the local Public Health Unit and Department of Health and Human Services in ensuring our staff and residents remain safe. The key activities focussed on have been completing testing of all residents and staff and contact tracing.

Current status:

  • There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our Home
  • Testing continued today. All test results that have been received so far are negative
  • All residents remain in their rooms and are attended to regularly by staff wearing full PPE who have been allocated to specific neighbourhoods
  • Additional supplies of PPE were delivered today from the government stockpile
  • Care staffing levels in the home continue to be stable, supplemented with additional workforce to provide lockdown support

We will continue to adhere to our COVID-19 Action Plan in close co-operation with the DHSS and Public Health Unit to contain any potential threat of the virus spreading.

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8 July 2020 7.00pm

We are thankful for the opportunity to talk to our families and representatives personally over the course of yesterday in relation to the COVID-19 status at our Home.

Our aim is to provide you with the reassurance that we are doing everything possible to maintain the health and safety of your loved one with quick and informative updates during the outbreak lockdown period.

Current status:

  • There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our Home.
  • The resident who tested positive in hospital is still being cared for at the hospital
  • We are yet to confirm how the resident became infected; tracing is continuing with the support of the DHHS (Department of Health & Human Services)
  • All residents and staff of Glendale were tested today. We are awaiting results and will provide an update when we are notified
  • In the meantime the home remains in lockdown. All residents are in isolation and being attended to regularly by staff wearing full PPE who have been allocated to specific neighbourhoods
  • Staffing levels in the home were at or above normal levels today. We are grateful that the majority of rostered staff attended work and we supplemented this with additional agency workforce

Glendale will continue to follow our COVID-19 Action Plan in close co-operation with the DHSS and Public Health Unit to contain any potential threat of the virus spreading.

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7 July 2020 6.00pm

In keeping with the advice of health authorities, Glendale Aged Care has an emergency response plan in place for Coronavirus (COVID-19). This means that 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 during the pandemic.

Despite these additional safety measures, a 90 year-old male resident who had been in hospital since 6 July has returned a positive COVID-19 test.

The resident remains in hospital and is receiving medical treatment.

Currently there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus within the home.

Out of an abundance of caution, all residents and staff will be tested over the next 24 hours.

All families and representatives of residents have been personally contacted by Glendale managers, and the home’s workforce management plan is in place to ensure enough staff are available to care for residents in the home.

We are working closely with the local Public Health Unit to ensure the protection and safety of all residents, families and staff who work at Glendale.

We have spoken with the affected resident’s family, as well as the families of residents who live in the same area of the home. 

Outbreak procedures are being managed by professional staff trained in infection control. The following procedures are completed or underway:

  • Contacted Public Health Unit
  • Full disinfection of the home
  • Isolation of all residents within the home
  • Precautionary COVID-19 testing of all staff and residents
  • All staff in full Personal Protective Equipment
  • Proactive workforce management to ensure all shifts are covered for staff who are isolating at home
  • Continued health screening for staff before every shift
  • Home closed to visitors until further notice
  • Regular communication initiated with all staff, residents, families and representatives
  • Staff have been advised not to enter any other aged care homes during the full quarantine period.

We are committed to maintaining open and regular communication with our staff and residents, their families and representatives over the coming days as we receive more information.