Highwood Court Update

 

11 August 2020

There are no changes to yesterday’s update as we await direction from the DHHS as to whether another round of testing will be conducted in the coming days.

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

We will keep you updated as to the department’s decision as soon as we have confirmation of the next steps.

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10 August 2020, 4.00pm

Having received the all clear result for all residents from our 3rd round of testing last week, we are now awaiting direction from the DHHS as to the next steps for Highwood.

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

The standard cycle for covid testing as directed by the DHHS is day one of the outbreak, and thereafter days five and eleven. In the event of test results consistently coming through with negative cases, the department may deem the Home able to move onto the next stage to what is termed ‘Enhanced Surveillance’ status. This is where we are hoping to be as the next step for Highwood.

This would mean we are able to reduce restrictions somewhat, whilst continuing to monitor residents closely for any symptoms of coronavirus for the next 14 days. Should any residents develop symptoms a pre-emptive approach with further testing and immediate isolation would be followed. If during this period, the Home experiences no further signs or issues of a COVID threat, they are able to officially close our outbreak status.

We will keep you updated as to the department’s decision in the coming days.

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9 August 2020, 4.00pm

No changes to report - currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Home

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8 August 2020, 4.00pm

There is little to report for this update, with the Home in a promising position of all second round tests coming back negative across the board meaning there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Home.

The third round of testing was completed today for residents and staff, and as results come back, we will be in contact with all families.

We are in consultation with the DHHS on their directive in terms of the next steps for Highwood Court subject to this latest round of testing reporting favourable results.

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7 August 2020, 6.00pm

Today’s update brings good news with all test results for staff and residents returning a negative result. The third round of testing by DHHS will mostly start tomorrow (Saturday 8-Aug) and will contact all families as the results come in.

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

We also wanted to mention that today is a special day set aside to recognise all people who work so tirelessly in the aged care sector.

On this National Aged Care Employee Day, we would like to sincerely thank all of our workforce at the frontline and behind the scenes who come to work each day to care for, and keep our residents safe and well, be it directly or indirectly.

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6 August 2020, 6.00pm

We are pleased to report that all resident results from the second round of testing have been returned and all are negative.

We are also starting to receive staff results back and promisingly all test received to date have also been negative.

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

We will maintain our level 3 precautionary measures to ensure all infection control and PPE practices remain in place.

We will also continue to perform regular check in calls from the Home to discuss any concerns or questions you may have relating to your loved ones.

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5 Agust 2020, 6.00pm

There are no changes to report from our last update with the second round of testing completed today by the DHHS. We will be in touch with families as soon as we receive results from pathology. Testing for staff will commence in the coming days.

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

We continue to closely monitor our residents for any symptoms no matter how slight and are taking all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of our staff and residents.

We will continue to do regular check in calls from the Home to discuss any concerns or questions you may have relating to your loved ones.

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4 August 2020, 6.00pm

We are pleased to report that with all results from the recent testing now received, all residents and staff have delivered negative results.

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

The DHHS will be commencing another round of testing in line with their standard policy, tomorrow (Wednesday 5th) for residents, with staff testing in the following days. We will contact families as results come in.

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

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3 August 2020, 5.00pm

We are pleased to report that Highwood’s test results are starting to come in from the testing conducted over the weekend. Over 140 tests were completed across the Home, and promisingly all resident results received so far are negative as are those for staff.

We will continue to contact families as results come in.

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

Thank you again for your patience and understanding as we do everything necessary to ensure the safety of our residents and staff.

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2 August 2020, 3.00pm

Today’s update sees the completion of resident COVID testing yesterday and staff testing being conducted today. We expect to start receiving results in the next 24-48 hours at which time we will be contacting families with results as we receive them. Going forward, we will be directed by the DHHS as to the further rounds of testing that will be conducted.

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

In yesterday’s update we referred families to links to reputable websites for general information around the facts and myths of COVID-19. Over and above this, our families have asked questions in relation to what to expect during an outbreak. 

Highwood’s precautionary lockdown immediately commenced the critical 1st response emergency procedures that:

  • Screen and restrict movement of people in and out of and where possible, across the Home
  • Clearly demarcate areas for PPE usage and ongoing supply
  • Revise kitchen operations and lifestyle requirements to support residents
  • Set out communication lines, regularity and channels for families, staff and residents
  • Maintain stable staffing via our own staff, agency and/or government surge workforce
  • Ensure the commonwealth, state and local health authorities, and the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission have oversight with what we are doing on a daily basis

In addition, we are exploring potential options should we need to temporarily relocate residents within the Home to contain the spread of the virus if positive cases are identified in the Home. We will speak with you beforehand if this need arises.

If you haven’t already, we also encourage you to watch the video from the Department of Health, and read the information guide from the

Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission as per the links below:

ACQSC Guide and Video from the Department of Health

We will be in touch with families daily to discuss any concerns or questions about loved ones. For general queries, call the COVID information line (1800 708 236) with any non-resident related questions. The information line operates Monday-Friday 10.00am to 4.00pm. 

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1 August 2020, 3.00pm

The DHHS commenced COVID testing today at Highwood for all residents. Staff will also be tested over the coming days. We expect to start receiving results in the next 24-48 hours at which time we will be contacting families with results as we receive them.

To give you an indication of how the testing will work, 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 a precautionary / outbreak period can formally be declared over. This process can take between 4 to 8 weeks.

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

During this time, 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 as well as scheduling daily calls with federal and state authorities.

Ensuring a stable staff roster to look after residents is a priority, and as necessary the Highwood team may be supplemented with agency staff as required, who are all stringently screened. We can report that we have stable staffing confirmed for this weekend and will conduct reviews each day to ensure the roster is filled for the next few days following.

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.

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.

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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31 July 2020, 4.00pm

In keeping with the Department of Health’s advice, Highwood Court, like all aged care homes across Australia, has a risk management plan in place for 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. This includes all employees being required to wear masks at all times when working since 13 July 2020.

Despite these additional safety measures, on 30 July, a staff member was diagnosed with COVID-19 and is now in self-isolation. Contact tracing is underway to identify close contacts.

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

With immediate effect, Highwood Court 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.