Highwood Court Update

 

 

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.