Doutta Galla COVID-19

11 September 2020

Dear Residents, Families and Friends,

I am pleased to write to you with some news that we have all been waiting patiently to hear.  Today we have received a COVID-19 ‘clearance certificate’ from the Public Health Unit (PHU) for each individual resident.  We have been advocating for this to occur to enable us to move a step closer towards ‘enhanced surveillance’.  From today residents will be able to move freely around the Home, have meals in the dining room and socialise with each other (with social distancing). Staff will continue to wear a mask, face shield and gloves whilst working with residents, and are expected to maintain strict hygiene protocols.

‘Enhanced surveillance’ is the next step, in the journey to recovery which will occur when the PHU is satisfied that the residents, the staff and the Home itself receive final clearances.  This period will run for 14 days at which time Yarraville Village will be considered to have recovered from COVID-19.  We anticipate that we will receive this advice next week sometime.

We have already returned some of the furniture back to the communal areas to enable residents to come out of their rooms in comfort.  Residents will also have an opportunity to re-set up their rooms as soon as possible after we enter into ‘enhanced surveillance’.  Talya and her team will be talking with residents about what they would like in their rooms and how they wish to transition back to daily life in the Home.  The staff will encourage residents to engage in familiar activities and to connect with each other and their families.

We will continue to have additional staff support at the Home to provide residents an opportunity to talk about the impact that the COVID-19 outbreak has had on them.  We have engaged a pastoral care worker to support the residents and staff through this process of grief and the path to recovery.

We will continue to advise you if there is a change to their health status.  Please call us on 9687 8233 if you have an enquiry or concern.  The email address for written questions or concerns is covid19questions@dgas.org.au.

If you or your family would like more support during this difficult time, please reach out to OPAN (Older Persons Advisory Network) on 1800 237 981.  They are available 6am-10pm, 7 days a week.  The other organisation that can assist you is Elder Rights Advocacy Victoria who can be reached on 1800 171 866 for support and advice.

Thankyou once again for your support during this challenging time.

Yours sincerely,

Vanda Iaconese

CEO