Doutta Galla COVID-19

Dear Residents, Families and Friends,

I am pleased to report that Doutta Galla homes, except for Footscray, have commenced visits via the family hubs. Families now have the ability to make a scheduled time for a face to face wellbeing and support visit with loved ones and we continue to offer the ‘chat decks’ and all of the other social media methods of maintaining contact with each other, and many residents still enjoy a phone call.

Families and residents have let us know that they are so pleased we have provided an opportunity for them to be able to see each other again face to face, and that the screening protocols we have in place provide a level of comfort to ensure we are doing everything we can to keep visitors, residents and staff as safe as possible.

Our staff have worked tirelessly to set up the hubs, systems and processes at very short notice to ensure Doutta Galla complies with the visitor entry arrangements whilst maintaining our high infection control standards between visits. We ask visitors to keep to the booking and timetables that have been established at each of our homes, so all residents have an opportunity to see their families.

It is very important to remind you that the application of visitation restrictions, including the number of people who can visit an aged care residential home, and our screening protocols, are in place to minimise the risks associated with COVID-19. It has been pleasing to hear that most families have complied with the Doutta Galla entry protocols and visitor restrictions, and I ask that you continue to be respectful of staff and what they are doing to support our residents and families. We will continue to review and adjust our visitation restrictions and processes in light of new developments.

In relation to our Footscray home, I am pleased to let you know that we continue to receive good news, and that all results received to date (over 95%) for residents and staff tested for COVID 19 are negative and everyone remains symptom free. We anticipate that the remaining results will be received in the next few days, and I hope by early next week we’ll have a final good outcome.

This week we saw the release of the Visitor Access Code for visiting residential aged care homes during COVID-19. I am pleased to let you know that Doutta Galla’s care and approach to facilitating visits is reflected in the Code. The Code was drafted and adopted by a range of aged care provider peak organisations and aged care consumer and carer peak organisations and it was endorsed by the federal government through the Department of Health.

Even though parts of Australia are beginning to ease COVID-19 restrictions, the State of Emergency continues in Victoria until at least 31 May 2020, so we will continue to adhere to these requirements, even though some may differ to the Visitor Access Code. I urge you all to continue to observe the restrictions in Victoria, as the threat of a second wave is real.

Remember to continue safe hygiene practices and social distancing, especially when you are out.

In addition to the normal means of contact via the Home where you or your loved one lives, you are welcome to send any questions, comments or concerns related to COVID-19 to us. The email address is covid19questions@dgas.org.au.

We will keep in touch with you and keep you informed of any changes to the situation. Thank you for your support during this challenging time.

Yours sincerely

Vanda Iaconese

CEO, Doutta Galla Aged Services