Doutta Galla COVID-19

Sunday August 16, 2020

There are no new cases of COVID-19 at Yarraville. The situation at Yarraville remains the same as it was when we last communicated with all our Yarraville families on Friday night.

The current facts are: 

The outbreak at our Yarraville Village aged care property occurred 16 days ago. 

Our emergency response plan was immediately activated, and we have been working collaboratively with state and federal aged care authorities and health services, Western Health and AUSMAT. 

There was considerable disruption over the first week to residents, families, and staff, as we moved quickly, with the support of the health authorities, to bring the situation under control and ensure that our residents were cared for and received the support they needed.

As a number of our staff also tested +ve to COVID-19 it was necessary to place them in immediate home isolation, where they are reported to be doing well, and they will return to work as they fulfill their quarantine periods and are cleared to return. 

Consequently, there was a rapid transition to external agency and other specialist nursing and aged care staff, which was naturally disruptive to our residents who are used to familiar faces and a calm and gentle living environment at Yarraville Village.

The current situation at Yarraville is:

• Testing occurs every 72 hours, as has been the case since the outbreak occurred 15 days ago. In the last round of regular (and ongoing) testing no further residents or staff have tested +ve to COVID-19. 

• There are currently 23 residents at Yarraville Village, who have all tested +ve and are being well cared for at the facility. Their wellbeing is actively monitored by our medical staff. We will continue to advocate for hospital transfers as and if required for those residents.  At the moment however, these 23 residents are being cared for at the home. 

• The remainder of our residents were relocated to various hospitals early last week, either to receive necessary additional medical care (5 residents), or for those who were not infected, to best protect them from the COVID-19 virus until we can welcome them home (17 residents). 

• We continue to work collaboratively with both the state and federal aged care and health authorities, and to be supported also by Western Health, and AUSMAT.  

• Staffing levels at Yarraville, including over the weekends, are now more than able to manage the needs of our remaining residents.  There were 13 staff on duty at Yarraville on Saturday night 

(Aug 15), including three Registered Nurses, as well as catering staff. There are 16 staff on duty there today.

  • The experienced aged care and nursing staff at the facility are completely focused on the health and wellbeing of the residents at the centre and they are working around the clock to provide the best possible care. Our catering services are providing proper service again after a short period of disruption, and residents are receiving their meals in their rooms. 
  • We are in regular contact with all our families, and have issued regular email updates, six over the last week, as well as maintaining personal contact as best we can with family members about their loved ones’ wellbeing. As we communicated to families on Friday evening, the current situation at our facility is being actively managed. We have received many messages of support from our families. 
  • We are also now able to facilitate direct contact between families and residents via video conferencing, Skype, FaceTime, phone calls and window visits. 

With deepest sadness we advise that over the last two weeks, seven of our residents have sadly passed away, most of whom were receiving palliative care for other conditions. Two passed away at the facility and five in hospital. Their families have been kept fully informed and our hearts and thoughts go out to them.

COVID-19 has brought unprecedented disruption and difficulty for our residents, families and staff.  We are grateful to the various authorities for their support as we moved as quickly as we could to protect our residents. 

The situation continues to be difficult for our residents and families, particularly when families are unable to be close in contact with their loved ones. The management of our facility is, however, under control to the best possible extent. We will continue to keep our families fully informed. 

Vanda Iaconese, 

Chief Executive Officer

For further information: covid19questions@dgas.org.au