Doutta Galla COVID-19

21 May 2020

Dear Residents, Families and Friends,

I have some very pleasing news to share with you all.  On Tuesday evening this week we received advice that Doutta Galla Footscray aged care home was cleared of COVID 19 by Public Health Operations, Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response (Department of Health and Human Services).

The last few weeks have been a challenging time for all of us as we worked our way through the process of testing, waiting for results and finally receiving full clearance.  All residents and staff tested for COVID 19 returned a negative result meaning all residents and staff are safe and well, and the virus is not present at Doutta Galla Footscray or any other Doutta Galla home.

As previously advised, we took a precautionary approach, and worked closely with both state and federal Health departments to implement our Clinical COVID-19 response plan.  Doutta Galla followed a rigorous process of increased infection control, use of PPE, additional and deep cleaning regimes and contact tracing to ensure we would get the best possible outcome.

With regard to visitation at our other Doutta Galla homes, we continue to offer scheduled times for face to face wellbeing and support visits for residents and their loved ones, as well as offering other ways of staying connected including window visits, phone calls, Skype and FaceTime calls.

We have heard from many of our residents and their families that the face to face visits are working well and families have adjusted to making an appointment in advance.  Most are happily complying with the screening and entry protocols.  We will continue to review visiting access arrangements, along with how COVID-19 is developing in the community. We should know more about any possible changes to visitor access guidelines after the 31 May 2020 when the current Victorian state of emergency directives ends.

We have been reminded again this week that COVID 19 is still a very real threat to the elderly and the vulnerable in our community with other aged care providers now responding to situations where there is a possibility of COVID 19 being present in their aged care homes.  This is why we will continue to take extra care to protect Doutta Galla residents and your loved ones.

It is therefore important that we remain vigilant with movements in and out of our homes by ensuring visitors provide us with evidence of having a current flu vaccination, as this is a requirement by the Department of Health.  As well, visitors must comply with our screening protocols and have their temperature taken before we can grant entry.

The normal means of contact for any questions or concerns is via the Home where you or your loved one lives, however, 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 to keep you updated with any changes to the situation. Thank you for your support during this challenging time.

Yours sincerely,

Vanda Iaconese

CEO, Doutta Galla Aged Services