Doutta Galla COVID-19

21 September 2020

Dear Residents, Families and Friends,

Over the weekend Doutta Galla Woornack received the results of the last round of testing held on Friday 18 September 2020.  There have been 95 tests conducted since last Friday, which included residents and staff, and all have returned ‘negative’ results for COVID-19.  The last time we received a positive resident result was from testing conducted last Tuesday 15th September 2020.  These are very encouraging results, and today there will be another round of testing which I hope will also return negative results.

Once we have several testing rounds that return negative results, we can be confident that the virus has ceased its spread in the Home, and we can progress discussions with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Public Health Unit (PHU) to determine a date when we can move to the ‘Enhanced Surveillance’ phase.  This phase usually commences 14 days after the last person (resident or staff) has tested positive.  This means that residents can come out of their rooms for meals and socialisation.  We will let you know when we have more information about when this can occur.

In addition to our staff, the Aged Care Liaison Team from Western Health visits the Home each day to assess residents who may be unwell.  Ensuring residents are closely monitored in this way allows us to respond quickly if there are any clinical changes.  Of course, if there is any change to a resident’s health status, we will let them, and their family member know as soon as possible.

As formal communication is usually only sent to the resident, and nominated resident representative, can I remind you to please pass on my letters to others in your family who may not be receiving these letters directly from the Home.  Unfortunately, I have received feedback that my communications are not always passed on to others in the family.  If there are additional people who would like to receive my regular updates, can you please pass on my letters to them directly or let the Home know their details and we can add them to the email list for you.  All of my general communications, including previous letters from me, are available on the Doutta Galla website at www.dgas.org.au/coronavirus-updates/.

We understand this is a very distressing time for everyone involved.  We are working together to ensure that our residents continue to receive the care they need.  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.

Please contact the Home on 9312 0111 if you or your family member have any questions or concerns.  In addition, you are welcome to contact us via the email address covid19questions@dgas.org.au.

Yours sincerely,

Vanda Iaconese

CEO