Doutta Galla COVID-19

22 September 2020

Dear Residents, Families and Friends,

Further to my previous letter, Yarraville Village has now completed the first of two weeks ‘Enhanced Surveillance’.  At midnight next Sunday the 27 September 2020, the Home will be declared COVID-19 free and full stand down orders from the Public Health Unit (PHU) will apply.  This will be automatic if no further resident or staff member tests positive to COVID-19 and all remain symptom free.  At this time, Yarraville is on track to achieve this.

As a reminder, ‘Enhanced Surveillance’ means the following:

  • Residents are no longer required to isolate in their rooms and may use the common areas in the Home
  • Residents may attend off-site appointments where necessary
  • New residents may be admitted. There are no additional requirements on admission other than routine symptom screening
  • Resident transfers may occur and there are no additional requirements relating to this
  • Doctors and allied health professionals may attend the Home
  • Internal staff have returned to work where they have undertaken all testing as recommended by the DHHS and the results of these tests are negative
  • Visiting health practitioners (such as general practitioners and allied health) may attend the Home as required
  • Staff will continue to wear Personal Protective Equipment in line with Enhanced Surveillance requirements
  • Cleaning will return to the normal infection control processes
  • Visitor restrictions will need to continue, except for compassionate family visits

As you will recall, residents who had tested negative to the virus during the outbreak were hospitalised to provide them with safe and appropriate care.  Yesterday we welcomed back two of these residents.  We have been very much looking forward to welcoming all residents back to the Home, as they receive their clearance over this week, to be reunited with their friends and with the Yarraville staff.

All residents at the Home are enjoying normal and familiar routines such as having meals in the dining room and participating in activities.  Additionally, I have been told that residents have spent time supporting each other, talking, sharing a cup of tea and just being together.  We are conscious this is a difficult time for our residents and have had Pastoral Carer, Maria, at the Home on Saturday, talking and singing, with and for, the residents.

As you know, we have been focusing on building the strength and wellbeing of our residents.  Pleasingly the clinical staff have reported to me that residents have been gaining weight and their condition is improving every day.

None of this assistance can replace the benefits that connecting with family can bring, so we are also looking forward to being able to offer the family hub visits soon.  We will let you know as soon as this can be arranged.  Unfortunately, until State Government Stage 4 restrictions are lifted, the current arrangements of window visits and video conferencing will need to continue.

We appreciate you continuing to share important information provided to you by Doutta Galla with your other family members.  Please call the Home on 9687 8233 if you have an enquiry or concern, and we will contact you immediately if there is any change to a resident’s health status.  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.

Yours sincerely,

Vanda Iaconese

CEO