Doutta Galla COVID-19

 23 July 2020 

Dear Residents, Families and Friends, 

Firstly, I would like to say a sincere thankyou to everyone who has sent messages of thanks, support and encouragement to the staff at Footscray. Knowing they are valued at this time is assisting them to continue to face the difficulties of working in aged care during a COVID pandemic. It is very much appreciated. 

On Tuesday 21 July 2020, a second round of COVID-19 testing for residents and staff occurred. At the time of writing this letter to you we have not received all of the test results; however, we have been advised that an additional three residents and two staff members have tested positive to COVID-19. Our Manager Talya is in regular contact with the families of the residents who have tested positive to provide information about their progress and wellbeing. 

Although saddened by this news, residents are stable and except for the original resident that is in hospital all remain with us at Footscray. They are being well cared for and special precautions are in place for their ongoing care, and to separate them from other residents. 

I am pleased to advice that the resident who transferred to hospital last Saturday is stable, and we are hoping that once we are completely clear he will be able to return to us at Footscray. We are keeping in regular contact with staff members who tested positive and are at home. 

All other residents remain well and in good spirits even though they are receiving care and support in their rooms, and I have requested our Chefs prepare especially delicious food for them. We will continue to monitor all residents for symptoms of COVID-19 and if any symptoms present, we will ensure they are regularly reviewed and assessed. 

We will also continue to advocate for the transfer of residents who test positive to hospital and for residents whose condition may change, however the decision to transfer residents to hospital is made by the DHHS Public Health Unit. 

Doutta Galla is resolved in its determination to ensure that every person is cared for in the way they deserve. The only way we can keep on top of this, is to know who might be positive. For this reason, another round of testing has been arranged for Friday 24 July 2020. 

I am pleased to say that we have ample supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and all staff in the Home are wearing PPE when attending to residents. Staff have been trained in the appropriate use of PPE and are being monitored daily to ensure they are following the correct infection control practices and procedures. Deep cleans of the Home now occur every third day, there is a rolling touch point cleaning service in place, and extra cleaning staff have been deployed in addition to the increased cleaning protocols that were already in place. 

Finally, to facilitate communication, we will continue to send correspondence to key family members, or those with Powers of Attorney. I please ask that if you are that person, pass on the relevant information to other key people so as to minimise unnecessary distress. 

We will advise you immediately of any changes to your family member’s health status, however if you have an enquiry or concern about your family member, please call please call the Footscray home on 9687 6744 or on a new extra number which is 8580 2447. In addition, we have set up an email address where you can send any questions, comments or concerns related to COVID-19. 

The email address is: covid19questions@dgas.org.au. 

Yours sincerely 

Vanda Iaconese
CEO