Doutta Galla COVID-19

 28 July 2020 

Dear Residents, Families and Friends, 

We continue to receive messages of encouragement and support for the staff and residents at Footscray. Thank you very much for your kindness and understanding at this most challenging time. 

Today we started to receive results from testing that occurred yesterday Monday 27 July 2020. I am pleased to report that as I write to you there has not been an increase in the number of positive test results. We have received 111 results so far, and all of these have returned a negative result. There are currently 27 results pending, we are waiting for these results to come through. As soon as we have them, we will contact you if there is a change to your family member’s diagnosis. 

We remain in daily contact with staff who have been affected by the virus, they remain in our thoughts at this very difficult time. 

We are all aware of the ongoing news about COVID-19 cases in aged care which continues to be distressing and difficult for everyone involved. We are working hard and are determined to resolve the situation at our Footscray home and bring an end to the spread of this disease. 

Testing will continue on a 3-daily basis until all residents return a negative result. We will work towards a 14 days clearance before we return to operating business as usual. 

Residents are being closely monitored and we are facilitating daily medical assessments with GPs and with the Aged Care Liaison Service as needed. We have successfully had one ill resident transferred to hospital. As previously advised, we continue to strongly advocate directly to Government representatives and through the Aged Care peak bodies for the transfer of residents with COVID-19 to hospital. 

In addition to the infection control strategies such as the use of PPE, cleaning regimes and the allocation of dedicated staff to residents with the virus, we are decluttering the home and residents’ bedrooms. Where necessary we are moving residents to rooms within the home where they can be isolated as part of infection control practices. 

The home continues to facilitate telephone, Skype and FaceTime calls where possible. We ask that you call the home between 10am – 4..30pm to make a booking for a Skype or FaceTime call, as this enables our staff who are supporting residents to ensure residents are set up to take this important call. We have taken a large shipment of PPE today and have the supply we require at this time. Staff continue to use PPE as a critical infection control measure. Deep cleaning of the home continues, with touch point cleaning and extra cleaning staff.

As previously advised, in addition to the support that staff are providing to you, you are welcome to contact Elder Rights Advocacy on 1800 171 866 for COVID-19 information and support. We are also working with Elder Rights Advocacy to provide emotional support for our residents. Our staff remain committed to the ongoing care and support of our residents. 

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 the home on 9687 6744 or on a dedicated phone line which is 8580 2447. The email address for written questions or concerns is covid19questions@dgas.org.au. 

We understand that this continues to be a difficult time for everyone in aged care, my thoughts are with each and everyone of you at this time. 

Yours sincerely 

Vanda Iaconese
CEO