Doutta Galla COVID-19

31 December 2020

Dear Residents, Families and Friends,

I’m sure you are all relieved to be farewelling 2020 and are welcoming the promise of 2021.  This year has been full of challenges, and my hope for every person at Doutta Galla is that the new year will be a special one bringing more certain times for you and your families.

You will no doubt have heard that, in the past 24 hours, there is some community transmission of COVID-19 in the eastern and south eastern suburbs of Melbourne, related to outbreaks in NSW.

Although not currently in identified hotspots, Doutta Galla is taking precautionary actions effective immediately, and we ask you to note the following:

  • Anyone in our Homes MUST wear a mask at all times
  • Signage has been updated to include current hot spots – please read this before entering the home and DO NOT enter if you have been exposed to any of the hot spots, fever or symptoms of COVID-19 or have an acute respiratory infection, have been in close contact with a person or sharing accommodation with a person, including family, in the past 14 days who has experienced fever or symptoms of COVID-19 or has an acute respiratory infection
  • It is important that all people entering the Home accurately complete the entry process (sign in, contact details and temperature checks)
  • In room visits are encouraged, rather than in public areas, and should be limited to 1 hour. Alternatively, you could choose outdoor visits
  • Gatherings (of residents) can only be a maximum of 15, with relevant social distancing
  • Adhering to social distancing and hand hygiene protocols, including regular sanitising, good hygiene and taking care when interacting with other people are important defenses for you and your family against COVID-19.

It is imperative that you complete the entry and attestation process diligently and most importantly, please get tested as a priority, if you have even the mildest of symptoms or any chance of exposure.

Home Managers and staff will be reinforcing all the necessary steps that they need to take to prevent the spread of this virus.

As yet no further visitation restrictions have been introduced for aged care homes in Victoria, however we will keep you up to date with any changes as they affect our residents, staff and services. New and sometime conflicting advice comes out hourly and we continue to review and modify our actions on a moment by moment basis. Our focus is, and will continue to be, to take care of your loved one, our staff on the frontline and our Doutta Galla community as a whole.

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

As you are aware, communications from Doutta Galla is sent directly to the resident and to the nominated resident representative.  If there are additional people in your family who would like to receive communications directly, can you please let the Home know their details and we can add them to the email list for you.  As a reminder, all of my general communications, including previous letters from me, are available on the Doutta Galla website at https://www.dgas.org.au/coronavirus-updates/ and can be accessed at any time.

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.

I wish you all the very best for 2021.

Yours sincerely,

Vanda Iaconese

CEO