Doutta Galla COVID-19

Dear Residents, Families and Friends,

This Sunday is a special day for many families. On this day we acknowledge and celebrate all fathers. Even though we cannot be together, it is important to keep the sentiment of Father’s Day in our thoughts.

I understand it has been an anxious time waiting for more news regarding the situation at Woornack. Testing was conducted yesterday for residents and staff. Sadly, I need to inform you that there are four residents who have tested positive to COVID -19. This is particularly difficult and distressing news. By now any resident and their family who has tested positive to coronavirus will have been notified. Testing is conducted in line with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Public Health Unit (PHU) regime. The next testing for residents will occur on Sunday 6 September 2020 and then again on Wednesday 9 September 2020.

We also have six staff who have tested positive. They remain stable and will stay at home to quarantine until they have full clearance from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Public Health Unit (PHU). Other staff who have been identified as ‘close contacts’ will also be quarantining at home for 14 days. The remaining Woornack staff will be supported by additional Doutta Galla staff who are being deployed to work alongside Woornack staff as well as additional staff who have been employed to help support the Home. These staff will assist in the management of care, support the high level of infection control and ensure residents receive the extra care and support they need.

As advised, Doutta Galla’s emergency plan was enacted on Tuesday following the news that a staff member tested positive to COVID-19. This plan will guide us until the home is cleared of the virus.  We will work closely with the Commonwealth Department of Health (DOH), the DHHS PHU and the Western Health Aged Care Liaison Team to achieve this goal. Until then residents will remain in their rooms to receive all the care and support they need.

Since the onset of COVID-19, my senior staff and I have been strongly advocating to the Government to facilitate the transfer of residents to hospital should they test positive to COVID- 19. At this time, one resident who has tested positive to COVID-19 at Woornack has been successfully transferred to hospital and we are currently advocating for the transfer of the other three residents to ensure they receive the appropriate care that they need. Our residents are resting comfortably in their rooms and reports from the Home are that they remain in good spirits. We will continue to monitor every resident very closely. If there is any change to your family member’s health status, we will contact you as soon as possible.

We are determined to resolve this situation as fast as possible and as we have every resource available to provide the care needed to residents and to protect those who have not been infected. A deep clean of the home is occurring daily with additional touch point and cleaning processes in place. Staff will continue to wear full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when attending to residents.

Some residents may be required to be move to different rooms in the Home to protect them from being in close contact with the virus. We anticipate that most of the communal furniture will be temporarily removed as well as some furniture and items from residents’ rooms. This is designed to declutter the home to improve infection control.

As each day passes there are new challenges we all face in the fight against this virus. We are making decisions very quickly in the interests of our residents. They are paramount in our thoughts and we must ensure that the best possible decisions are made as quickly as we are able.

Even though some residents may be transferred to hospital, they remain a resident of Doutta Galla and will be welcomed back to Woornack as soon as they can return. Please contact the home on 9312 1111 if you have an enquiry or concern. The email address for questions is covid19questions@dgas.org.au.

We understand this is a very distressing time for everyone involved, and our Doutta Galla mantra of “we’re with you” holds firm more now than ever.

Yours sincerely,

Vanda Iaconese
CEO