Doutta Galla COVID-19

7 August 2020

Dear Residents, Families and Friends,

I am incredibly saddened to inform you that one of our residents who was unwell and in hospital has passed away. Our sincere condolences have been extended to their family and our prayers and thoughts are with them at this time. Our residents are the heart of the Yarraville Village family and we always feel the loss of a resident, and this has been particularly upsetting.

Also, I am distressed to have to tell you that currently we have 19 residents in the Home who have a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, and 14 staff members who have tested positive to the virus, and there are four residents in hospital. We will continue to advocate for residents to be moved to hospital, but unfortunately this is not within our control.

We are doing our best to keep you all as up to date as we can but the situation changes minute by minute. If a resident has tested positive to COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, I anticipate that by the time you receive this update, the nominated family member will have been contacted directly by our clinical care team. We have also called or left a message for family members of residents with negative test results.

We continue to talk daily with the Commonwealth Department of Health and the State Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Public Health Unit, to review our actions and to quickly make any modifications on the best actions needed to protect our residents and our staff. This has included moving some residents to hospital or to new rooms.

We are reaching out to as many people and services that we can to get support for our Home and our residents. The Aged Care Liaison Service COVID Response Team, a new team set up to support Aged Care Homes, which comprises a nursing team and a medical team, have assessed all of the residents at the Home who have tested positive. They will visit the Home each day and will provide further input into any other clinical management strategies for our residents. The Australian Medical Assessment Team (AUSMAT) will be on site tomorrow morning, and an additional infection control specialist nurse will also commence at the Home tomorrow.

We have engaged a Social Worker who has been at the Home today and she will be onsite next week. Her role will be to spend time with our residents to provide additional emotional support as resident wellbeing remains at the forefront of our care. She will also be available to provide support to families.

Residents at the Home are being care for by nursing and personal care staff, and we continue to engage as many additional staff as we can employ. Staff continue to use PPE as a critical infection control measure. We have enough PPE and continue to receive it from the Government stockpile. Deep cleans of the Home continue, as well as touch point cleaning and there are extra cleaning staff on every shift.

The DHHS Public Health Unit have instructed that only residents who have previously tested negative will be tested in the future. Testing will continue for those residents on a 3-daily basis, with the next test scheduled for Sunday.

As previously advised, Elder Rights Advocates are available to provide additional support to family members. You can contact them on 1800 171 866 for COVID-19 information and support. This phone line is open Monday to Friday 8.30am-6pm.

We will let you know as soon as possible if there is a change in your or your family members health status. If you have an enquiry or concern about your family member, please call the Home on 9687 8233. The email address for written questions or concerns is covid19questions@dgas.org.au.

We will keep in touch as things change. A heartfelt thank you to our residents, families and staff. Yours sincerely

Vanda Iaconese

CEO, Doutta Galla Aged Services