Doutta Galla COVID-19

7 September 2020

Dear Residents, Families and Friends,

Today we received the most recent COVID -19 test results for residents and staff.  Unfortunately, there are a further nine residents who have tested positive to COVID -19.  The affected residents and their families have been informed of the test results.  Of the four residents who had previously tested positive, two are in hospital and are stable.  The residents who have tested positive today are not displaying any symptoms at this time and are being closely monitored.

All other residents at Woornack 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, and the Aged Care Liaison Service (a team of specialist nurses) from Western Health are attending the Home daily to assess the clinical needs and wellbeing of our residents.  If there is any change to your family member’s health status, we will contact you as soon as possible.

So far, the spread of the virus is mostly contained to House Five.  Testing will continue to occur every 72 hours, and the next round of testing will occur this Wednesday.  Further testing will provide us with additional information about whether the virus has spread to other parts of the Home.  Only residents and staff who have tested negative will be retested.

In accordance with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) protocols, House Five will be considered the ‘cohort area’.  At this stage all residents will stay in their own rooms.  Our advice is that moving residents to better meet infection control protocols may be needed.  We will advise when, or if this is necessary and will continue to advocate for the transfer to hospital of any resident testing positive to COVID-19 who has symptoms.  The decision to transfer residents to hospital is ultimately made by the Public Health Unit (PHU).  It will always be our intention to ensure that a resident will only be transferred to hospital once a discussion has occurred with the resident and the resident’s family or representative.

As of today, there have been 11 staff test positive to the virus.  All staff with a positive diagnosis and other staff who have been identified as ‘close contacts’ are in quarantine until the DHHS PHU provide them with a clearance.

Doutta Galla has our most senior nurses and specialist infection control nurse working at the Home supporting the Manager and the Woornack staff.  We have additional staff at the Home to assist in the management of care, infection control and to ensure residents receive any additional care and support they require.  Daily deep cleans of the Home continue to occur along with touch point and infection control cleans.  Staff will continue to wear full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when attending to residents.

Even though two residents have been transferred to hospital they remain a resident of Doutta Galla and will be welcomed back to Woornack as soon as that is possible.  We will keep up to date with their progress and ensure that all our residents remain valued members of the Doutta Galla community.

Please contact the home on 9312 1111 if you or your family member have an enquiry or concern. The email address for questions is covid19questions@dgas.org.au.

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.

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

Yours sincerely

Vanda Iaconese

CEO