7 September 2020.
Dear resident, families and friends,
It is with much relief that I can advise you that we have received the “stand-down to enhanced surveillance” of the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at Doutta Galla Footscray. This is effective from today Monday 7 September 2020.
This means that all residents and staff have been cleared of COVID-19 by the Public Health Unit of the Department of Health and Human Services. There are no residents with COVID- 19 symptoms and all recently tested staff and residents have returned a negative result.
The next 14 days is a time of continued surveillance of the residents’ health and wellbeing. Staff will continue wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) i.e. masks, shields, aprons, gloves. Social distancing, hand hygiene, and normal infection control cleaning regimes will also continue.
The requirements of the surveillance are in place for 14 days after which time the outbreak will automatically be considered closed (as 28 days will be passed since the last confirmed case was present) at the Home.
What this means now:
- Residents are no longer required to isolate in their rooms and may use the common areas in the Home
- Residents may attend off-site appointments where necessary in accordance with the policy of the Home
- New residents may be admitted. There are no additional requirements on admission other than routine symptom screening
- Internal staff may return to work where they have undertaken all testing as recommended by the DHHS and the results of these tests are negative
- Visiting health practitioners (such as general practitioners and allied health) may attend the Home as required
- PPE will continue to be worn at all times
- Cleaning will return to the normal infection control processes
- Visitor restrictions will need to continue, with only essential family visits over the next 14 days
This news is very welcome after the many anxious weeks of lockdown. Over the next few days, we will slowly help residents return to their original rooms and they will once again be able to freely move around the home and meet with their friends.
Our Lifestyle staff will facilitate telephone calls, Skype, FaceTime and window visits where possible.
Our focus remains on strengthening the health and wellbeing of our residents and we continue to closely observe their emotional health and provide additional support where needed.
Each resident will be advised if there is a change to their health status as will their designated family member. Please call us on 9687 6744 if you have an enquiry or concern. The email address for written questions or concerns is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Thankyou once again for your support, patience and understanding during this challenging time.