Doutta Galla COVID-19

Dear Residents, Families and Friends,

Mother’s Day – Sunday 10 May 2020 

This Sunday is Mother’s Day – a day that brings us much joy and happiness as we celebrate, think of and thank our Mothers. I want to wish every Mother in the Doutta Galla family a very happy Mother’s Day. 

This year we will still celebrate our Mothers even if it is from a distance. Coronavirus has meant being apart and now we are cautiously implementing strict visitation protocols to facilitate time with your loved one. I hope that even if you can’t see your Mum or your loved one on Sunday in person, you can have some time via video screen or speak with each other over the phone. 

Midnight Sunday 10 May is important to Doutta Galla for another reason. It is the critical period (14 days will have passed since the staff member who tested positive to COVID 19 worked at Doutta Galla) so I am hoping that it will be a happy day for all of us in many ways, (with no evidence of the virus at our Footscray home). 

We have had a number of messages of support for which we are extremely grateful, and I thought you might appreciate the answers we have given to some questions we received as you might be asking the same questions yourselves. 

An update on Doutta Galla Footscray Aged Care: 

The most important piece of information to share, is that as we wait for all coronavirus test results, we have not had any further positive cases identified. We continue to have no outbreak nor has a COVID-19 cluster developed at any Doutta Galla Home or at Doutta Galla Footscray. 

Are the residents at Footscray being tested for COVID-19? 

All Footscray residents were tested yesterday, 7 May 2020, as was required by the Health Department. Although we have not received any at the time of writing this letter, we anticipate that the results will be available as soon as possible (we’ve been advised that this could be between 24-48 hours). 

How is Doutta Galla supporting residents at Footscray? 

All Footscray Doutta Galla residents and families have been regularly updated about the situation and their feedback is uppermost in the planning of our support and activities. Additionally, Doutta Galla has asked Elder Rights Advocacy Victoria to be available for any Footscray resident who would like to talk to them. Information about this service can be found by clicking on this link http://era.asn.au/. 

Are other Doutta Galla Homes affected? 

No other Doutta Galla Homes are currently affected. As part of a proactive approach, some GPs are offering other Doutta Galla residents COVID-19 testing. We are facilitating this by providing support on site to ensure residents don’t have to leave their Home to be tested. We welcome this initiative by our Doctors. In addition, Doutta Galla is encouraging all staff at to access the free State Government Health and Human Services testing for people who work in Aged Care.

Every staff member has received information in the mail to help facilitate this and it is not being done as a result of the situation at Footscray. 

Are any other staff members COVID 19 positive? 

No other Doutta Galla staff members at Footscray or at any Doutta Galla Home has tested positive for COVID-19 at this time. All relevant staff have or are being tested. 

Are staff being provided with support? 

Doutta Galla staff are working closely with each other, and with management, as we work our way through the next few days. Doutta Galla has access to a pool of regular staff, as well as the additional staff that have been employed to support the residents in this period. As well, all staff have been reminded that the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to them at any time. 

Do staff have enough Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)? 

Yes. The Department of Health have provided Doutta Galla with adequate supplies. 

Are the staff adequately trained in hygiene and infection control? 

The staff have had training in hand hygiene, infection control, putting on, taking off and disposal of PPE. Additional senior clinical staff are also working alongside staff to monitor and provide additional guidance and support. As well, there are ongoing infection control audits and spot checks to support staff and residents in hygiene practices. 

What extra cleaning is taking place? 

Extra cleaning was introduced some weeks ago to all our homes including deep cleaning and continuous cleaning of touch points is happening throughout the homes. 

What will occur regarding visitation by family and friends? 

Each Doutta Galla home has set up a hub to facilitate connections with their loved ones. We recommend contact with each individual Doutta Galla Home to determine the process that is to be followed. Doutta Galla Footscray is currently closed to visits by families. This will be reviewed as soon as we can. We encourage you to maintain contact with your their loved one by telephone, skype, video calls, etc. 

How do you find out more information about Coronavirus (COVID-19)? 

To find out more information about COVID-19 please click on the link https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus. 

How can you ask questions? 

In addition to the normal means of contact via the Home where your loved one lives, we have also set up an email address where you can send any questions, comments or concerns related to COVID-19. The email address is covid19questions@dgas.org.au. 

We will keep in touch with you and keep you informed of any changes to the situation. Thank you for your support during this challenging time. 

Yours sincerely, 

Vanda Iaconese 
CEO, Doutta Galla Aged Services