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Health, Safety and COVID-19 Prevention at HillView
24 April 2020
COVID-19 UPDATE FROM MANAGEMENT
We have been monitoring the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) within Australia and throughout the world since we first became aware of the pandemic, and have been proactive in implementing procedures and measures which have been instrumental in keeping COVID-19 out of our facilities.
We are aware of the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison’s latest statement, and the recommendations from the National Cabinet, which refers to Australia in general, to allow more regular visits in Aged Care. The PM has also acknowledged that aged care providers are best placed to make assessments on a case-by-case basis. He also highlighted the need to protect aged care residents, being the most vulnerable, from the risk of COVID-19 infection. They also suggested that Residents are locked in their rooms and that facilities have implemented lock downs for convenience – this is not the case at HillView Care and we would like to return to normal as soon as realistically possible.
I would like to again assure you, HillView Care is committed to ensure the safety of its Residents and Staff.
As such, any decisions in this regard are not taken lightly, but considered after consultation with medical specialists, researching current information from medical and scientific opinion, including information provided by the Departments of Health.
Physical isolation remains a key component, in our environment, in curbing the spread of COVID-19.
Our implemented infection control and strict visitor policies have enabled our Residents to move freely inside and outside the common areas of our facilities, and still enjoy the many activities available to them.
HillView Care has always sought to find the right balance between our Residents physical safety and social connection. We have encouraged and facilitated Families and Residents to remain “connected” and to interact and communicate via electronic devices and apps such as Skype and Zoom etc.
Published data reveals that, as a nation, we have slowed the infection rate across Australia, which is very positive, however, the risk of infection remains.
There are also many unknowns in terms of re-infection and when a person is infective, which the Department of Health is unable to specifically advise.
If we “zoom in” and consider our location and not Australia in general, new data reveals the Gold Coast is the hub of COVID-19 community transmission in Queensland.
As you are aware, the elderly is most at risk of serious infection, the consequences of which are extremely severe.
We have had the luxury of hindsight from countries around the world and have seen how rapid the transmission of COVID-19 in aged care facilities occurs and how devastating its effects are for Residents, their Families and Staff.
We are monitoring the situation daily and are of the opinion the risk is too high for our Residents currently, and we will continue to protect them with voluntary Lock-Down of our facilities. If necessary, we will obtain an exemption from the Commonwealth to continue protecting our Residents.
Our voluntary Lock-Down is still in place. As such, visitors will not be allowed into our facilities.
When we are of the opinion the risks are at an acceptable level, we will remove the voluntary lock-down and implement our Infection Control Visitation Policy.
Residents and Families will be notified immediately when this will be lifted and of our Infection Control Visitation Policy.
We have had overwhelming support from Families for the measures we have implemented and the way we have approached and managed this pandemic.
We understand your frustration but would request your patience and understanding as we steer our way through this with the intention of ensuring our Residents’ and Staffs’ safety.
We believe short term sacrifices will yield the best long-term results for all.
HillView Care Management
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