With Weary Dunlop and Nellie Melba retirement villages in lock down, I wanted to let you know what we’re doing to keep residents and staff as safe as possible.
Putting the villages into lock down isn’t just about closing the doors to visitors and putting security on the front gates.
Our village teams are taking a whole range of infection control measures to help ensure we keep COVID-19 out of the villages.
• Completing COVID-19 tests for our team members who live in Local Government Areas identified as virus hot spots.
• Anyone who is allowed to enter the villages has their temperature checked, their hands sanitised, and must wear a mask.
• Any residents transitioning into the village are tested for COVID-19 before moving in.
• All new staff members are tested for COVID-19 and are self-isolating for 14 days before they start work with us.
• To reduce the risk of cross-infection we are not allowing any of our staff members to work for another employer.
• The physiotherapist, podiatrist, hairdressers and security staff at the villages all work exclusively for us and must wear personal protective equipment (PPE) while on site.
• Our GPs are providing telehealth consultations.
• We have additional cleaners doing extra daily cleans of high-use areas in the villages.
• Any residents with COVID-19-like symptoms are isolated for 14 days and staff caring for them wear full PPE, including a face shield.
• Staff have recently redone their handwashing and infection control competency assessments.
• We have employed the services of a microbiologist to help direct our response to COVID-19.
• We are holding a series of weekly webinars for staff to further their training in combating COVID-19.
• Care centre staff are working only in one ward and are taking their breaks in that ward.
• Furniture across the villages has been re-positioned to help with social distancing.
Despite all the steps we’re taking to keep the virus out of Weary Dunlop and Nellie Melba, we know it is impossible to eliminate the risk entirely.
There are now high rates of community transmission of COVID-19 across Melbourne, and a number of confirmed cases have been reported at public hospitals and aged care facilities in recent days.
The risk of a case at one of our villages is real, and we have been preparing for that scenario for months.
We have a comprehensive outbreak plan in place, and a trained emergency response team has been formed.
We have stockpiled emergency provisions at each village and our teams have been practising response scenarios in the event we have a confirmed case of COVID-19.
We also have a communications plan in place, so if we do have a case of the virus all residents and their family members will be notified as soon as we can via email and text message.
The recent resurgence of COVID-19 in Melbourne has, understandably, been a cause for anxiety amongst many of our residents and their families.
I want you to know that all our staff are taking the risk extremely seriously, and are doing everything we possibly can to ensure our villages remain safe havens for our residents.
Thanks for your support,
Victorian Operations Manager