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RE: Update from The Alexander Pandemic Preparedness Committee

We are very excited to see the restrictions easing for Melbourne with Nil active COVID cases in Victoria. The Alexander and our Pandemic Preparedness Committee continues to regularly meet and make updates in line with the most recent State & Commonwealth Health directions for Aged Care.

We have summarised the most recent changes to the Care Facilities Directions (No17) as Care Homes and the Community seek to adjust to a new normal with the safety of the Residents and The Alexander paramount during these times.

Voluntary COVID Testing For Residential Aged Care Services VIC

One Workplace Policy

The one work site policy remains in effect for Victoria until the 30th of November for Private Aged Care homes. We have received confirmation the one work site policy will not be extended past this date and we are looking forward to welcoming those team members who had been seconded back into the Home next week.

We continue to be very grateful to all of the Team Members who have continued to work extra shifts to fill our roster, not only during the time this policy has been in effect, but throughout the challenging year 2020 has presented to us all.

Changes To Visiting Hours

As you will be aware, we are obligated to comply with the Chief Health Officer Care Directives (No. 17 as at 23.11.20) which outlines maximum visitation information for all Victorian Health Care Facilities including Aged Care Homes. The full document is published on our website.

As we are still mindful of risks associated with COVID outbreaks are working towards increasing visiting hours and times. For the week commencing 30th November:

  • Residents can have a have maximum of 3 visitors and any one time, with no limit on the number of visits per day (as per CHO Care Directive No. 17 & due to social distancing given our room size)
  • Visits are by appointment only and continue to be a maximum of 1 hour to maximise the opportunity for a larger visiting group throughout the allocated timeframe.
  • Bookings are limited to a maximum number of visitors per hour due to space density within the home so you must contact reception to confirm your time.
  • Appointment times are available from Monday to Friday between the hours of 10.30am to 4.30pm.
  • Visits will continue to take place in the resident rooms until further notice

All visitors will continue to be screened on arrival at the main entrance, however the use of Protective gowns will no longer be required. Face masks will remain a requirement along with Safe Hygiene practices and Social distancing whilst visiting loved ones in the home. We will provide you with face masks and we ask that you please follow directions of staff during your visit. When visiting, you will need to go directly to the person’s room for your visit and avoid spending time in the resident communal areas. Please maintain 1.5m social distancing in the home and a fitted face mask must always be worn whilst inside the building. If you need anything while you are visiting, then our staff will be more than happy to get it for you.

Zoom visits are still available on Tuesday & Thursday afternoons or alternative Window visits can be arranged. Please phone Fiona at reception to book in a time.

Residents are able to go on family outings and will be individually assessed for a need for quarantine pending location visited. The Commonwealth’s new emergency leave provision for permanent aged care residents is now available until 30 June 2021. Please contact Jim or Vicki should you wish to access this initiative.

We appreciate your understanding and patience as we move toward increased visiting. The easing of our restrictions will ensure our strict screening processes continue and our infection control procedures can be maintained.

For appointments, please contact Fiona at reception on 9548 7366.

Resident Activities

Residents are encouraged to have their meals in the shared dining areas with social distancing in place. There are signs up in all shared areas indicating the maximum number of occupants for the room. The maximum number of occupants includes staff so please be mindful of this during meals or activities.

Visiting church services and other external services will resume in December 2020 and we will be sending The Alexander newsletter out with details soon.

Support Services

Should you have concerns or are feeling distressed regarding the coronavirus outbreak, the Department of Health has an assistance page to help you maintain your mental health.  Please access  https://headtohealth.gov.au/covid-19-support.

Special Thanks

Thank you to all of the residents for their patience and understanding during this time, and thank you also to the families and friends who have been diligently following our infection control processes and patiently undergoing our screening process each time you visit. We realise it has been a difficult time for you with our restricted visiting hours and we hope the further easing of these restrictions will assist in visiting our loved ones with more convenience.

We would also like to thank all our wonderful Team at The Alexander who continue to provide the Care, Support and reassurance to the Residents and visitors alike.

Yours sincerely,

The Alexander Aged Care Centre
Pandemic Preparedness Committee