Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Just when it appeared the state was on track to head back to some sort of normality, the number of COVID-19 cases dramatically increased in Victoria and in hotspots identified in Sydney as well.
Subsequently our Critical Incident Management Team (CIMT) reconvened on Friday to ensure that, as a Parish, we remain vigilant in watching these events and prepare a preemptive response. Practically speaking, watching infection rates rise demonstrates that we must be ever vigilant when it comes to the virus. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those affected by the new outbreak, including staff who are treating and testing for COVID-19. We pray that individuals can recover as soon as possible physically and mentally, and we also pray for the entire community including the businesses that are struggling to cope.
Locally, we must continue to do all we can by continuing to follow social distancing and optimal hygiene practices, including staying at home if you are sick, to minimise any chance of an outbreak. There are currently 40 Aged Care homes in Victoria that have now had outbreaks and many of these were instigated by staff going to work unwell. This indeed is a sobering reminding of the possible impacts of ignoring symptoms. I cannot stress how important it is, particularly in Aged Care, to stay away if you are unwell.
As mentioned, CIMT continues to meet to discuss and action issues. Additionally, any COVID-19-related issues are being addressed at the weekly meetings of the Parish Leaders Team Executive.
Here is an update across our services:
Our aged care and disability services
We are mandating hyper-vigilance in Aged Care and I would like to thank residents, their families and staff for understanding this approach. All residents and their families were sent information last week regarding new restrictions on visits to our residential services. These are similar to previous arrangements where visitors must pre-book appointments with residents, have temperature readings and confirm any visits to hot spot areas. Click here to read this communication.
Our early education and schools
Our early education services have sanitisation stations provided at entry points which all visitors must use. We have noted some instances where families in the usual morning rush omit this step on entry to facilities so we have created more prompts and signage to remind even the busiest of families that sanitisation on entry is a must. Schools have returned for Term 3 and have reiterated social distancing and hygiene practices that previously existed however, a new distinction is that staff and students must indicate any recent visits to Victoria and other hotspot areas.
The past month has seen staff that were working from home gradually come back to onsite work. Our IT team has been very helpful in ensuring this occurs as smoothly as possible. Mental health and wellbeing is key over this period especially with the uncertainty associated with any potential future lockdowns.
Please check in with your family and colleagues regularly to ensure they are coping.
Mass continues to be held at Christ the King Chapel until renovations on the Church are completed. Fr Paul has proposed a new list of Mass times, which can be viewed here. We are continuing to deliver packages to those that come to us in need. Please let people know we are here to help. Also if you would like to support those in need during this pandemic, you can donate at the Parish website at: https://stagnesparish.org.au/giving/appeals/.
As I have said from the start, I am so very proud and grateful of the way we have managed COVID-19 since the pandemic began, especially when you see the impact COVID-19 has had on other communities particularly across aged care services and schools. Thank you for everything you have done and continue to do to protect our community and those for which we care.
Please continue to take care of yourselves and each other.
Chief Executive Officer