24 December 2021
Dear Residents and Families,
UPDATE #8: NEW RECOMMENDATIONS FROM NSW HEALTH
As indicated by the Premier’s changes to COVID restrictions yesterday, we continue to be in a changeable, high risk environment. We are monitoring the situation very closely and may need to change our requirements for visitation and outings at short notice.
As of this afternoon we have been advised by NSW Health that residents in Joseph House can de-isolate and move more freely around the service because their Day 6 COVID tests were all negative. Please note, residents in Joseph House will still undergo Day 12 COVID-19 testing on Sunday 26 December as a precautionary measure.
For residents of Lourdes House:
- Only essential visitors (that is visitors essential to the wellbeing of the resident) can be received. These visits must be in the resident’s room and their visitor is required to wear full PPE.
- Outings will be considered based on location and risk. We will personally discuss all Lourdes House outings with relatives on Christmas morning.
The systems we have in place promoting physical distancing and minimising crossover traffic between the Northside and Southside buildings, such as increased spacing in the dining areas, continue to work well. We are monitoring residents closely and are mindful of helping residents maintain important social connections during this challenging time. Thankfully, all residents continue to be well with no-one displaying signs or symptoms of COVID-19.
NSW Health updated its visitation information for Residential Aged Care services overnight and we are following this advice, which includes recommendations that:
- Wherever possible, visits should be in an outdoor area or in the resident’s room.
- Visits should not be in any inside communal areas.
- All visitors must wear a surgical mask over their nose and mouth while visiting indoors.
- Residents are permitted to have two fully vaccinated visitors aged 12 years and over, plus two children aged under 12 years per day
- Visitors aged 12 years and over must have received a second dose of a COVID vaccination at least 14 days prior to their visit.
- Visitors are strongly encouraged to get a booster vaccine if they are eligible for one, and to have a negative Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) prior to entry
- People who are providing a service to the resident (including a health or other professional service) are not counted as a visitor.
Visits are limited to one hour, two visits per house and are booked through reception.
Residents, who leave the facility to attend a family gathering, will on return:
- Be required to have a series of rapid antigen tests, following a sequence of three negative tests.
- Will not need to isolate if well.
- If they develop any signs or symptoms of COVID-19, undertake a PRC test, and isolate immediately.
Other conditions for outings are as previously advised – residents are permitted to leave the facility and attend family gatherings or for other reasons but must abide by the current Public Health (COVID-19 General) Order 2021.
We ask for your patience and understanding if changes are required and, respectfully, ask that you follow any direction given by staff in facilitating visits or outings during the Christmas/New Year period.
Take care and stay safe during the holidays – and don’t forget, wherever possible wear a mask, maintain hand hygiene and practice physical distancing.
On a personal note, I extend my heartfelt thanks and deep appreciation to Alan and his team for their service to you, our residents, and families. Without them we wouldn’t function!
May Christmas and the New Year bring you all many blessings
General Manager, Care & Community Services
St Agnes’ Care & Lifestyle