In the event of an outbreak - Residential Aged Care
Anglicare has robust plans which would be immediately activated if a resident or staff member was suspected to have COVID-19 or was to test positive for the virus. The following information outlines the measures that would be implemented in the event of an outbreak:
- The home immediately would be placed into lockdown.
- Visiting would be suspended until safe visits could be established, e.g. window/fence visits where possible (exceptions for end-of-life visits).
- Group activities would be suspended and activities provided to residents in their rooms.
- Residents would remain in their rooms, with the door closed.
- Residents would only leave the home in special circumstances and only in consultation with Managers and the Public Health Unit.
- Where COVID-19 positive residents continue to be cared for in the home, residents may need to move rooms to support infection control measures.
- If a resident was to test positive to COVID-19, they and their nominated Person Responsible would be personally notified (before general communication with the families of other residents).
- All families would be immediately notified if a staff member tests positive.
- All relevant Health authorities would be informed.
- Anglicare's infection prevention and control clinician would be deployed onsite to coordinate the home's immediate response.
- There would be Increased monitoring of each resident’s health and wellbeing.
- Where clinically necessary, we will advocate for residents who test positive to COVID-19 to be transferred to hospital for further medical care and to reduce the risk of infection to other residents and staff.
- Staff who have been in close contact with a confirmed case would immediately leave the home to self-isolate and be tested (remaining in isolation until 14 days from known contact and the receipt of a negative test result).
- Anglicare’s Surge team (specially trained unit of registered nurses, care workers and support staff) would be activated to provide additional staff in the home to meet the operational needs to provide ongoing care to the residents in the home.
- Staff would be allocated to specific residents and staff spaces.
Testing and Screening
- All staff and residents would be tested for COVID-19.
- Repeat testing would occur throughout the outbreak as directed by the Public Health Unit.
- Staff screened would be before each shift.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Staff would wear PPE for all interactions with all residents regardless of their COVID-19 status.
- Residents who test positive or are displaying flu-like symptoms may be asked to wear a mask if possible when receiving care
- Additional cleaning staff would be rostered throughout the outbreak.
- There would be regular cleaning of the home with high-touch surfaces, e.g bedrails, light switches, door handles and handrails, cleaned multiple times daily.
- Deep cleaning would occur where necessary.
Changes to regular routines
- Dining rooms would be closed and meals served in each resident’s room with disposable crockery and cutlery.
- Laundering of all personal items would be managed by the home in line with infection control procedures (please note that washing is stored for 3 days before it is sent to the laundry to reduce contamination and risk of viral spread so it is important residents have sufficient clothing to not run out).
- Showering of residents may be replaced with a bed bath to help control the spread of the virus.
- More time may be required to provide individual care services because of the time taken for each staff member to don and doff their PPE. This may lead to some delays in delivery of services and even simple tasks and we ask for your understanding in this situation.
- In line with standard practice, clinical and personal updates would be provided to each resident’s nominated Person Responsible (this person asked to share information as appropriate with other family members).
- There would be regular, general updates relating to the outbreak and operations of the home available to any family or friends and not limited to the Person Responsible. Please advise the Manager of the home now if you would like to be included on this contact list.
- There would be regular communication with residents via a variety of channels including SMS, email, CareApp and phone/video calls will be established as quickly as possible.
What families can do to prepare
We also encourage families to consider practical things to do now to support their loved ones if there is an outbreak in residential aged care home.
Please refer to our guide for families ‘What can I do to help?’
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Anglicare’s Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)