Updated advice from NSW Health
Over the past few days residential aged care providers have received updated advice from Dr McAnulty from the NSW Health Public health Response Branch.
The changes include the addition of Lakemba as a new suburb which means visitors who have been to this suburb in the last 14 days are excluded from visiting aged care homes in NSW. The local government areas of Liverpool and Camden remain on the list. The advice dated 15 October also now lists Shepparton in Victoria as an area of concern and anyone who been in this town in the past 14 days cannot enter an aged care facility
Residents leaving the facility to attend a family gathering
According to the attached correspondence residents can now also leave the aged care facility to attend small family gatherings. Although the letter from Dr McAnulty does not explicitly state that the family gathering should occur in a private residence this is our understanding from other information available on the NSW Health website. At the moment all aged care facilities in NSW are prohibited from allowing excursions to external venues.
We support our residents attending small family functions if the home is NOT in Lakemba or the Liverpool or Camden local government areas.
We will also ask you to confirm that you have not attended any of the high risk venues listed on the NSW Government website, and to confirm that any of the family members who will be in the home have also not attended any of the high risk venues listed on the website.
If you live outside the above excluded locations and wish to take your relative to a family gathering we strongly recommend the following precautions:
- Visits must be to a family home and not an external venue (restaurant, café, hotel etc)
- Family and friends attending the family function should not have any COVID symptoms
- Where possible social distancing should be observed
- Hand hygiene should be observed by all family members attending the function
In addition, the BCAC Resident Outing Declaration form will have to be completed
Visiting hours at BCAC facilities are under review
With the warmer weather approaching we realise it will become harder to screen our visitors outside, so we have been reviewing our processes so we can stagger the number of people entering the facility at one time, and to also make it an easier process for families.
Following our review we also want to offer extended times for families and friends to be able to be screened prior to entry. This will mean you will have significantly increased choices of when you can enter the facility to visit your loved one. To do this we are currently having all our external gates reviewed, and where needed upgraded, to link to our internal communications system in preparation for the changed entry processes. We are also testing an online booking system which will also be used.