NSW Health have released updated Public Health Orders and advice to residential aged care providers.
A summary of what these changes mean in practical terms, for our residents and families at BCAC is summarised below.
Can I visit my loved one at a facility in BCAC?
Yes you can recommence visiting from Thursday 24 September. Under the NSW Health advice the following people cannot visit:-
- Anyone with a fever 5°C or higher, or respiratory symptoms’, even mild,
- Anyone who has been in Victoria in the previous 14 days
- Anyone who have visited any of the venues at the same time as a COVID-19 case listed on the NSW Government website (https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/latest-newsand-updates).
Anyone who have been in the following areas in the last 14 days: Bankstown (part LGA), Blue Mountains LGA, Cumberland LGA, Fairfield LGA, Hunters Hill LGA, Liverpool LGA, Mt Druitt (suburb), Parramatta LGA, Randwick LGA, Waverley LGA, Woollahra LGA
My loved one is receiving end of life care – can I visit on compassionate grounds if I live in a restricted LGA? Does the Public Health need to give permission?
BCAC can now approve compassionate visits for close family who live, or who have visited, the excluded LGA’s provided you have no symptoms, no fever above 37.5 degrees and you have had a vaccination. There are additional requirement during visiting under these circumstances:
- Please ring the manager to request a compassionate visit
- You must be escorted to and from the room of your loved one
- You must not use the public toilets. Please use the bathroom of the resident you are visiting.
Do I need to wear a mask when I visit?
We are requiring you to wear a mask when attending the facility. A mask will be provided for each visitor. We will review in two weeks.
Do staff need to wear masks?
Staff who live in the LGA’s on the NSW Health list must wear a mask at work. BCAC has decided to request ALL staff wear a mask whilst at work
What days and times can I visit and how long can I stay?
The following days and times are the periods we will have staff available to do the required entry screening for all visitors:
- Thursday 4pm-7pm
- Saturday 10am- 12 noon
- Tuesday 10am – 12 noon
Once you enter the facility and have been screened you can stay as long as you like.
How many visitors can visit one resident?
Two people can visit one resident once per day
What are the other things I need to be aware of when visiting?
- You are still required to socially distance 1.5 metres away from the resident and must remain in the resident’s room or outdoors for the entire visit.
- Visitors must not enter communal areas except when it is the only route to the resident’s room.
- Visits during meal times must be held in the resident’s room.
Why is visiting restricted to Tuesdays/Thursday/Saturday?
Aged care facilities are still required to screen all visitors and this takes additional staffing. We are currently working on a plan to be able to expand the entry screening times, hopefully with the support of regular volunteers, and we will share this information with you as soon as we have the plan in place.
Can I volunteer to help with the entry screening process?
Yes, we would love volunteers who can commit 2 hours once per fortnight that would assist us. If you can spare 2 hours on Mondays 11am-1pm, Wednesdays 1pm-3pm or Fridays 10am-12noon we would love to hear from you.
You would need to be willing to have a police check (paid for by BCAC) and your evidence of the 2020 influenza vaccination.
We also ask that you commit to a regular fortnightly 2 hour session so we can give certainty to families that they can visit.
Please call or email Darinka Rukavina on ph:- 8717 0180 and email DarinkaR@bcac.com.au
The Commonwealth government recently announced additional funds for aged care facilities. Has BCAC received the funding and what will it be used for?
The funds have not yet been paid to the aged care sector.
We are currently reviewing how we will allocate the funds which we anticipate will be approximately $325,000 and we hope to receive the money in October/November. In July 2020 BCAC spent $100,000 on COVID related costs, with $45,000 of this being spent on additional cleaning costs and the rest on PPE, additional staff for residents in isolation and staff training.
We will be allocating some of the funds for entry screening of visitors however if we can recruit volunteers we can allocate the COVID funds to other COVID related expenses.
All Commonwealth money will be spent on COVID