The Strategies we’re Implementing

I would like to let you know about the strategies St Andrews Management will be implementing this week, specifically the partial lockdown of parts of the facility.

Management have considered all risks and information about CoVID-19 (SARS CoV-2) particularly the advice and recommendations from the Chief Medical Officer – Department of Health.

We are also aware of the importance of maintaining as best as we can the well being of the St Andrews residents and protecting the residents from Co VID-19.

Management has decided to place the dementia units into lockdown commencing 27 March this Friday at 9am. These areas have been evaluated to have the highest risk of nosocomial (resident to resident) infection.

One recent epidemiological study showed the highest incidence of death due to Co VID-19 were patients with dementia. Comorbidities clearly contributed to that death rate. However, behaviour is a significant contributor.

Typically, residents with dementia do not have the usual capacity to practice social distancing and hand hygiene.

This is a substantial reason why management is implementing protocols to protect as much as possible the spread of CoVID-19 in the facility.

Therefore, from Friday 27 March visitors will not be permitted to enter these areas unless otherwise authorised. The only exceptions will be the following:

  • If a resident is bed bound or confined to their room, a visitor may enter the unit but must go directly to the resident’s room. The visitor must not go to other areas in the unit or have a casual/close contact with other residents. Non-compliance may place all the residents at risk.
  • If a relative or family member wants to visit their resident in Boronia/River House┬áthe resident will thereafter or until the pandemic alert is lifted, be confined to their room. Please note residents who are mobile would not fit the criteria for confinement. If visits from family cease, the resident will be placed into a 14 day “self-isolation”. At the completion of the 14 days, subject to the resident having no Flu/Coronavirus symptoms, the resident may move about in the unit.

Boronia and River House residents will:

  • remain in the unit but are permitted to enter the courtyard adjacent to the unit.
  • remain in the unit but are permitted to enter the courtyard adjacent to the unit.
  • continue to have meals in the dining area or in their room
  • participate, if desired, in activities with other residents as per usual

Other changes to reduce the risk of infection include the following:

  • Half doors will be placed on all rooms in the Boronia and River House post communications with the persons responsible. The use of these doors is to prevent residents entering rooms of other residents, particularly those receiving visits and thus potentially risking cross infection.
  • Visitors who are permitted to visit as per the criteria above MUST enter through the doors at the end of the corridor that the resident resides. Do not enter through the main entrance of Boronia. Also when you arrive at the facilities front reception please inform the reception people that you are visiting a resident in Boronia and the receptionist will contact the EN or RN that you are visiting and whom. Please do not go to the kitchen, nurses station or activity area in the unit.

In addition, from the May 1 all visitors must have documented proof that they have been vaccinated against Influenza A

The government has made this a mandatory requirement to enter an aged care facility.

Management is aware of the importance of maintaining the well being of residents and we are committed to balancing the need to protect residents from the CoVID-19.

We have not locked down the whole facility, as the screening measures, hand hygiene, room visits only and social distancing have been effective thus far. We are taking every precaution and monitoring the situation daily. As a qualified biomedical microbiologist I am keeping up to date with the latest scientific journals, infection control and announcements and factoring this into our decision making at St Andrews.

We believe it is important to maintain visits to the facility until that risk becomes too high or the government bans visitors to the facilities Australia wide. Therefore, I request that when visiting your family resident please adhere to the infection prevention guidelines and other directives.

 

Doing this will protect one of the most vulnerable people in society and help maintain visitation that is vital to the residents.