Dear Families, Relatives and Close Friends
As you are aware from previous communications St Andrews Aged Care has not locked down the whole facility and has allowed visitors. More recently, residents in the dementia units are having visitors under strict and controlled conditions.
NNSW region has been fortunate to have low incidence of CoVID-19 and zero community acquired transmission (in the last month). However, with the restrictions easing in NSW and Australia wide it is likely that there will be outbreaks of the virus in specific areas or localities.

I believe the easing of restrictions will pose a much greater challenge for St Andrews in preventing the entry of CoVID-19 into the facility. I have already asked St Andrews staff to be vigilant and cautious with whom they come in contact with outside of work and to avoid shops where physical/social distancing is not being practiced. I am also asking you to do the same, particularly if you are intending on visiting this facility. I suggest the following:

1. Ask those you socialise with if they have been vaccinated against Influenza A and if they have been in contact with other people who have not practiced social distancing eg in shops or parties etc
2. Continue to social distance (also called physical distancing) The recommended minimum distance is 1.5 metres
3. Continue to perform hand hygiene – soap (20 seconds) and sanitiser
4. Avoid shops and other areas where social distancing is not be practiced

When you enter the facility please comply with the rules for entry. On Mothers Day there were so many non-compliances on that day that the St Andrews CoVID-19 Committee considered locking down the facility for at least a week or more. Primarily to recalibrate or realign the visitors awareness on the dangers and consequences of CoVID-19 entering this aged care facility. The only reason stopping that action was the community acquired infection rate in NNSW is zero. Reference to COVID-19 WEEKLY SURVEILLANCE IN NSW Epidemiological week 19, ending 09 May 2020 (page 10). May I also add, there are significant fines for facilities who do not prevent visitors non complying.

In essence, this letter is about raising a heightened awareness of the dangers of the highly contagious and pathogenic virus and how non compliance with the rules of entry could bring about deadly consequences. I also am seeking your vigilance when doing your day to day activities so that you reduce the risk of infection. Avoiding complacency in our daily activities and when visiting St Andrews will substantially reduce the risk to our most vulnerable people.

Bruce Tually
General Manager