Dear Residents and Families
There has been no local community acquired infections of Covid-19 in Northern NSW for a long period. It is therefore easy to be complacent and not be as vigilant with social distancing and hand washing. I am writing to remind all people who enter the facility to keep complying with infection prevention guidelines.
Covid-19 is one of many viruses that can detrimental impacts on the health of residents and families. There are a host of viruses with varying pathogenicity and virulence and we all must take precautions to prevent the spread of these potentially harmful infectious agents. One of the notable gastrointestinal viruses is the Norovirus (also known as the NorWalk virus) and there are also Rotavirus, Astrovirus, Adenovirus etc. all of which may cause vomiting and/or diarrhea. This can be quite harmful to people with comorbidities.
Therefore, if you are visiting a resident please wash your hands, maintain social distancing and also be aware of how you feel. For instance, if you have any mild symptoms of nausea, rasied temperature, muscle pain, loss of appetite or stomach cramps it would be best to not visit a resident. You could be in the early stages of an infection.
Outbreaks in a residential facility are not only confined to Covid-19. Generally, a facility will go into lockdown if there are a few residents with Influenza or Norovirus etc. Lockdown is necessary to reduce the risk of further spread of the virus, not forgetting there are a few bacteria (Salmonella. Campylobacter etc) that would also invoke a lockdown.
I can assure you that staff are educated and practice infection prevention and control measures as part of their regular training and competency.
The message is that hand hygiene and complying with the facility infection prevention guidelines will help prevent potentially harmful infections.
I thank you for participating in infection prevention at the St Andrews facility.