In light of the evidence that older people are more susceptible to contracting and being seriously affected by COVID-19, a highly precautionary approach has been adopted across the aged care sector in responding to the pandemic, based on the latest and best medical advice.
This approach has included restricting visitors’ access to residential aged care services, and screening visitors and staff on entry to residential facilities.
Our decision at Ballan District Health & Care (BDHC) to restrict visitation was not taken lightly and at all times the safety and wellbeing of residents was key to our response.
From Monday 27 April 2020, BDHC will allow restricted visitation to immediate family members.
The current epidemiology is such that we now believe the risk is much lower than during the peak of the pandemic. However, should this situation change, we will reassess our position – especially in the event that our local community experiences a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, or in the event that medical advice suggests we have returned to a higher risk of an outbreak. We are also now in influenza season, so we need to maintain a high level of vigilance.
All visitors will be screened on entry. This will include a number of questions, including:
- Have you returned from overseas within the last 21 days?
- Have you had contact with anyone who has returned from overseas within the last 21 days?
- Have you been diagnosed as having COVID-19?
- Have you had contact with anyone who has been diagnosed as having COVID-19?
- Do you have any symptoms of a respiratory infection, including a cough, fever, sore throat or shortness of breath?
Should any individual answer ‘yes’ to any of the above questions, they will be denied entry and staff will accommodate a visit from a distance or via Skype.
Visitation for immediate family members – what you need to know
- To assist our staff with coordinating visits, we ask that you call ahead to arrange a time – to visit a loved one in the Hostel, please call 0447 579 334, and for the Nursing Home and MSU, please call 5368 1100
- There will only be two entry points to the facility for visits – for the Hostel, entry will be via 168 Inglis Street, and for the Nursing Home and MSU, entry will be via Hospital Reception at 33 Cowie Street
- Visitors will have their temperature checked and must provide proof of a 2020 influenza vaccination
- Residents are able to meet with one or two immediate family members, once a day, for less than two hours duration. Residents will only be able to meet with their loved ones in their room
- Visiting time will be between 10am and 6pm, but please be aware of meal times (lunch is at 12 noon, dinner is at 5pm)
- When you enter the facility, you will need to sanitise your hands
Note, in the event that a resident’s condition deteriorates, we will review these arrangements.
We will be continuing window visits and alternative ways for connecting residents with loved ones, and we welcome any feedback on our visiting program. Please do not hesitate to get in touch on 5368 1100.
Thank you for your support and understanding during this difficult time.
For the latest COVID-19 information and updates, please refer to the Department of Health and Human Services website: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus