NVC Group has this week changed its visitation guidelines for Residential Aged Care Facilities to take into account changed advice from NSW Health.
NSW Health has made a range of updates to advice for the aged care sector, encouraging it to remain proportionate and better align with national guidance for the prevention and control of acute respiratory infections.
NVC Group Executive Care Manager, Moriah Resurreccion, said it was a welcome step forward for the sector and NVC Group’s Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACFs) as mask wearing and RAT-testing would be relaxed, except for when there are potential times of moderate or high levels of respiratory viruses in the community.
“We are grateful NSW Health has now stated we can achieve safety while reducing the use of COVID-19 RAT testing and the wearing of personal protective equipment in aged care homes,” she said.
“It has been a very long journey to this point, so I want to thank our residents, visitors and staff for their cooperation and compliance with the strict COVID-19 protocols we have had up until this point in order to keep everyone as safe as possible.”
Visitors are no longer required to undergo a RAT before entering a RACF, except for if and when NSW Health’s Respiratory Surveillance Report states there are moderate or high levels of respiratory viruses circulating in the community. Administration officers will communicate with visitors about the surveillance reports as required.
For staff: free RATs will continue to be provided to promote testing, however surveillance testing is not required when there are low levels of respiratory illnesses in the community. When NSW Health’s Respiratory Surveillance Report states there are moderate or high levels of respiratory viruses circulating in the community, staff will need to attend to a RAT, receive a negative result and photograph the RAT prior to attending their work shift in a RACF.
Both visitors and staff no longer need to wear masks, except for if and when NSW Health’s Respiratory Surveillance Report states there are moderate or high levels of respiratory viruses circulating in the community.
Receiving visitors is essential for resident wellbeing. The risk of spreading respiratory viruses can be reduced by supporting visits to occur in the safest possible way. Therefore, visitation still requires:
– booking through the RACF’s administration officers
– limiting the number of people visiting a resident inside a RACF to two people or less at one time, unless otherwise directed by the RACF’s Service Manager
– encouraging visits to occur in the resident’s room or, where possible, outdoors or in well-ventilated areas away from other residents.
Both staff and visitors should not attend a RACF is they are experiencing respiratory symptoms.
If you have any questions about visitation, please call (02) 6598 5000.
*Visitation and entry processes to our Residential Aged Care Facilities are subject to change with advice received and elevation of potential risks.