Respiratory viruses are circulating at moderate levels in the community and COVID-19 activity has increased, according to the NSW Health Respiratory Surveillance Report.
NVC Group Executive Care Manager Moriah Resurreccion said in the interests of balancing her responsibilities to reduce the risk of COVID-19 and respiratory viruses while supporting resident wellbeing by continuing to welcome visitors, mask wearing and RATing has restarted in aged care homes.
“NSW Health advice is in times of moderate to severe community virulence, residential aged care facility (RACF) staff and visitors should wear masks and attend to a RAT before entering a facility,” she said.
“This is because elderly people are at higher risk of severe illness, should they develop COVID-19, influenza, or another respiratory virus.
“Therefore in the interests of keeping all residents in residential care and our staff safe, all visitors and staff now need to wear personal protective equipment and attend to a rapid antigen test (RAT) before entering a Home.
“Our key goal is always keeping residents as safe and healthy as possible and re-introducing these steps will help to achieve this aim during this time of moderate community virulence.”
Ms Resurreccion also said Riverside Gardens Home had managed to halt the spread of the recent COVID-19 outbreak there.
“I am pleased to be able to comfort our community by sharing the recent outbreak in Riverside Gardens Home has been well managed and the small number of residents who had been infected with COVID-19 have recovered well,” she said.
“There are now just two residents experiencing COVID-19 and we are closely monitoring their symptoms and supporting them as they gradually recover.
“I would like to thank our residents living in Riverside Gardens and our community for adhering to the necessary infection prevention and control measures used there.”
Staff and visitors are required to provide a negative COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) before entering Autumn Lodge, Riverside Gardens or Cedar Place Homes. Visitors can either attend to a RAT at home, date the test and photograph it on a smart phone and bring the photograph with them, or get a RAT from the Home’s reception.
Staff and visitors are required to wear a mask when inside a RACF.
Visitation is essential for resident wellbeing and helps to reduce the impact of social isolation. NVC Group encourages visitation in the safest possible way by requesting visitors to:
– phone to book in a visit with a loved one by calling (02) 6598 5000 for Riverside Gardens or Autumn Lodge or (02) 6563 1177 for Cedar Place
– visiting times are: Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. Weekends and public holidays: 10am-3pm.
The number of people visiting presently needs to be two people or less, unless authorised by the Home’s Service Manager. And visits need to occur either in the resident’s room or, where possible, outdoors or in well-ventilated areas away from other residents.
Neither staff or visitors should attend the RACF if they are experiencing respiratory symptoms.
*Visitation and entry processes to Residential Aged Care Facilities are subject to change with advice received and elevation of potential risks.