Coronavirus up to Date Information for Residents, Friends and Family
Last Updated: 26 August 1545 hrs
Please use this page for the most up to date information regarding the Coronavirus and Respect Aged Care. This page will be updated regularly.
It has become exceedingly apparent that traditional methods of communication are failing during the recent outbreak of Coronavirus. Respect Aged Care has created this page as a single source of truth for residents, friends, and family regarding the Coronavirus and steps Respect Aged Care are taking to minimise the risk to our residents.
To sign up to our newsletter to receive instant notifications, please visit respect.com.au/signup
Brett Menzies 0408 562 498 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
As of 11.59pm Wednesday 16 July, no visitors are permitted at care facilities, unless an exception applies. Exceptions apply in limited circumstances.
You may only visit a care facility for the following excepted reasons:
- as a nominated person under the Mental Health Act 2014
- for providing essential care and support that is necessary for the resident’s immediate physical or emotional wellbeing
- for providing interpreter or informal language support to enable the care team to provide care
- for learning to support a resident’s care upon discharge
- for providing end-of-life support to a resident of the facility
From 11:59pm on Thursday, 26 August 2021 the following restrictions will be eased in regards to visiting aged care homes in Tasmania:
- Staff and visitors will no longer need to wear a mask while they remain on the premises
- There will be no restrictions to the number of visitors to a resident of a residential aged care facility
- There is still a requirement for all visitors to check-in and fines can apply for non-compliance
There are also the following border restrictions that apply in Tasmania:
- Border restrictions remain in place for all of New South Wales, Victoria, Australian Capital Territory and New Zealand
- A number of high-risk premises remain in place in Northern Territory, Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, New South Wales and New Zealand.
- Anyone in Tasmania who has recently been in the Northern Territory, Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, New South Wales and New Zealand must check the list of high-risk premises frequently at www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au/travelalert. The list is updated regularly.
- Anyone – including staff – who has been in a high-risk area or attended any of the high-risk premises in the last 14 days is not permitted to enter a Residential Aged Care Facility
In Tasmania, visits to residential aged care homes are permitted for people providing care and support, with the following restrictions:
- Visitors must not have any symptoms, even if mild, of COVID-19, including fever (a temperature higher than 37.5 degrees), symptoms of fever (chills, night sweats), cough, sore throat, shortness of breath or loss of taste or smell. Unless an exemption has been granted by the facility in relation to end-of-life care.
- People who are subject to quarantine must not visit a residential aged care facility unless an exemption has been granted. That means they must not have:
- been in an area or premises identified as medium or high-risk for COVID-19 in the previous 14 days
- had contact with anyone known to have COVID-19, or reasonably suspected of having COVID-19, within the previous 14 days (except as part of their employment while wearing effective personal protective equipment).
There are further guidelines for visiting aged care homes in Tasmania:
- If visits are being carried out in communal areas, it is important that a physical distance of 1.5 metres be maintained between people whenever possible.
- Influenza vaccine is strongly encouraged for anyone who spends time in residential aged care facilities.
- Children under the age of 16 years and visiting services such as hairdressers and allied health professionals may visit aged care facilities.
- Residents may leave the facility, for example with family and friends
New South Wales Homes
Restrictions for New South Wales homes include:
- All staff and visitors must wear a surgical mask
- Only two visitors are allowed each day
- Visits must be in the resident’s room
New South Wales Visitors
Visitors must not enter the facility at all if they:
- have been to any close, casual or monitor for symptoms locationsin NSW in the last 14 days
- have been to COVID-19 exposure locationsin ACT in the last 14 days
- have been to any close or casual contact locationsin Queensland in the last 14 days
- have been in Victorian places of high concernin the last 14 days
- have been in Greater Melbournein the previous 14 days
- have COVID-19 symptoms– fever (37. 5°C or higher) or symptoms of COVID-19
- are a close contact of a person with confirmed COVID-19 and are within their self-isolation period
- live in a household with a person who is currently self-isolating
- are waiting for a COVID-19 test result
From 1 June to 30 September 2021 visitors should not enter an aged care facility if they have not received a dose of the 2021 influenza vaccine, unless they meet the criteria under the exceptional and special circumstances.
Booking A Visit
If you would like to visit a resident in our Victorian or New South Wales homes, you must book online first here Although it is no longer a requirement to book a visit in our Tasmanian homes, we still strongly encourage you to do so if possible as it will save you from entering the same information when you are on-site.
The check-in process involves the following:
- Entry to our homes will be limited to designated entry and exit points where Zipline and temperature scanning stations have been set up
- In addition, all visitors must comply with our active screening process, which includes temperature checking, and questions regarding any respiratory symptoms
Once you have checked in you will receive a visitor sticker, which you must wear at all times once inside the homes. No sticker, No visit.
Visitors, once on site, will be asked to:
- complete a risk-based questionnaire regarding recent travel and activities;
- have their temperature taken;
- be supervised on entry to ensure proper hand sanitisation;
- maintain social distancing from their loved one of 1.5 meters throughout the duration of their visit;
- only visit their loved one in their room and with no access to public or communal areas (Vic/NSW only), or to visit other residents; and
- wear personal protective equipment if deemed necessary in the future depending on the circumstances.
Current Visitation Restrictions
No person may enter the premises of a Respect site if they:
- are unwell with flu-like symptoms, such as a cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath, or fever;
- have had known contact in the last 14 days with a person who was a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19); or
- have a temperature higher than 37.5 degrees.
- are a diagnosed person or close contact under the Diagnosed Persons and Close Contacts Directions;
- have, during the 14 days prior to entry, arrived in Australia from overseas (other than on a quarantine-free flight from an overseas location designated by the Australian Government as a green travel zone);
- have, during the 14 days prior to entry, had known contact with a confirmed case (except in the course of your employment while wearing the appropriate level of personal protective equipment in the circumstances);
- have SARS-CoV-2 Symptoms; or
- if you are a visitor – have been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting your test results.
Residents in the Community
Residents will now be permitted to enter the community for outings such as shopping, provided they are following government regulations regarding masks. Due to social distancing requirements we are still not in a position to recommence bus trip outings or large group activities, and all of our staff and residents continue to adhere to density regulations. Respect is implementing every measure possible to prevent coronavirus entering one of our sites.
Loved ones can still be contacted by telephone and video chat facilities if they wish to do so. If you would like to speak with your loved one by video chat please don’t hesitate to contact the home your loved one resides in so this can be arranged.
We do not currently have any cases of coronavirus at any home, and will continue to closely monitor the situation and make changes to visitation as necessary.
There are 46,743 confirmed cases in Australia with 986 recorded deaths.
What is the Coronavirus?
The Coronavirus is a new virus, distinctively different from existing viruses such as Influenza or Gastroenteritis.
Despite reports to the contrary, the Coronavirus is not just like Influenza. Humans have not had previous exposure and therefore have no pre-existing immunity to the virus.
How can I see or talk to my love one?
Loved ones can still always be contacted by telephone, and during this time we have setup video chat facilities so friends and family can see and talk to their loved one face to face if they wish to do so. If you would like to speak with your loved one by video chat please don’t hesitate to contact the home your loved one resides in so this can be arranged.
We have seen ingenious ideas such as this in other countries where lock downs are occurring:
As a progressive aged care organisation, Respect will investigate all types of ways to keep our residents engaged with their loved ones. Next to their personal safety, their emotional well-being is paramount to us and we encourage family and friends to stay in contact as much as possible during this time.
What are the extenuating circumstances where I can see my loved in the home?
If your loved one is passing away, please contact the aged care home where your loved one resides so we can ensure you see them if you do not pose a risk to other residents. Other extenuating circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
If the visit is deemed necessary then you will be met at the front entrance, and;
- will be shown how to properly sanitise your hands;
- will need to complete a brief questionnaire which will include questions regarding recent travel including interstate, recent health issues, and contact with any known person with Coronavirus;
- will be required to have your temperature taken; and
- may also be required to wear personal protective equipment depending on the circumstances at the time.
Tasmanian sites only – What should I do if I am currently on the mainland or plan to travel out of Tasmania in the near future?
The Tasmanian Government has declared that from midnight on Friday, 20 March 2020, anyone arriving into Tasmania will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. This includes Tasmanian residents returning home to Tasmania.
Whilst the self-isolation will not apply to essential travelers, including health care workers, at this stage, we believe it will apply to all other non-essential visitors to the state including family of residents.
Are all elderly in general at risk?
It appears as people age so does their chance of having pre-existing conditions, and less fitness to “fight off” the Coronavirus which puts them at higher risk.
What pre-existing condition puts someone at higher risk?
Pre-existing conditions which currently appear to put people at higher risk than others include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, hypertension, and cancer.
Should I be personally worried?
More than 80% of cases experience mild symptoms only.
The mortality rate of persons with no pre-existing conditions appears to be less than 1%, however this may include undiagnosed pre-existing conditions.
People most at risk are those with pre-existing conditions. If you have a pre-existing condition, we recommend considering self-isolation.
How can I help?
The best thing family and friends can do is keep in contact with your loved ones so they do not feel socially isolated. Please remember to reassure them the lock down is precautionary.
You can also follow hygiene instructions from trusted sources, including the the Department of Health and World Health Organization (WHO), to do your part in the community.
Please see the following video for proper hand hygiene using the WHO method.
Cough and Sneeze Etiquette
Please see the following poster for proper cough and sneeze etiquette.
Social distancing is an important way to mitigate the risks of the virus in the community.