Of paramount importance are the health and safety of our residents and those that care for them. As such, Bene is continually adapting its COVID-19 visitor guidelines as the situation evolves.
On 18 November, a raft of measures were announced to try and stop the current outbreak of COVID-19 in the South Australian community, including a six (6) day lockdown of all residential aged care facilities (RACF) from 12.01am on 19 November 2020 until 12.01am on 25 November 2020.
The State Coordinator has issued a Direction under the Emergency Management Act 2004 to give legal effect to these measures. Under the Emergency Management (Stay at Home) (COVID-19) Direction 2020 (Stay at Home Direction):
- No one is permitted to enter a RACF unless they are an essential worker or for end of life visits.
- Aged care workers are included within the definition of essential workers.
- Residents are not permitted to leave a RACF during this period, unless it is for medical reasons or essential health, dental or mental health services provided by a hospital, GP, public health dentist or hospital radiology service.
- Residents are permitted to return to the RACF upon discharge from hospital and are not required to undergo a routine COVID-19 test prior to this occurring.
- Instead, all residents re-entering a RACF should undertake a screening checklist for COVID-19 upon their return. If they indicate ‘yes’ to any identified risk factors, appropriate strategies should be put in place to mitigate any risks to other residents.
- Any resident who has been transferred to an ED from a RACF for assessment of acute respiratory symptoms OR fever for which no other cause is found will be tested and cleared of COVID-19 prior to being discharged back to the RACF, if they had not been swabbed in the RACF prior to presentation.
Other important things to note:
- The Emergency Management (Residential Aged Care Facilities No 13) (COVID-19) Direction 2020 (Aged Care Direction) is still in operation. Where a provision in the Aged Care Direction is inconsistent with the Stay at Home Direction, the provision in the Stay at Home Direction applies.
- No person (employee, contractor or visitor) who has attended any of the locations identified in relation to the Parafield cluster should be permitted to enter or remain on the premises of a RACF at this time, unless they have a negative COVID-19 test result. RACF should have appropriate screening processes in place. For a list of affected locations, visit: www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/COVIDcontacttracing.
Bene is fully aware of how important it is that we assist residents to maintain social connections during this time. To facilitate this we will continue to use CareApp, and we have redeployed some Community Support Workers to assist with resident support at residential sites. We encourage you to keep in contact with our residents by phone. If you would like to send an email to our admin staff, we would be happy to print it out and deliver it to the resident:
The Italian Village: email@example.com
Bene St Clair: AdminStClair@bene.org.au
All staff are currently undertaking refresher infection control on-line training.
In a previous update letter provided to residents and representatives on 4 September 2020 we kindly requested residents and/or representatives to complete two consent forms:
- Permission to share contact details with Government authorities
- Pre-consent for alternative accommodation arrangements during a COVID-19 outbreak
If you have not yet returned the consent forms, please do so at your earliest convenience.
Once restrictions are lifted, Bene will be reassessing the visitation policy in line with the changing situation. SA Health are amending their advice daily and Bene will continue to move in line with their advice and that of our Aged Care Industry Bodies.
Bene would like to sincerely thank you for your patience, assistance and support during this time to help us keep our community safe.