Victoria’s isolation rules and definition of a COVID-19 close contact have changed.
As Victoria is currently experiencing a high number of COVID-19 community cases, Belvedere Aged Care is taking every necessary precaution to keep our vulnerable, elderly residents safe.
If you have tested positive to COVID-19 or have been deemed a close contact, please do not visit Belvedere Aged Care. You must remain at home and follow the appropriate advice and information provided via the Victorian Government’s COVID-19 Checklist.
Testing requirements have also been updated for all Victorians. Public Health advice about when to take a Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) and if a positive result is received, how to report this can be found here.
UPDATED ENTRY AND VISITOR SCREENING PROTOCOLS
Entry and Visitor Screening Protocols at Belvedere have been updated in light of the changing RAT and PCR testing requirements instated by the Public Health Directives
- All visitors must email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know your preferred visit time. This will ensure that our staff can appropriately RAT test and assist you to don appropriate levels of PPE prior to entry. Visitors must wait in their cars for testing and result outcomes to ensure appropriate physical distancing measures in place. Results for RATs will take approx. 15 minutes to read.
- All visitors must complete the Victorian Government’s QR Code Check-In and the Visitor Declaration QR Code prior to entering the facility. This information is used as part of our contact tracing in the event of a facility outbreak.
- Our current risk setting requires all visitors to don an N95 Mask and Faceshield when onsite and interacting with a resident. PPE levels will change depending on the current risk settings.
- All visits will be accommodated in rooms or in our courtyards to minimise potential exposure and risks to other residents and staff. Families who wish to communicate via non-contact methods such as video-calls with residents can contact us for assistance in arranging a time and set up for your call.
OUTBREAK, EXPOSURES AND PRECAUTIONARY LOCKDOWNS
As per Victoria’s Public Health guidance, a residential aged care facility COVID-19 outbreak is defined as either:
- A resident of a residential aged care facility who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 via
PCR test and has been onsite at the residential aged care facility at any time during
their infectious period; or
- Two or more staff of the residential aged care facility diagnosed with COVID-19 via PCR
test within 72 hours
A RACF COVID-19 Exposure is defined as:
- A COVID-19 exposure is where one COVID-19 positive staff member, or a COVID-19 positive visitor has exposed the facility during their infectious period.
In both situations, it is important to contain and minimise exposure risks to other residents and staff. Under Public Health directives and as part of Belvedere’s Outbreak Management plan, in the event of an outbreak or exposure the facility will enact a precautionary facility lockdown and:
- Isolate residents
- Notify the Public Health Unit
- Cohort staff donning Tier 3 PPE
- Commence testing and monitoring of residents for symptoms
- Restrict visitor access (visitor exemptions enacted)
The lifting of a facility outbreak is determined by the Public Health Unit. Once all necessary RAT and PCR testing requirements and (negative) results have been received, the Public Health Unit will officiate a facility standdown.
COMMUNICATIONS OF A FACILITY OUTBREAK OR EXPOSURE
In an event of an outbreak or exposure, Belvedere will enact its Outbreak Management Plan and work within the directives of the Public Health Unit to test, isolate and monitor our residents’ health and wellbeing.
Belvedere Aged Care will prioritise communications of a facility outbreak or exposure to resident Next-Of-Kin and/or Power-Of-Attorney (NOKs/POAs) via SMS followed by an email to all families.
When it has been officiated by the Public Health Unit, an announcement of a facility standdown to resident NOK/POA and all families will be made via the appropriate communication channels.
We encourage you to share all our correspondence within your family networks.
Belvedere Aged Care will apply the necessary visitor exemptions as per the Industry Code for Visiting Aged Care Homes (RED access level) permitting Essential Visitors entry during a facility lockdown.
An Essential Visitor includes Partners-In-Care, Named Visitor and families of residents approaching End of Life Care.
Essential Visitor will be contacted by the Director of Nursing (DON) prior to visiting to ensure all COVID-safe protocols are understood and followed for the health and safety priority of all residents.
VACCINATIONS AND BOOSTERS
Belvedere Aged Care residents who have consented, have now received their Pfizer booster vaccine. Our ongoing vaccination program is in place to support new admissions to receive their vaccinations. Please contact our Director of Nursing to find out more about our vaccination program for new and current residents.
Belvedere Aged Care staff in line with vaccination mandates for aged care staff are double vaccinated and many, within the eligible booster timeline, have received their third dose.
We encourage all visitors to Belvedere to be double vaccinated and if eligible, receive their booster dose to protect themselves and their loved ones against COVID-19.
To find out more about the Booster Vaccination program and eligibility please visit the Coronavirus website.
Thank you for your cooperation with our visitation protocols.