Living with a highly contagious virus like COVID-19 in our community presents challenges for infection prevention and control among our vulnerable and much-loved residents, clients, families and staff in aged care.
Southern Cross Care Queensland (SCCQ) has extensive practice and experience over many years in managing and controlling infectious disease in residential aged care home settings. Our response plan for managing COVID-19 is well practiced and aligned to the latest public health directives. Our expert clinical care team continues to work closely with health authorities to keep our residents, clients, families and staff safe in the ever changing pandemic environment.
For your information:-
- SCCQ is working daily with Queensland Health and other authorities to ensure the best possible outcomes, but COVID-19 cases are inevitable
- We are heartened by the high vaccination rates among our staff (100%) and residents (more than 90% are double vaccinated and more than 85% are triple vaccinated). Although not all the elderly people in our residential care homes can be vaccinated due to underlying medical conditions, this affects less than 1%, and we continue to encourage and support more vaccination and booster shots.
- Thanks to the dedicated SCCQ team, and access to our surge workforce, our 24/7 rosters in residential aged care continue to be fully serviced.
- Whenever a COVID-19 exposure or outbreak occurs we work with families to ensure safe visitation at our Residential Care homes is supported for Essential Visitors / Partners in Care.
What happens when there is a COVID-19 exposure at one of our sites?
We immediately notify health authorities, families concerned and activate our best practice Infection Control Response Management Plan.
In the current environment COVID-safe measures may apply on a risk basis around visitation and access at any of SCCQ’s Residential Care homes. These may include –
- Risk-based surveillance screening using Rapid Antigen Testing of residents, visitors and staff
- Risk-based Personal Protective Equipment use for visitors and staff
- Risk-based conditions for entry.
These measures are in place to protect the health and safety of our valued residents, families and staff and we continue to follow all health guidelines for the wellbeing of our community.
If you are visiting any SCCQ Residential Aged Care home at this time, please contact the home in advance to check on current conditions of entry. Next of kin with residents at our homes will be advised directly.
For your wellbeing, please follow these important guidelines when visiting any SCCQ aged care facility:
- from 1am AEST Thursday 30 June 2022, there will be no COVID-19 vaccination requirement for someone visiting residential aged care facilities. However, vaccination remains one of the most effective ways to minimise the severity of COVID-19 infection within our vulnerable population. As such, SCCQ strongly recommends the visitors are vaccinated, if possible, to help keep our communities safe.
- do not visit if you are unwell or you are a close contact of someone who is unwell; get tested and isolate until you have the results (Please note that the removal of the 7-day quarantine rule for close contacts on 28 April does not apply in vulnerable settings such as aged care).
- wear a single-use surgical mask or preferably, a P2/N95 mask at all times and any other required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as directed by staff (Please note the indoor mask mandate still applies to vulnerable settings like residential aged care homes.)
- maintain a safe social distance (minimum 1.5 metres) – this ideally means no more than two visitors per resident at a time
- limit or, preferably avoid, personal physical contact
- maintain good hand hygiene, including frequent hand washing/sanitising
- maintain good cough/sneeze etiquette, by coughing into a tissue and disposing of it immediately, or coughing/sneezing into the crook of your arm. Always wash your hands afterwards.
For further information please contact us at email@example.com
You can also contact Queensland Health’s 134 COVID hotline (13 42 68) or visit the Queensland Health website COVID-19 update page .