15 January 2021
Queensland’s Chief Health Officer has released Aged Care Direction (No 21) which provides us with further guidelines for protecting the health and safety of our residents and staff in aged care homes. The health and wellbeing of our residents and staff remains our highest priority. A summary of the details of the Direction are as follows:
What’s changed effective from 15 January 2021:
- Visitors do not need an exemption from the Chief Health Officer to enter a residential aged care facility for an end of life visit if they have been in Greater Brisbane since 2 January 2021.
- Visitors still need an exemption for an end of life visit if they have been overseas or in a hotspot in the last 14 days.
- This applies across both restricted and non-restricted residential aged care homes.
Aged care homes within the Restricted Areas:
As of 8 January 2021, the following aged care homes fall into one of the areas that has now been declared a Restricted Area:
- Stretton Gardens
- St Mary’s Raceview
- Eden’s Landing
- Duhig Village, Holland Park
The following visitation guidelines remain in place for restricted aged care homes:
A person must not enter a restricted Residential Aged Care Facility (RACF) unless they are:
- An employee, contractor or student of the aged care facility;
- Providing goods or services necessary for the operation of the facility;
- Providing health, medical, personal care, or pharmaceutical services;
- Attending for an end of life visit;
- Undertaking emergency management, law enforcement or the exercise of a power or function of a government agency;
- A prospective resident, or the support person of a prospective resident;
- Maintaining continuity of care for a resident, and the operator of the facility has granted permission for them to enter.
- General visitation is not permitted.
- Residents (excluding an end of life resident) are not permitted to leave the RACF except:
- To receive or access health care;
- To attend a funeral;
- In the case of an emergency or on any other compassionate grounds.
- Any person (other than a resident) entering a restricted RACF must wear a single use surgical face mask.
- Any person providing direct care to a resident in a restricted RACF must wear appropriate personal protective equipment in accordance with the Residential Aged Care Facility and Disability Accommodation PPE Guidance. The staff have a copy of this document for your reference.
Aged care homes within the non-Restricted Areas:
The following aged care homes fall outside of the Restricted Area:
- Allora Homestead
- Allora Nursing Home
- Castra, Murgon
- Karinya, Nanango
- Illoura Village, Chinchilla
- Leichhardt Villa, Taroom
- Caloundra, Little Mountain
The following visitation guidelines remain in place for these non-restricted aged care homes:
- If visitors, staff or volunteers have been in Greater Brisbane on or after 2 January 2021, or within the last 14 days, they will not be able to visit the facility, unless they have been granted special permission by the Residential Manager (or their nominated deputy) for the purposes of providing continuity of care to a resident that can’t be delivered by non-contact means. This is subject to a risk assessment conducted by facility staff to ensure compliance with the Direction, and if granted permission, a single use surgical face mask must be worn at all times within the facility.
- If visitors, staff or volunteers have been in a declared hotspot, they will not be able to visit the facility within 14 days from when they left the hotspot unless they can provide a negative COVID-19 test taken in Queensland since their return. You can find out where the current declared hotspots are here.
Visitors, staff or volunteers should not be anyone who:
- Is unwell
- Has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or asked to quarantine
- Has returned from overseas in the last 14 days (excluding safe travel zone countries)
- Has had contact with a person with COVID-19 in the last 14 days
- Has visited a COVID-19 hotspot in the last 14 days or since the hotspot was declared (whichever is shorter)
- Has been tested for COVID-19 and is awaiting the results providing they are not showing symptoms of COVID-19
- Has COVID-19 symptoms of fever (37.5 degrees or more), cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, loss of smell or taste, runny nose, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting or fatigue.
- If you have visited another aged care facility within the preceding 14 days, you must wear a mask when in the facility
Residents leaving the non-restricted RAC facility
There are no restrictions on residents leaving the facility. We do ask though that you take extreme caution and do not enter the Greater Brisbane Area with your loved one. We may conduct a risk assessment on your return seeking information on which areas you have travelled to.
You may see staff wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) including masks, and this is because they may live in the declared hotspot zone or work at another aged care facility. Staff will wear PPE in accordance with the Residential Aged Care Facility and Disability Accommodation PPE Guidance. The staff have a copy of this document for your reference.
These measures have been put in place to protect the health and safety of our residents and staff. We know that this will be difficult for families as it will mean you won’t be able to connect with loved ones and spend time together as you normally would.
Thank you for everything you’re doing to help us. We really appreciate all the ways in which you’re helping to protect the health and wellbeing of everyone in the SCCQ family.