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COVID-19 Updates and Latest News

15 April 2021

Update - Relaxation of visitation requirements for residential aged care homes in Queensland - 15 April 2021

15 April 2021

We would like to sincerely thank you for your patience and understanding regarding the recent visitation restrictions at your residential aged care home. The Chief Health Officer has announced that from 6am, Thursday 15 April, these restrictions will ease in Queensland. The health and wellbeing of our residents and staff remain our highest priority even as restrictions are relaxed.  

 

What will change from 6am 15 April 2021:

  • There are no restricted Local Government Areas.
  • You can now enter a residential aged care facility for general visitation.

Visitors, staff or volunteers at the facility should not be anyone who:

  • is unwell.
  • has returned from overseas in the last 14 days.
  • has had contact with a person with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
  • has travelled to a COVID-19 hotspot in the last 14 days.
  • has been tested for COVID-19 and is waiting for the result.
  • 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.
  • From 3 May 2021, has not received a current flu vaccine and provided proof of having received the vaccine, or have a medical exemption.

If a person is attending a residential aged care facility to visit a resident, they must, to the extent reasonably practicable:

  • practise physical distancing;
  • limit their contact with other persons at the facility; and
  • stay away when unwell.

Continuing excursions and outings information are in accordance with the Movement and Gathering Direction No. 8:

  • Residents may now leave their residential aged care facility for a range of reasons, including family gatherings of up to 100 people at a private property, receiving health care, attending a funeral, visiting a service provider and going on an excursion with a group of residents.
  • Residents who are part of a family group (e.g. couples or siblings) or close friends can leave the facility together. Risk assessment screening will be conducted when the residents return to the facility.

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.

 

Update - flu vaccinations required for anyone seeking entry into residential aged care - 12 April 2021

12 April 2021

Important information: requirement to have the flu vaccination to enter residential aged care homes

In order to continue protecting the health and wellbeing of our residents and staff, the Queensland Government have introduced the requirement for anyone seeking entry into a residential aged care home to have had the current influenza vaccination. A copy of the updated Aged Care Direction (No 26) is attached for your reference.

What are the changes?

A person must not enter, or remain on, the premises of a residential aged care facility in the State of Queensland if:

  • From 3 May 2021, the person does not have an up to date vaccination against influenza, if the vaccination is available to that person.

 Note: the vaccination is not available to a person only if:

  • the person has a medical contraindication to the influenza vaccine; or
  • the person is observing the recommended waiting period between receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and the influenza vaccine.

This requirement applies to staff, visitors, health practitioners, volunteers and others including external contractors and suppliers.

When you visit from 3 May, please bring with you proof that you’ve had your flu vaccination. Appropriate evidence may be a statement or record from a health practitioner; or an immunisation history statement available from Medicare online or the Express Plus Medicare mobile app. Alternatively, if you have a flu vaccination medical exemption, please bring this with you instead.

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. It’s important that we maintain an open dialogue with all our residents and families so that we can support and assist you in any way we can, and we’re thankful for the feedback you’ve given to us throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Update - continuing visitation restrictions for residential aged care facilities across Queensland - 1 April 2021

1 April 2021

Important information: visitation restrictions for aged care facilities in Queensland.

Today the Queensland Government lifted the 3-day lockdown in the Greater Brisbane region. In order to continue protecting the health and wellbeing of our residents and staff, visitation restrictions to residential aged care will continue across Queensland until Thursday 15 April.

Visitation restrictions to aged care homes in Queensland

Anyone attending these facilities in Queensland, including staff, must wear a single-use surgical face mask. People will still be able to visit their loved ones who are at end of life.

Until 15 March 2021, the following aged care homes will continue to have restrictions to general visitation:

  • Stretton Gardens
  • Duhig Village, Holland Park
  • Edens Landing
  • St Mary’s Raceview
  • Caloundra Aged Care
  • Karinya, Nanango
  • Leichhardt Villa, Taroom
  • Illoura Village, Chinchilla
  • Castra Murgon
  • Allora Homestead
  • Allora Nursing Home

In accordance with the current Queensland Government Aged Care Direction, additional restrictions continue to apply to visitation to these homes, including the following:

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;
  • Administering a COVID-19 vaccination;
  • 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.

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.

Update - visitation restrictions for residential aged care facilities in Queensland - 29 March 2021

Important information: visitation restrictions for aged care facilities in Queensland.

Due to increasing community transmission following two positive COVID-19 cases in Brisbane and four further cases confirmed today, the Queensland Government has introduced a 3-day lockdown from 5pm today, Monday 29 March 2021 until at least 5pm Thursday 1 April with visitation restrictions to residential aged care facilities in Queensland. The restrictions have been introduced to protect the health and safety of our residents and staff. Greater Brisbane has now been declared a hotspot.

Visitation restrictions to aged care homes in Queensland

Queensland Health has announced that all non-essential visits to residential aged care facilities in Queensland will cease. This is effective from 5pm Monday 29 March until further notice.

Anyone attending these facilities in Queensland, including staff, must wear a single-use surgical face mask. People will still be able to visit their loved ones who are at end of life.

As of 5pm 29 March 2021, the following aged care homes will now cease general visitation:

  • Stretton Gardens (already with restricted visitation)
  • Duhig Village, Holland Park (already with restricted visitation)
  • Edens Landing
  • St Mary’s Raceview
  • Caloundra Aged Care
  • Karinya, Nanango
  • Leichhardt Villa, Taroom
  • Illoura Village, Chinchilla
  • Castra Murgon
  • Allora Homestead
  • Allora Nursing Home

In accordance with the current Queensland Government Aged Care Direction, additional restrictions now apply to visitation to these homes, including the following:

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;
  • Administering a COVID-19 vaccination;
  • 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.

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.

Update - visitation restrictions for residential aged care facilities in the City of Brisbane and Moreton Bay regions - 26 March 2021

Important information: visitation restrictions for aged care facilities in the City of Brisbane and Moreton Bay regions.

Due to a positive COVID-19 case in a Brisbane man who has been in the community since last Friday, the Queensland Government has today introduced visitation restrictions to residential aged care facilities to protect the health and safety of our residents and staff.

Visitation restrictions to aged care homes in the City of Brisbane and Moreton Bay regions

Queensland Health has announced that all non-essential visits to residential aged care facilities in the City of Brisbane and Moreton Bay regions will cease. This is effective from noon Friday 26 March until further notice.

Anyone attending these facilities in the City of Brisbane and Moreton Bay regions, including staff, must wear a mask. People will still be able to visit their loved ones who are at end of life.

As of 12pm 26 March 2021, the following aged care homes fall into the City of Brisbane and Moreton Bay regions:

  • Stretton Gardens
  • Duhig Village, Holland Park

In accordance with the current Queensland Government Aged Care Direction, additional restrictions now apply to visitation to these homes, including the following:

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.

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.

 

Update - relaxation to visitation restrictions for residential aged care homes in Greater Brisbane - 19 March 2021

We would like to sincerely thank you for your patience and understanding regarding the recent visitation restrictions at your residential aged care home. The Chief Health Officer has announced that these restrictions have now eased in the Greater Brisbane region in Queensland, however the health and wellbeing of our residents and staff remain our highest priority even as restrictions are relaxed.  

 What’s changed from noon 19 March 2021:

  • There are no restricted Local Government Areas.
  • You can now enter a residential aged care facility for general visitation.

Visitors, staff or volunteers at the facility should not be anyone who:

  • is unwell.
  • has returned from overseas in the last 14 days.
  • has had contact with a person with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
  • has travelled to a COVID-19 hotspot in the last 14 days.
  • has been tested for COVID-19 and is waiting for the result.
  • 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 a person is attending a residential aged care facility to visit a resident, they must, to the extent reasonably practicable:

  • practise physical distancing;
  • limit their contact with other persons at the facility; and
  • stay away when unwell.

Continuing excursions and outings information are in accordance with the Movement and Gathering Direction No. 8:

  • Residents may now leave their residential aged care facility for a range of reasons, including family gatherings of up to 100 people, receiving health care, attending a funeral, visiting a service provider and going on an excursion with a group of residents.
  • Residents who are part of a family group (e.g. couples or siblings) or close friends can leave the facility together. Risk assessment screening will be conducted when the residents return to the facility.

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.

Update - visitation restrictions for residential aged care facilities in Greater Brisbane - 13 March 2021

13 March 2021

Important information: visitation restrictions for aged care facilities in the greater Brisbane region.

Due to a positive COVID-19 case in a health care worker at a Brisbane hospital, the Queensland Government has today introduced visitation restrictions to residential aged care facilities to protect the health and safety of our residents and staff.

Visitation restrictions to aged care homes in the Greater Brisbane area

Queensland Health has announced that all non-essential visits to residential aged care facilities in Greater Brisbane will cease. This is effective from noon Saturday 13 March and reviewed Tuesday 16 March.

Anyone attending these facilities in Greater Brisbane, including staff, must wear a mask. People will still be able to visit their loved ones who are at end of life.

Greater Brisbane includes:

  • City of Brisbane
  • City of Ipswich
  • Logan City
  • Moreton Bay Region

As of 12pm 13 March 2021, the following aged care homes fall into the Greater Brisbane region:

  • Stretton Gardens
  • St Mary’s Raceview
  • Eden’s Landing
  • Duhig Village, Holland Park

In accordance with the current Queensland Government Aged Care Direction, additional restrictions now apply to visitation to these homes, including the following:

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.

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.

It’s important that we maintain an open dialogue with all our residents and families so that we can support and assist you in any way we can, and we’re thankful for the feedback you’ve given to us throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Update - removal of Greater Melbourne as a declared hotspot - 27 February 2021

27 February 2021

Queensland’s Chief Health Officer has updated Aged Care Direction (No 24) with regard to declared COVID-19 hotspot locations, 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.

Updates under Aged Care Direction (No 24), effective from 27 February 2021:

  • From 1am Saturday 27 February 2021 all regions of Victoria will be removed as COVID-19 hotspots.
  • You can view an up to date list of declared COVID-19 hotspots here.

Visitors, staff or volunteers at the facility 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 waiting for the result (except for tests due to surveillance testing obligations)
  • 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
  • has been in a public exposure site as listed by the Victorian Government
  • has been in the Greater Melbourne Local Government Areas of concern since 7 February 2021 and not obtained a negative COVID-19 test.

If a person is attending a residential aged care facility to visit a resident, they must, to the extent reasonably practicable:

  • practise physical distancing;
  • limit their contact with other persons at the facility; and
  • stay away when unwell.

Continuing excursions and outings information are in accordance with the Movement and Gathering Direction No. 7:

  • Residents may leave their residential aged care facility for a range of reasons, including family gatherings of up to 100 people, receiving health care, attending a funeral, visiting a service provider and going on an excursion with a group of residents.
  • Residents who are part of a family group (e.g. couples or siblings) or close friends can leave the facility together. Risk assessment screening will be conducted when the residents return to the facility.

You may see staff wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) including masks, and this is because they may 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.

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.

Update - COVID-19 vaccine roll out - 17 February 2021

17 February 2021

The Commonwealth government has announced that the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out is due to commence in late February 2021. Residential aged care residents will be among the first people to be given the opportunity to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. This is part of the first phase of Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine national roll-out strategy.

The Australian Government is responsible for leading the implementation of the COVID-19 Vaccination Program for the large majority of residential aged care homes in consultation with the State government.

Based on the information we currently have been provided, we can provide the following update:

  • Residents in residential aged care facilities will receive their vaccination in their aged care home by a team of vaccinators who will attend your home.
  • We will ask you for your consent to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. We will provide to you an information pack that will include:
    • Information about the COVID-19 Pfizer (Cominarty) vaccine
    • Preparing for COVID-19 vaccination
    • What to expect on vaccination day
    • After your COVID-19 vaccination
    • Consent form – we will ask you to sign this if you decide to accept the vaccination.
  • A schedule detailing the date and times for vaccinations will be provided for us and we will give this information to you as soon as it comes to hand.
  • Having the COVID-19 vaccination is voluntary, but strongly encouraged.

Is the vaccine safe?

The Therapeutic Goods Administration’s (TGA) has rigorously tested the COVID-19 vaccine for safety before they are approved for use in Australia. This includes careful analysis of clinical trial data, ingredients, chemistry, manufacturing and other factors.

Got questions?

We have attached an information sheet and frequently asked questions for your reference.

More information is available in the Australian COVID-19 Vaccination Policy and the COVID-19 Vaccines National Rollout Strategy.

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.

Update - declared COVID-19 hotspots in Victoria - 15 February 2021

15 February 2021

Queensland’s Chief Health Officer has updated Aged Care Direction (No 23) to include the recently declared COVID-19 hotspot locations, 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.

Updates under Aged Care Direction (No 23), effective from 15 February 2021:

  • Specific parts of Victoria are now declared COVID-19 hotspots. Anyone who has been in the 36 Local Government Areas that make up Greater Melbourne in the last 14 days or since 7 February 2021 (whichever is shorter) will not be allowed to enter a residential aged care facility in Queensland for any purpose, unless you have an exemption for an end of life visit.
  • Anyone who has been in the previously listed 31 Greater Melbourne Local Government Areas of concern between 29 January 2021 and 6 February 2021, cannot enter a residential aged care facility unless 14 days have passed since you were there.
  • You may only enter a residential aged care facility if you have been in the 31 Greater Melbourne Local Government Areas of concern between 29 January 2021 and 6 February 2021 if you obtain a negative COVID-19 test and are:
  • an employee, contractor, or student of the facility
  • providing goods or services necessary for the facility’s operation
  • providing health, medical, personal care or pharmaceutical or pathology services to a resident
  • required for emergency management, law enforcement or to comply with a power or function of a government agency or entity
  • a prospective resident or a support person of a prospective resident
  • maintaining continuity of care for a resident that can’t be delivered by non-contact means – with permission of the facility’s operator
  • attending for an end of life visit.

You may be requested to provide evidence of the negative COVID-19 test when entering the facility.

  • There are no longer any declared COVID-19 hotspots in Western Australia.
  •  The Chief Health Officer has decided that due to a recent three-day lockdown in New Zealand, from 15 February for an initial period of 72 hours, all people arriving on flights from New Zealand originating within this three-day period will need to go into 14 days of supervised hotel quarantine.

Visitors, staff or volunteers at the facility 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 waiting for the result (except for tests due to surveillance testing obligations)
  • 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
  • has been in a public exposure site as listed by the Victorian Government
  • has been in the 31 Greater Melbourne Local Government Areas of concern between 29 January 2021 and 6 February 2021 and not obtained a negative COVID-19 test.

If a person is attending a residential aged care facility to visit a resident, they must, to the extent reasonably practicable:

  • practise physical distancing;
  • limit their contact with other persons at the facility; and
  • stay away when unwell.

Continuing excursions and outings information are in accordance with the Movement and Gathering Direction No. 7:

  • Residents may leave their residential aged care facility for a range of reasons, including family gatherings of up to 100 people, receiving health care, attending a funeral, visiting a service provider and going on an excursion with a group of residents.
  • Residents who are part of a family group (e.g. couples or siblings) or close friends can leave the facility together. Risk assessment screening will be conducted when the residents return to the facility.

You may see staff wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) including masks, and this is because they may 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.

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.

Update - COVID-19 vaccine - 5 February 2021

5 February 2021

Australia’s phased roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines commences in February, with residential aged care staff, residents and volunteers, GPs, health professionals and people who provide regular care and support visits within residential aged care facilities (RACFs) among the first people who can choose to be vaccinated. Health authorities will work closely with aged care providers, staff, residents and their families to provide further information about the vaccines, coordinate consent and confirm schedules.

We are currently awaiting further information from health authorities about the vaccine roll-out and will pass on that information as it comes to hand.

Having the COVID-19 vaccination is voluntary, but strongly encouraged. As with all aspects of care, older Australians have the right to make their own choices about the medications they take and to be fully informed about their medicines and vaccinations.

You may have heard a large amount of discussion in the community and media as the nation prepares for the roll-out of the first vaccines. Understandably there may also be some trepidation from some about the safety of these new vaccines. Please know that the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has rigorously assessed any COVID-19 vaccine application for safety, quality and effectiveness.

Want to find out more from the experts?

Australian Catholic University, in collaboration with Catholic Health Australia, will be hosting an online event, bringing together international experts and thought leaders to discuss mental health, public health and the question of solidarity in the face of this global pandemic.

Vaccines, Viruses and Vulnerabilities: Catholic health and care of the human person

Date: 11 February 2021

Time: 12pm AEDT/11am AEST

Speakers include:

Sr Carol Keehan: Co-ordinator, The Vatican’s Commission for COVID-19

Dr Brian M Kane: Senior Director, Ethics, Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA)

Dr David Kirchhoffer (moderator): Director, Queensland Bioethics Centre

Register for the event here

More information is available in the Australian COVID-19 Vaccination Policy and the COVID-19 Vaccines National Rollout Strategy .

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.

Update - Aged Care Direction No 23 released - Greater Melbourne restrictions - 5 February 2021

Queensland’s Chief Health Officer has released Aged Care Direction (No. 23) 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.

New changes under Aged Care Direction (No. 23), effective from 7:30pm 4 February 2021:

  • Due to the recent COVID-19 case in Greater Melbourne, anyone who has been in Greater Melbourne on or after 29 January 2021 cannot enter a residential aged care facility unless 14 days have passed since you were in Greater Melbourne.
  • You may enter a residential aged care facility if you have been in Greater Melbourne on or after 29 January 2021 if you obtain a negative COVID-19 test and are:
    • an employee, contractor, or student of the facility
    • providing goods or services necessary for the facility’s operation
    • providing health, medical, personal care or pharmaceutical or pathology services to a resident
    • required for emergency management, law enforcement or to comply with a power or function of a government agency or entity
    • a prospective resident or a support person of a prospective resident
    • maintaining continuity of care for a resident that can’t be delivered by non-contact means – with permission of the facility’s operator
    • attending for an end of life visit.

You may be requested to provide evidence of the negative COVID-19 test when entering the facility.

  • If you have been in a public exposure site as listed by the Victorian Government you cannot enter a residential aged care facility in Queensland for any purpose unless you have an exemption for an end of life visit. You must get a COVID-19 test and quarantine for 14 days.
  • There are currently no Local Government Areas where increased restrictions apply to residential aged care facilities.
  • Certain restrictions continue to apply to residential aged care facilities under the Aged Care Direction.

Visitors, staff or volunteers at the facility should not be anyone who:

  • is unwell.
  • has returned from overseas in the last 14 days.
  • has had contact with a person with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
  • has travelled to aCOVID-19 hotspot in the last 14 days. Please note that there are 46 Western Australia LGAs and two unincorporated areas which continue to be declared as COVID-19 hotspots. Anyone who has been in a COVID-19 hotspot is restricted from entering a residential aged care home. You can check the link for more information about these declared areas.
  • has been tested for COVID-19 and is waiting for the result.
  • has COVID-19 symptomsof 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 a person is attending a residential aged care facility to visit a resident, they must, to the extent reasonably practicable:

  • practise physical distancing;
  • limit their contact with other persons at the facility; and
  • stay away when unwell.

Continuing excursions and outings information are in accordance with the Movement and Gathering Direction No. 7:

  • Residents may now leave their residential aged care facility for a range of reasons, including family gatherings of up to 50 people, receiving health care, attending a funeral, visiting a service provider and going on an excursion with a group of residents.
  • Residents who are part of a family group (e.g. couples or siblings) or close friends can leave the facility together. Risk assessment screening will be conducted when the residents return to the facility.

You may see staff wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) including masks, and this is because they may 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.

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.

Update - Relaxation of visitation restrictions in the Greater Brisbane region and Aged Care Direction No. 22 released - 22 January 2021

22 January 2021

We would like to sincerely thank you for your patience and understanding regarding the recent visitation restrictions at your residential aged care home. The Chief Health Officer has announced that these restrictions have now eased in the Greater Brisbane region in Queensland, however the health and wellbeing of our residents and staff remain our highest priority even as restrictions are relaxed.  

 What’s changed from 1am 22 January 2021:

  • There are no restricted Local Government Areas.
  • You can now enter a residential aged care facility if you have been in Greater Brisbane since 2 January 2021.
  • Certain restrictions continue to apply to residential aged care facilities under the Aged Care Direction.

Visitors, staff or volunteers at the facility should not be anyone who:

  • is unwell.
  • has returned from overseas in the last 14 days.
  • has had contact with a person with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
  • has travelled to a COVID-19 hotspot in the last 14 days.
  • has been tested for COVID-19 and is waiting for the result.
  • 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 a person is attending a residential aged care facility to visit a resident, they must, to the extent reasonably practicable:

  • practise physical distancing;
  • limit their contact with other persons at the facility; and
  • stay away when unwell.

Continuing excursions and outings information are in accordance with the Movement and Gathering Direction No. 7:

  • Residents may now leave their residential aged care facility for a range of reasons, including family gatherings of up to 50 people, receiving health care, attending a funeral, visiting a service provider and going on an excursion with a group of residents.
  • Residents who are part of a family group (e.g. couples or siblings) or close friends can leave the facility together. Risk assessment screening will be conducted when the residents return to the facility.

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.

Update - Aged Care Direction No. 21 released - 15 January 2021

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.

Update - Aged Care Direction No. 20 released - 14 January 2021

14 January 2021

Queensland’s Chief Health Officer has released Aged Care Direction (No. 20) 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.

The following memo provides information about visitation guidelines for the following aged care homes which are classified as non-restricted:

  • Allora Homestead
  • Allora Nursing Home
  • Castra, Murgon
  • Karinya, Nanango
  • Illoura Village, Chinchilla
  • Leichhardt Villa, Taroom
  • Caloundra, Little Mountain

New changes under Aged Care Direction (No. 20), effective from 14 January 2021:

  • People who have been in Victoria on or after 21 December 2020 may now visit a non-restricted residential aged care facility. All visitors must still comply with the visitation guidelines that remain in place as below.

The following visitation guidelines remain in place for non-restricted aged care homes:

  • If you have been in Greater Brisbane on or after 2 January 2021, or within the last 14 days, you will not be able to visit the facility, unless you 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 you have been in a declared NSW hotspot (Northern Beaches region NSW and greater Sydney area), you will not be able to visit the facility within 14 days from when you left the hotspot unless you can provide a negative Covid 19 test taken in Queensland since your return.
  • 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

When visiting we ask that you:

  • wash your hands before entering and leaving the facility.
  • stay in the resident’s room, outside or in a specified area.
  • avoid communal spaces.
  • stay 1.5 metres away from residents where possible.
  • stay away when unwell
  • wear a single use surgical face mask if you have been granted permission to enter the facility under the exemptions to the Aged Care Direction restrictions.

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.

 

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.

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.

It’s important that we maintain an open dialogue with all our residents and families so that we can support and assist you in any way we can, and we’re thankful for the feedback you’ve given to us throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Update - Visitor restrictions for Queensland aged care homes - 8 January 2021

8 January 2021

Important information: Changes to visitation for aged care facilities within Queensland.

Due to a positive COVID-19 case in a member of staff of a quarantine hotel in Brisbane, the Queensland Government has today introduced further restrictions to aged care facilities to protect the health and safety of our residents and staff.

Visitation restrictions to aged care homes that ARE within the Restricted Area

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

As a precaution and due to their proximity to the affected regions, we are also considering the following aged care homes part of the Restricted Area:

  • Allora Homestead
  • Allora Nursing Home

In accordance with the Queensland Government Aged Care Direction, Part 3, additional restrictions now apply to visitation to these homes, including the following:

  • 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.

Visitation restrictions to aged care homes that ARE NOT within the Restricted Area

The following aged care homes fall outside of the Restricted Area:

  • Castra, Murgon
  • Karinya, Nanango
  • Illoura Village, Chinchilla
  • Leichhardt Villa, Taroom
  • Caloundra, Little Mountain

In accordance with the Queensland Government Aged Care Direction, Part 3, additional restrictions now apply to visitation to these homes, including the following:

  • Any person who has been in Greater Brisbane on or after 2 January 2021 must not enter any Residential Aged Care Facility in Queensland.
  • This measure applies until 6pm on Monday 11 January 2021.
  • This measure applies to general visitation only, and does not apply if the person is:
    • 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.

Please also be aware that the Queensland Government have advised that a resident who resides in a non-restricted area and travels into a restricted area, must abide by all restrictions and stay in the restricted area for the period of the lockdown unless they have an exemption from the Chief Health Officer or it is an emergency situation.  This includes a resident travelling from their aged care facility into a restricted area for an appointment.  If a resident lives outside of Greater Brisbane they can attend an essential appointment, but must stay for the duration of the lockdown period: under the rules they will not be able to return to the aged care facility.

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.

It’s important that we maintain an open dialogue with all our residents and families so that we can support and assist you in any way we can, and we’re thankful for the feedback you’ve given to us throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Update - Public Health Alert for Brisbane Locations - 7 January 2021

7 January 2021

Important information: Queensland Health have today issued a public health alert for various locations across Brisbane.

A positive COVID-19 case has been identified in a quarantine hotel employee who was unknowingly infectious from 2 January 2021 to 6 January 2021, and who visited the below locations during this time.

  • Train from Altandi Station, Sunnybank to Roma Street, Brisbane – Saturday 2 Jan, 7am
  • Train from Central Station, Brisbane to Altandi Station, Sunnybank – Saturday 2 Jan, 4pm
  • Woolworths, Calamvale North – Sunday 3 Jan, 11am-12pm
  • Coles, Sunnybank Hills – Tuesday 5 Jan, 7:30am-8am
  • Nextra Newsagent, Sunnybank Hills Shopping Town – Tuesday 5 Jan, 8am-8:15am

What should you do if you have visited these locations?

If you have visited any of the above locations during the indicated time periods, you should arrange to get tested as soon as possible, regardless of whether you have any symptoms.

You should self-isolate until you have received the results, and even upon a negative test result, continue to monitor your symptoms and get retested if necessary.

Continuing visitation guidelines

At this stage, there are no changes to restrictions on visitation to aged care homes and the most recent Aged Care Direction No 17 which came into effect on Monday 4 January 2021 continues to apply.

We will continue to monitor the directions released by Queensland’s Chief Health Officer and provide updates as they become available.

More information

 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.

Update - Aged Care Direction No 17 released - 4 January 2021

4 January 2021

Queensland’s Chief Health Officer has released Aged Care Direction (No 17) 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:

 Direction 17 came into effect from 1am, 4 January 2021:

  • After 1am AEST, Monday 4 January 2021, Queensland aged care facilities and disability accommodation facilities are closed to all visitors that have been in Victoria on or since Monday 21 December 2020 or left Victoria less than 14 days ago.
  • Visitors, staff and volunteers are not allowed to enter a facility if they have been in a COVID-19 hotspot in the last 14 days or since the hotspot was declared (whichever is shorter). Currently specific parts of New South Wales are hotspots. You can find out where the current declared hotspots are here.

 What does this mean for visitors?

  • Visitors who have been in Victoria on or after 21 December 2020, or within the preceding 14 days (whichever is shorter), may enter a residential aged care facility if the individual provides evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken in Queensland after returning from Victoria.
  • Visitors, who have been in a COVID-19 hotspot (NSW) within the preceding 14 days or since the hotspot was declared (whichever is shorter), may enter a residential aged care facility if the individual provides evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken in Queensland after returning from the hotspot.

Continuing visitation guidelines

The following restrictions on visitation to an aged care home continue to apply.

Visitors, staff or volunteers at the facility should not be anyone who:

  • is unwell.
  • has returned from overseas in the last 14 days.
  • has had contact with a person with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
  • has travelled to a COVID-19 hotspot in the last 14 days.
  • has been tested for COVID-19 and is waiting for the result.
  • 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.

There is no limit under this Public Health Direction on the number of visitors allowed at SCCQ’s residential aged care facilities (as we are not classed as a restricted residential aged care facility).

When visiting, to the extent reasonably practicable, visitors must:

  • Practice physical distancing; and
  • limit their contact with other persons at the facility.

The requirement to have the flu vaccination in order to enter the home has been removed, as the peak of the 2020 influenza season is over, and the vaccination is no longer readily available.

Continuing excursions and outings information are in accordance with the Movement and Gathering Direction No. 7:

  • Residents may now leave the facility for a range of reasons, including family gatherings of up to 50 people, receiving health care, attending a funeral, going shopping, socialising, visiting a service provider and going on an excursion with a group of residents.
  • Residents who are part of a family group (e.g. couples or siblings) or close friends can leave the facility together.
  • Risk assessment screening will be conducted when the residents return to the facility.

In accordance with the Protecting Residents in Aged Care advice received from Queensland Health, where you have visited or worked in any other residential aged care facilities (including other providers) within a fourteen-day period, you must wear a single-use surgical mask in all care areas (note that masks are not required in non-care, staff only areas of the facility).

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.

Update - Aged Care Direction No 16 released by Chief Health Officer - 19 December 2020

19 December 2020

Queensland’s Chief Health Officer has released Aged Care Direction (No 16) 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 (which is attached for your reference) are as follows:

What’s changed from 1am 19 December 2020:

  • Visitors, staff and volunteers are not allowed to enter a facility if they have been in a COVID-19 hotspot in the last 14 days or since the hotspot was declared (whichever is shorter). Currently specific parts of New South Wales are hotspots. You can find out where the current declared hotspots are here.

 Continuing visitation guidelines

The following restrictions on visitation to an aged care home continue to apply.

  • Residents may have as many visitors as the normal visitor rules allow at your aged care home.
  • The requirement to have the flu vaccination in order to enter the home has been removed, as the peak of the 2020 influenza season is over, and the vaccination is no longer readily available.

Visitors, staff or volunteers at the facility should not be anyone who:

  • is unwell.
  • has returned from overseas in the last 14 days.
  • has had contact with a person with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
  • has travelled to a COVID-19 hotspot in the last 14 days.
  • has been tested for COVID-19 and is waiting for the result.
  • 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 a person is attending a residential aged care facility to visit a resident, they must, to the extent reasonably practicable:

  • practise physical distancing;
  • limit their contact with other persons at the facility; and
  • stay away when unwell.

Continuing excursions and outings information are in accordance with the Movement and Gathering Direction No. 7:

  • Residents may now leave their residential aged care facility for a range of reasons, including family gatherings of up to 50 people, receiving health care, attending a funeral, visiting a service provider and going on an excursion with a group of residents.
  • Residents who are part of a family group (e.g. couples or siblings) or close friends can leave the facility together. Risk assessment screening will be conducted when the residents return to the facility.

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.

Update - New South Wales Northern Beaches COVID-19 cluster and visitation to Queensland residential aged care - 18 December 2020

18 December 2020

Important information: Queensland’s Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeanette Young has released guidelines regarding the New South Wales Northern Beaches COVID-19 cluster. The COVID-19 cluster in the Northern Beaches of New South Wales (NSW) has now increased to 17 positive cases. The areas of concern are listed on the NSW Health website.

As a result:

  • From midday 18 December 2020, anyone who has been in the Northern Beaches region since December 11 will not be able to visit Queensland residential aged care centres, hospitals or correctional facilities.
  • Anyone who was in the Northern Beaches region on or since Friday 11 December 2020 and is already in Queensland should get tested and quarantine in their home or accommodation for 14 days from the date they left the Northern Beaches.
  • Anyone who was in the Northern Beaches region on or since Friday 11 December 2020 and arrives in Queensland on a flight from Sydney after midnight, Thursday 17 December 2020, must get tested and quarantine in their home or accommodation for 14 days from the date they left the Northern Beaches.
  • Anyone who was in the Northern Beaches region on or since Friday 11 December 2020 and arrives in Queensland on a flight from Sydney after 1am on Saturday 19 December 2020 must go into hotel quarantine at their own expense for 14 days from the date they left the Northern Beaches, and get tested.

This includes both interstate visitors and Queensland residents returning home. Our screening tools have been updated to reflect this change and you will be asked about any travel to the Northern Beaches when you visit our sites.

Visitors, staff or volunteers at the facility should not be anyone who:

  • is unwell.
  • has returned from overseas in the last 14 days.
  • has had contact with a person with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
  • has travelled to a COVID-19 hotspot in the last 14 days.
  • has been tested for COVID-19 and is waiting for the result.
  • 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.

Thank you for everything you’re doing to help us. We really appreciate all the ways in which you’re helping us to protect the health and wellbeing of everyone in the SCCQ family.

Update - Aged Care Direction No 15 released by Chief Health Officer - 12 December 2020

12 December 2020

Queensland’s Chief Health Officer has released Aged Care Direction (No 15) 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 has changed from 1am 12 December 2020:

  • Visitors, staff and volunteers can enter a residential aged care facility if they have been in a safe travel zone country in the past 14 days. Currently only New Zealand is a safe travel zone country. You can find more information on Queensland border restrictions here.
  • A person may enter a facility if they are awaiting the result of a COVID-19 test taken for a surveillance testing obligation, and meet all other requirements under the Direction.

Continuing visitation guidelines

The following restrictions on visitation to an aged care home continue to apply.

  • Residents may have as many visitors as the normal visitor rules allow at your aged care home.
  • The requirement to have the flu vaccination in order to enter the home has been removed, as the peak of the 2020 influenza season is over, and the vaccination is no longer readily available.

Visitors, staff or volunteers at the facility should not be anyone who:

  • is unwell.
  • has returned from overseas in the last 14 days.
  • has had contact with a person with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
  • has travelled to a COVID-19 hotspot in the last 14 days.
  • has been tested for COVID-19 and is waiting for the result.
  • 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 a person is attending a residential aged care facility to visit a resident, they must, to the extent reasonably practicable:

  • practise physical distancing;
  • limit their contact with other persons at the facility; and
  • stay away when unwell.

Continuing excursions and outings information are in accordance with the Movement and Gathering Direction No. 7:

  • Residents may now leave their residential aged care facility for a range of reasons, including family gatherings of up to 50 people, receiving health care, attending a funeral, visiting a service provider and going on an excursion with a group of residents.
  • Residents who are part of a family group (e.g. couples or siblings) or close friends can leave the facility together. Risk assessment screening will be conducted when the residents return to the facility.

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.

It’s important that we maintain an open dialogue with all our residents and families so that we can support and assist you in any way we can, and we’re thankful for the feedback you’ve given to us throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Update - Aged Care Direction No 14 released by Chief Health Officer - 30 November 2020

30 November 2020

Queensland’s Chief Health Officer has released Aged Care Direction (No 14) 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 will change from 1am 1 December 2020:

  • The two person visitor limit has been removed. Visitor numbers are now determined by the normal visitor rules at each aged care home.
  • You can now enter an aged care facility without having the flu vaccination, as the peak of the 2020 influenza season is over, and the vaccination is no longer readily available.


Continuing visitation guidelines

The following restrictions on visitation to an aged care home continue to apply.

Visitors, staff or volunteers at the facility should not be anyone who:

  • is unwell.
  • has returned from overseas in the last 14 days.
  • has had contact with a person with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
  • has travelled to a COVID-19 hotspot in the last 14 days.
  • has been tested for COVID-19 and is waiting for the result.
  • 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 a person is attending a residential aged care facility to visit a resident, they must, to the extent reasonably practicable:

  • practise physical distancing;
  • limit their contact with other persons at the facility; and
  • stay away when unwell.


Continuing excursions and outings information are in accordance with the
Movement and Gathering Direction No. 6:

  • Residents may now leave their residential aged care facility for a range of reasons, including family gatherings of up to 50 people, receiving health care, attending a funeral, visiting a service provider and going on an excursion with a group of residents.
  • Residents who are part of a family group (e.g. couples or siblings) or close friends can leave the facility together. Risk assessment screening will be conducted when the residents return to the facility.

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.

It’s important that we maintain an open dialogue with all our residents and families so that we can support and assist you in any way we can, and we’re thankful for the feedback you’ve given to us throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Update - Christmas festivities guidelines at residential aged care homes - 12 November 2020

12 November 2020

As Christmas approaches, it’s often a time of festivity and fun in our residential aged care homes. We are looking forward to the love, connection and community that these festivities provide for our residents and their loved ones; however, the health and wellbeing of residents, families, staff and volunteers remains our highest priority.

Due to COVID-19, the Queensland Government has provided us with guidelines for ensuring that any Christmas celebrations are safe for our residents, staff and visitors. A fact sheet containing more detailed information is attached and outlines all measures Queensland Government has provided to us. A summary of the measures is as follows:

 Events in our aged care homes

  • We will continue to screen visitors to our aged care homes so that visitors, staff or volunteers at the facility should not be anyone who:
    • is unwell.
    • has returned from overseas in the last 14 days.
    • has had contact with a person with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
    • has travelled to a COVID-19 hotspot in the last 14 days.
    • has been tested for COVID-19 and is waiting for the result.
    • 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.
    • has not had the 2020 flu vaccination (unless it is unavailable to you).
  • We will keep records of all guests and visitors, including contact details, dates and times of the visit for contact tracing purposes.
  • We’ll take steps to ensure physical distancing is in place as follows:
    • 5m distance between groups.
    • Visitors will be asked to stay within their family groups and limit movement around the home.
    • This includes Santa Claus – this year, we won’t be able to hug or kiss Santa and he’ll need to observe physical distancing, too.
  • There are some limitations on the types of performances allowed that you might otherwise be used to seeing.
  • We won’t be offering buffet-style or shared food due to the risk involved, but we will ensure there is plenty of tasty food served in a safe way.
  • We’ll provide hand sanitizer at appropriate locations and ask that you practice regular hand hygiene. We’ll also ensure the necessary cleaning procedures are in place before and after the event.

 Excursions from our aged care homes

  • Residents are allowed to attend external excursions, such as an organised bus trip to see Christmas lights.
  • Physical distancing measures will be in place on the bus.
  • We’ll provide hand sanitizer to the residents, staff and volunteers on entry and exit of the bus.
  • When the excursion returns to the aged care home, we’ll ask residents, staff and volunteers to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before entry to the home.
  • Our staff will wipe down walkers and wheelchairs with the appropriate disinfecting procedures.

We know that this year has been challenging and difficult for our residents, families, staff and volunteers and we appreciate your understanding as we implement these protective measures.

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. It’s important that we maintain an open dialogue with all our residents and families so that we can support and assist you in any way we can, and we’re thankful for the feedback you’ve given to us throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

We’d like to wish you and your loved ones a happy and holy Christmas and a wonderful New Year, which we look forward to with quiet hope. We remain committed to serving you with dedication, energy and love next year.

Update - Aged Care Direction No 13 released with updates to COVID-19 symptoms - 5 November 2020

5 November 2020

Queensland’s Chief Health Officer has released Aged Care Direction (No 13) 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 (which can be found here) are as follows:

What has changed from 1am 3 November 2020:

  • Visitors are not allowed to enter a facility if they are waiting for a COVID-19 test result.
  • The list of symptoms that exclude a person from entering a facility have been updated and are listed below.
  • A visitor who has been overseas or in a COVID-19 hotspot can apply for an exemption to visit a resident who is nearing the end of life; permission from the operator of the facility will also be required.


Further details on symptoms:

The COVID-19 symptoms information was updated by Queensland Health on 30 October 2020 and are listed below, together with the current restrictions on visitation to an aged care facility.

Visitors, staff or volunteers at the facility should not be anyone who:

  • is unwell.
  • has returned from overseas in the last 14 days.
  • has had contact with a person with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
  • has travelled to a COVID-19 hotspot in the last 14 days.
  • has been tested for COVID-19 and is waiting for the result.
  • 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.
  • has not had the 2020 flu vaccination (unless it is unavailable to you).


Continuing visitation and outings information:

  • Residents can have up to two visitors at any one time. There is no limit on the number of visits allowed in a day or the length of each visit, and children under the age of 16 may visit.
  • Service providers, including hairdressers, health service providers and legal advisors may visit.
  • Residents may now leave their residential aged care facility for a range of reasons, including family gatherings of up to 40 people, receiving health care, attending a funeral, visiting a service provider and going on an excursion with a group of residents.
  • Residents who are part of a family group (e.g. couples or siblings) or close friends can leave the facility together. Risk assessment screening will be conducted when the residents return to the facility.

 

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.

It’s important that we maintain an open dialogue with all our residents and families so that we can support and assist you in any way we can, and we’re thankful for the feedback you’ve given to us throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Update - residents at aged care homes may now attend group social outings and excursions - 16 October 2020

16 October 2020

Important information: Queensland’s Chief Health Officer, Jeanette Young has advised that effective from 4pm today, Friday 16 October 2020, residents at aged care homes will now be able to leave the home to attend group social outings and excursions.

A summary of guidelines regarding resident outings is as follows:

  • Residents may leave the facility to attend small family gatherings of up to 40 people, undertake exercise, attend a funeral, receive or access health care or for end of life or palliative care.
  • Residents are requested to practice hand hygiene and social distancing while on outings.
  • Residents at a home may now as a group go out on social outings and excursions arranged by the facility.
  • Residents must continue to complete a screening questionnaire on their return.
  • A risk-based assessment will also continue to be conducted in relation to all outings.

We know that this will be exciting news for families who can now gather together more freely. We would ask that for the health and safety of all our residents and families that you:

  • Continue to observe social distancing.
  • Postpone your excursion or outing if you are unwell or have respiratory symptoms.
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue, then dispose of the tissue.
  • Wash your hands with lots of soap and water or use hand sanitizer when you come into the facility.

Thank you for everything you’re doing to help us. We really appreciate all the ways in which you’re helping us to protect the health and wellbeing of everyone in the SCCQ family. It’s important that we maintain an open dialogue with all our residents and families so that we can support and assist you in any way we can, and we’re thankful for the feedback you’ve given to us throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

Update - Aged Care Direction No 11 released by Chief Health Officer - 15 October 2020

15 October 2020

We would like to sincerely thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to comply with Covid-19 State and Commonwealth Government directions. The health and wellbeing of our residents and staff remain our highest priority. Queensland’s Chief Health Officer has recently released Aged Care Direction (No 11) and we are pleased to provide you with a summary of the Direction which is effective from 4 October 2020.

Much of this information remains the same as the previous Aged Care Directions, and you won’t notice a disruption to the current guidelines implemented in our homes. This is simply a reminder to you and your loved ones of the current guidelines which remain in effect.

 Visitation to aged care home residents

  • Residents can have up to two visitors at any one time. There is no limit on the number of visits allowed in a day or the length of each visit. Children under the age of 16 years can visit the facility.
  • Visitor screening and recording will be undertaken in line with Aged Care Direction (No 11) for unrestricted aged care homes.
  • All visitors should have evidence of a current flu vaccination or a medical exemption.
  • Service providers such as hairdressers or allied health workers may visit.
  • During business hours, our Reception will be staffed and visitors will be screened and logged as is currently the case.
  • When Reception is not staffed, the doors will be locked. Another staff member will admit visitors and undertake the screening and recording process. Thank you for your patience and understanding regarding this.
  • We continue to remind all residents, visitors and staff to practice social distancing.
  • Restrictions on communal/group activities and use of communal areas continue however we continue to add alternative lifestyle programs and activities, including using technology to promote social connectedness.

Residents leaving the aged care home

  • Residents can leave the facility for health appointments, exercise, small family gatherings (currently limited to 30 people, including close friends, in non-restricted areas), to visit a service provider (such as a hairdresser), to visit another residential aged care facility, to access end-of-life or palliative care and funerals.
  • Individual outings are permitted but group outings are not permitted.
  • If a resident would like to leave the home for an overnight stay, we will work with them to understand the possible associated risks.

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.

Update - restrictions to aged care homes relaxed in Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan City and other regions 24 September

24 September 2020

We would like to sincerely thank you for your patience and understanding regarding the recent visitation restrictions at our residential aged care facilities in the Brisbane, Ipswich and Logan City regions. The Chief Health Officer has announced that these restrictions have now eased in Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan City and other locations in Queensland, and the health and wellbeing of our residents and staff remain our highest priority even as restrictions are relaxed.  We continue to monitor the situation closely and, in keeping with the Aged Care Direction (No 10), we are pleased to provide you with a summary of the restriction relaxations which are effective from 1am, September 25 2020.

This announcement affects our residential aged care homes at the following locations:

  • Duhig Village
  • Stretton Gardens
  • Edens Landing
  • St Mary’s Raceview

 Visitation to aged care home residents

  • Residents can have up to two visitors at any one time. There is no limit on the number of visits allowed in a day or the length of each visit.
  • Children under the age of 16 years can visit the facility.
  • Visitor screening and recording will be undertaken in line with Aged Care Direction (No 10) for unrestricted aged care homes.
  • All visitors should have evidence of a current flu vaccination or a medical exemption.
  • Service providers such as hairdressers or allied health workers may visit.
  • During business hours, our Reception will be staffed and visitors will be screened and logged as is currently the case.
  • When Reception is not staffed, the doors will be locked. Another staff member will admit visitors and undertake the screening and recording process. Thank you for your patience and understanding regarding this.

Staff Movement

  • We continue to ask our staff that they don’t work for more than one employer.
  • If staff have worked at another aged care facility in the past 14 days, they must wear a single-use surgical mask at all times while on-site and at work.

Residents leaving the aged care home

  • Residents can now leave the facility for health appointments, exercise, small family gatherings (currently limited to 30 people, including close friends, in non-restricted areas), to visit a service provider (such as a hairdresser), to visit another residential aged care facility, to access end-of-life or palliative care and funerals.
  • There is no limit to the number of times a resident can leave the facility as long as it is for the stated purpose, which will be recorded as per our previous process.
  • Individual outings are permitted but group outings are not permitted. For example, a resident may wish to undertake an accompanied walk in the park.
  • If a resident would like to leave the home for an overnight stay, we will work with them to understand the possible associated risks.

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.

Update - Aged Care Direction No 10 guidelines for restricted aged care homes 18 September 2020

18 September 2020

Important information: Queensland’s Chief Health Officer has released Aged Care Direction (No 10) which provides us with further guidelines for protecting the health and safety of our residents and staff in aged care homes which are currently restricted. The health and wellbeing of our residents and staff remains our highest priority.  A summary of the details of the Direction are as follows and affects our aged care homes at the following locations:

  • Duhig Village
  • Stretton Gardens
  • Edens Landing
  • St Mary’s Raceview

Visitors

Visitation continues to be restricted, which includes restrictions on care and support visitors, contractors and suppliers.  However, we may now grant permission to visitors to enter the home to provide continuity of care to a resident that cannot be delivered electronically or by non-contact means, such as support from a primary carer to eat meals. End of life visits will continue to be supported. Please contact your Residential Manager to arrange visitation in these circumstances, as permission will be granted on a case-by-case basis.

Anyone entering a facility is required to wear a single use surgical face mask for the time you are on-site, which includes anyone entering to provide continuity of care and for end of life visits.

Where our staff, students and volunteers visit or work in any other residential aged care facilities (including other providers) in direct resident care within a fourteen-day period, must wear full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which includes a gown, gloves, protective eyewear and a single use surgical mask while on-site and at work.  Our entry screening checklists have been updated to reflect these requirements.

If you see staff, health care providers or contractors wearing any PPE (some may just be wearing a surgical face mask and protective eyewear), please be aware that there is no reason for concern and does not indicate that there is a case of Covid-19. It is simply an additional measure to protect residents from Covid-19, which has been stipulated in the Aged Care Direction (No 10).

Our residents continue to be restricted from leaving the aged care home except to receive health care, to attend a funeral, for an emergency or for compassionate reasons.

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 until the restriction is lifted. We want to reassure families that we will ensure that residents receive full care and support from staff during these times of restrictions. We’d love you to continue to connect with your loved ones using the video-conferencing technology on our iPads. Staff will assist residents with the use of the iPads to make this both an enjoyable and comfortable experience.

Thank you for everything you’re doing to help us. We really appreciate all the ways in which you’re helping us to protect the health and wellbeing of everyone in the SCCQ family. It’s important that we maintain an open dialogue with all our residents and families so that we can support and assist you in any way we can, and we’re thankful for the feedback you’ve given to us throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

We will continue to keep you updated as new information comes to hand. Thank you for everything you’re doing to protect the health and safety of everyone in the SCCQ family.

Update - restrictions to aged care homes relaxed in Gold Coast and Darling Downs regions 17 September

17 September 2020

We would like to sincerely thank you for your patience and understanding regarding the recent visitation restrictions. The Chief Health Officer has announced that these restrictions have now eased in certain locations in Queensland, and the health and wellbeing of our residents and staff remain our highest priority even as restrictions are relaxed.  We continue to monitor the situation closely and, in keeping with the Aged Care Direction (No 10), we are pleased to provide you with a summary of the restriction relaxations which are effective today, 17 September.

The residential aged care facilities where restrictions have now eased include:

  • Allora Homestead
  • Allora Nursing Home
  • Illoura Village, Chinchilla
  • Leichhardt Villa, Taroom
  • Karinya, Nanango
  • Castra Murgon

 Visitation to aged care home residents

  • Residents can have up to two visitors at any one time. There is no limit on the number of visits allowed in a day or the length of each visit.
  • Children under the age of 16 years can visit the facility.
  • Visitor screening and recording will be undertaken in line with Aged Care Direction (No 10) for unrestricted aged care homes.
  • All visitors should have evidence of a current flu vaccination or a medical exemption.
  • Service providers such as hairdressers or allied health workers may visit.
  • During business hours, our Reception will be staffed and visitors will be screened and logged as is currently the case.
  • When Reception is not staffed, the doors will be locked. Another staff member will admit visitors and undertake the screening and recording process. Thank you for your patience and understanding regarding this.

Staff Movement

  • We continue to ask our staff that they don’t work for more than one employer.
  • If staff have worked at another aged care facility in the past 14 days, they must wear a single-use surgical mask at all times while on-site and at work.

Residents leaving the aged care home

  • Residents can now leave the facility for health appointments, exercise, small family gatherings (currently limited to 30 people, including close friends, in non-restricted areas), to visit a service provider (such as a hairdresser), to visit another residential aged care facility, to access end-of-life or palliative care and funerals.
  • There is no limit to the number of times a resident can leave the facility as long as it is for the stated purpose, which will be recorded as per our previous process.
  • Individual outings are permitted but group outings are not permitted. For example, a resident may wish to undertake an accompanied walk in the park.
  • If a resident would like to leave the home for an overnight stay, we will work with them to understand the possible associated risks.

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.

Update - visiting restricted residential aged care homes this Father's Day weekend 4 September 2020

4 September 2020

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to follow the Chief Health Officer’s directions regarding restricted visitation to residential aged care. The health and wellbeing of our residents, staff and families is our priority.

We would like to remind you that the following facilities will continue to have restricted visitation this Father’s Day weekend:

  • Duhig Village
  • Stretton Gardens
  • Edens Landing
  • St Mary’s Raceview
  • Karinya Nanango
  • Illoura Village Chinchilla
  • Allora Homestead
  • Allora Nursing Home
  • Castra Murgon
  • Leichhardt Villa Taroom

In addition, our residents are not able to leave the home except to receive health care, attend a funeral, for an emergency, or for compassionate reasons.

We understand that this is a challenging time for families as you may not be able to connect with loved ones and spend time together as you normally would. We want to reassure families that we will continue to ensure that our residents receive additional opportunities for enjoyment during these times of restrictions.

We encourage connecting with your loved ones through technology where possible and our staff will assist residents with the use of provided iPads so that you can connect through a video call. We would also like hold a belated Father’s Day event once visitation restrictions are eased, where the celebrations we would usually have this weekend will take place at a later date.

We encourage all family and friends who would like to drop off any clothes, parcels or gifts for Father’s Day to please do so via Reception and we will ensure that it is safely handed over.

Please be aware that a support service exists at the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) if you or your loved ones have any concerns. They can be reached at www.opan.com.au or you can call the OPAN Advocacy Line on 1800 700 600 6am-10pm 7 days a week.

We know that this weekend in particular will be difficult for residents, families and loved ones and we will continue to love, care for and support all our residents. Thank you for everything you’re doing to help us protect our loved ones.

We would like to wish all fathers a happy Father’s Day from all of the team at Southern Cross Care Qld and we hope you stay safe this weekend.

Update - visitation restrictions in Darling Downs, Southern Downs, Western Downs, South Burnett, and Goondiwindi regions effective 31 August 2020

31 August 2020

Important information: Queensland’s Chief Health Officer (CHO) has asked that visitation to residential aged care homes in the Darling Downs, Southern Downs, Western Downs, Goondiwindi and South Burnett regions be restricted from 31 August 2020, until further notice. This precaution has been taken due to a number of new Covid-19 cases being confirmed in connection with the Brisbane Wacol cluster who have travelled into these regions. The health and wellbeing of our residents and staff remain our highest priority in complying with this request.

This affects our aged care homes in the following locations:

  • Castra Murgon
  • Leichhardt Villa, Taroom
  • Karinya, Nanango

The full list of our aged care homes who currently have restrictions in place is as follows:

  • Duhig Village
  • Stretton Gardens
  • Edens Landing
  • St Mary’s Raceview
  • Allora Homestead
  • Allora Nursing Home
  • Illoura Village, Chinchilla
  • Castra Murgon
  • Leichhardt Villa, Taroom
  • Karinya, Nanango

We have also decided to restrict visitation at the following aged care homes as a precaution given the proximity of the home to the area where positive Covid-19 diagnoses have been confirmed:

  • Caloundra Aged Care

Visitors

Visitation to the listed aged care homes is now restricted, which includes restrictions on care and support visitors, contractors and suppliers. End of life visits can be supported – please contact your Residential Manager to arrange visitation in compassionate circumstances.

Anyone entering these homes is required to wear a single-use surgical face mask for the time you are on-site, which includes anyone entering for end of life visits.

 Residents

Our residents can no longer leave the aged care home except to receive health care, attend a funeral, for an emergency or for compassionate reasons.

 Staff

We have taken steps to ensure that aged care employees at sites with restricted visitation do not work across multiple facilities. Staff are screened on a shift-by-shift basis asking about visitation to any declared Covid-19 hotspots or high-risk locations published by Queensland Health. All our staff are required to wear a single use surgical face mask while on-site and at work.

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 until the restriction is lifted. We want to reassure families that we will ensure that residents receive full care and support from staff during these times of restrictions.

We’d love you to continue to connect with your loved ones using the video-conferencing technology on our iPads. Staff will assist residents with the use of the iPads to make this both an enjoyable and comfortable experience.

Thank you for everything you’re doing to help us. We really appreciate all the ways in which you’re helping us to protect the health and wellbeing of everyone in the SCCQ family. It’s important that we maintain an open dialogue with all our residents and families so that we can support and assist you in any way we can, and we’re thankful for the feedback you’ve given to us throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

We will continue to keep you updated as new information comes to hand. Please contact your Residential Manager if you have any questions or to discuss your particular circumstances.

Update - visitation restrictions in Brisbane Metro South and West Moreton regions effective 22 August 2020

22 August 2020

Important information: Queensland Health’s Public Health Unit (PHU) has asked that visitation to residential aged care homes in the Brisbane Metro South and West Moreton regions be restricted from 22 August 2020, until further notice. This precaution has been taken due to six new Covid-19 cases being confirmed in connection with the Brisbane youth detention centre case.

This affects our aged care homes in the following locations:

  • Duhig Village
  • Stretton Gardens
  • Edens Landing
  • St Mary’s Raceview

We have also decided to restrict visitation at the following aged care homes as a precaution given the proximity of the home to the area where positive Covid-19 diagnoses have been confirmed:

  • Caloundra Aged Care
  • Allora Homestead
  • Allora Nursing Home
  • Illoura Village, Chinchilla

The health and wellbeing of our residents and staff remain our highest priority in complying with this request.

Visitors

Visitation to these aged care homes is now restricted, which includes restrictions on care and support visitors, contractors and suppliers. End of life visits can be supported – please contact your Residential Manager to arrange visitation in compassionate circumstances.

Anyone entering a facility is required to wear a single use surgical face mask for the time you are on-site, which includes anyone entering for end of life visits.

Residents

Our residents can no longer leave the aged care home except to receive health care, attend a funeral or for an emergency or for compassionate reasons.

Staff

We have taken steps to ensure that aged care employees at sites with restricted visitation do not work across multiple facilities. Staff are screened on a shift-by-shift basis asking about visitation to any declared Covid-19 hotspots or high-risk locations published by Queensland Health.

All our staff are required to wear a single use surgical face mask while on-site and at work.

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 until the restriction is lifted. We want to reassure families that we will ensure that residents receive full care and support from staff during these times of restrictions.

We’d love you to continue to connect with your loved ones using the video-conferencing technology on our iPads. Staff will assist residents with the use of the iPads to make this both an enjoyable and comfortable experience.

Thank you for everything you’re doing to help us. We really appreciate all the ways in which you’re helping us to protect the health and wellbeing of everyone in the SCCQ family. It’s important that we maintain an open dialogue with all our residents and families so that we can support and assist you in any way we can, and we’re thankful for the feedback you’ve given to us throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

We will continue to keep you updated as new information comes to hand. Please contact your Residential Manager if you have any questions or to discuss your particular circumstances.

Update - guidelines for wearing single-use surgical face masks at residential aged care facilities

19 August 2020

Last week the Chief Health Officer released Aged Care Direction (No 9) which provided updated guidelines for wearing face masks while onsite at a residential aged care home. We will continue to take precautions to protect the safety of everybody in the SCCQ family in line with this Direction and the health and wellbeing of our residents and staff remains our highest priority.

To reduce the risk of infection and in line with the Direction, we have implemented the following guidelines at our residential aged care homes:

  • Where our staff visit or work in any other residential aged care facilities (including other providers) within a fourteen-day period, they must wear a single use surgical face mask while on-site and at work.
  • All visitors are subject to this requirement to wear a single use surgical face mask, including visiting health practitioners, where they have visited any other residential aged care facilities within a fourteen-day period.
  • We’re asking that if you have visited any other residential aged care facilities (including other providers) within the past fourteen days, that you wear a single use surgical face mask while on-site.
  • Our entry screening checklists have been updated to reflect these requirements.

The following table provides a helpful summary of current restrictions in place.

Current restrictions in place:

Entry Criteria

Applicable to anyone entering the facility, including staff.

You must complete a screening questionnaire and have your temperature checked before you enter the facility.  You may not enter the aged care facility if you have:

·         Returned from over-seas or visited a declared Covid-19 hot-spot in the past 14 days;

·         Symptoms of respiratory illness such as cough, fever, sore throat, runny nose or a temperature of 37.5 or above; or

·         Not been vaccinated against 2020 seasonal influenza (unless you  have a medical exemption).

Visitors ·         Visits are allowed (provided they meet the entry criteria above).

·         Visitors must complete a screening checklist and have their temperature checked.

·         Up to 2 visitors at a time may visit, including children and young people – the number of visits is not limited.

·         Visitors must practice hand hygiene and social distancing.

·         If you have visited another aged care facility in the past 14 days, you must wear a single-use surgical mask at all times while on-site.

Resident Outings ·         Residents may leave the facility for small family gatherings, funerals and also for health care appointments.

·         A risk-based assessment will be conducted in relation to all outings.

·         Residents are requested to practice hand hygiene and social distancing while on outings.

·         Residents may be required to self-isolate on return subject to risk.

·         Residents must complete a screening questionnaire on their return.

Staff

Including Support Centre staff

·         Staff must practice hand hygiene and social distancing.

·         Staff who have visited another aged care facility in the past 14 days, must wear a single-use surgical mask at all times while on-site.

·         Staff must present 2020 proof of influenza vaccination unless medically exempt.

Medical and Allied  Health Visits ·         Medical and allied health practitioners may visit (provided they meet the entry criteria above).

·         Medical and allied health practitioners must have contact only with the resident/s they are visiting and must practice hand hygiene and social distancing to the extent possible and practical.

·         Medical and allied health practitioners who have visited another aged care facility in the past 14 days, must wear a single-use surgical mask at all times while on-site.

Contractors ·         Contractors should make deliveries without entering the facility where possible and practical.

·         Contractors must practice hand hygiene and social distancing.

·         Contractors who have visited another aged care facility in the past 14 days, must wear a single-use surgical mask at all times while on-site.

 

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.

Update - relaxations to restricted visitation in residential aged care homes and Aged Care Directive No 9 effective 11 August 2020

11 August 2020

We are pleased to let you know that Queensland’s Chief Health Officer has relaxed restrictions to aged care homes in the Brisbane City, Gold Coast City, Redlands City, Ipswich City, Logan City and the Scenic Rim regions, effective 11 August 2020. These relaxations to restrictions will be effective immediately and are detailed in the Aged Care Direction (No 9).  You can access the Direction here.

This means that restricted visitation to the following residential aged care homes has now been relaxed:

  • Duhig Village
  • Stretton Gardens
  • Edens Landing
  • St Mary’s Raceview
  • Allora Homestead
  • Allora Nursing Home

The health and wellbeing of our residents and staff remain our highest priority even as restrictions are relaxed. A summary of the details are as follows:

Visitation to aged care home residents

  • Residents may receive multiple visits per day, although only 2 people per visit are allowed. Children under the age of 16 may visit.
  • All visitors should have evidence of a current flu vaccination or a medical exemption.
  • Service providers such as hairdressers or allied health workers may visit.
  • During business hours, our Reception will be staffed and visitors will be screened and logged as is currently the case.
  • When Reception is not staffed, the doors will be locked. Another staff member will admit visitors and undertake the screening and recording process.
  • We continue to ask our residential aged care staff not to work across multiple facilities.
  • Staff continue to be screened on a shift-by-shift basis asking about visitation to any declared Covid-19 hotspots or high-risk locations published by Queensland Health.

Residents leaving the aged care home

  • Residents can now leave the facility for health appointments, exercise, small family gatherings of up to 20 people (including with close friends), visit a service provider, like a hairdresser, to access end-of-life or palliative care and funerals.
  • There is no limit to the number of times a resident can leave the facility as long as it is for the stated purpose.
  • When residents leave the facility, our Reception will record the outing including the purpose (or by another staff member if after hours).
  • Group outings are not permitted but individual outings are permitted. For example, a resident may wish to undertake an accompanied walk in the park.
  • If a resident would like to leave the home for an overnight stay, please discuss with your Residential Manager so that we can work with you to understand the possible associated risks.

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.

Update - restricted visitation to residential aged care homes effective 5 August 2020

5 August 2020

Updated information: Queensland’s Chief Health Officer has issued an Aged Care Direction (No 8) and has increased restricted visitation at aged care homes to include the Brisbane City, Gold Coast City, Redlands City, Ipswich City, Logan City and the Scenic Rim regions, effective 2 August 2020, until further notice. Furthermore today, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced the Queensland border will close to NSW and the ACT from Saturday, 8 August.

This affects our aged care homes in the following locations:

  • Duhig Village
  • Stretton Gardens
  • Edens Landing
  • St Mary’s Raceview
  • Allora Homestead
  • Allora Nursing Home

The health and wellbeing of our residents and staff remain our highest priority in complying with the Direction. A summary of the details are as follows:

Visitors

As we advised this week, visitation to these locations continues to be restricted, which includes restrictions on care and support visitors, contractors and suppliers.

End of life visits can be supported – please contact your Residential Manager to arrange visitation in compassionate circumstances. Anyone entering a facility is required to wear a single use surgical face mask for the time you are on-site, which includes anyone entering for end of life visits.

 Residents

Our residents can no longer leave the aged care home except to receive health care, attend a funeral or for an emergency or for compassionate reasons.

 Staff

We have taken steps to ensure that aged care employees do not work across multiple facilities.

Staff are screened on a shift-by-shift basis asking about visitation to any declared Covid-19 hotspots or high-risk locations published by Queensland Health. All our staff are required to wear a surgical face mask while on-site and at work.

We know that this continues to be a difficult for residents and families as it will mean you won’t be able to physically spend time together until the restriction is lifted. We want to reassure families that we will ensure that residents receive full care and support from staff during these times of restrictions. We will continue to arrange for you to connect with your loved ones using technology where possible.

Thank you for everything you’re doing to help us. We really appreciate all the ways in which you’re helping us to protect the health and wellbeing of everyone in the SCCQ family. It’s important that we maintain an open dialogue with all our residents and families so that we can support and assist you in any way we can, and we’re thankful for the feedback you’ve given to us throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

Please contact your Residential Manager to discuss your particular circumstances.

 

Update - Queensland Chief Health Officer increases regions affected by restricted visitation to residential aged care homes effective 2 August 2020

3 August 2020

Important information: Queensland Chief Health Officer, Jeanette Young has asked that visitation to residential aged care homes in the Brisbane City, Ipswich City, Logan City, Redland City, Gold Coast City and the Scenic Rim be restricted from 2 August 2020, until further notice. We have also decided to restrict visitation to Allora Homestead and Allora Nursing Home as a precaution given the proximity of the homes to the area where positive Covid-19 diagnoses have been confirmed.

 As a result of the Chief Health Officer’s request and the decision to take precautions at Allora Homestead and Allora Nursing Home, this means that all visitation, including contractors, family members, loved ones and anyone excluding staff, is restricted from 3 August 2020. Please note that exceptions may be made in compassionate circumstances. Please also note that anyone entering the home will be asked to wear a surgical face mask in line with government guidelines.

The Chief Health Officer has also asked for an enhanced screening process of all staff and that no staff are to work across multiple aged care facilities in the identified regions. We would like to confirm that we already conduct stringent screening of all staff and will continue to do so, and that we have taken immediate steps to ensure that staff are not working across multiple sites in our aged care homes located across the regions identified by the Chief Health Officer. You’ll also see our employees wearing face masks while working in the home, which we’ve been directed to do by the Chief Health Officer as an added precaution to protect the health and safety of our residents.

 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 until the restriction is lifted. We want to reassure families that we will ensure that residents receive full care and support from staff during these times of restrictions.

We’d love you to connect with your loved ones using technology. We’ve installed video-conferencing technology on our iPads so that residents can keep in contact with their loved ones. Staff will assist residents with the use of the iPads to make this both an enjoyable and comfortable experience.

 Thank you for everything you’re doing to help us. We really appreciate all the ways in which you’re helping us to protect the health and wellbeing of everyone in the SCCQ family. It’s important that we maintain an open dialogue with all our residents and families so that we can support and assist you in any way we can, and we’re thankful for the feedback you’ve given to us throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

Please contact your Residential Manager to discuss your particular circumstances if you feel you need to visit during this period.

Update - Queensland Chief Health Officer requests that visitation to residential aged care homes in the Metro South region be restricted effective today, 29 July 2020

29 July 2020

Important information: Queensland Chief Health Officer, Jeanette Young has asked that visitation to residential aged care homes in the Metro South region be restricted effective today, 29 July 2020, until further notice. This includes Duhig Village at Holland Park, Connolly Court at Edens Landing, and Stretton Gardens at Drewvale. We have also decided to close St Mary’s Raceview as a precaution given the proximity of the home to the area where positive Covid-19 diagnoses have been confirmed. The Chief Health Officer has also asked for an enhanced screening process of all staff and that no staff are to work across multiple aged care facilities. We would like to confirm that we already conduct stringent screening of all staff and will continue to do so, and that we have taken immediate steps to ensure that staff are not working across multiple sites in our aged care homes located in Metro South and at St Mary’s Raceview.

Reports have today confirmed there have been two new cases of Covid-19 detected in Queensland, brought into the state by travellers returning from Victoria eight days ago. In that state, we have seen widespread transmission within aged care homes with devastating consequences.

As a result of the Chief Health Officer’s request, this means that all visitation, including contractors, family members, loved ones and anyone excluding staff, is restricted from 29 July 2020. This decision has been made by the Chief Health Officer to maximise ongoing safety for the residents in their home. As we move to comply with this request from the Chief Health Officer, we know that it is important that our residents, their families and loved ones to stay connected.

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 until the restriction is lifted. We want to reassure families that we will ensure that residents receive full care and support from staff during these times of restrictions.

 Virtual visitation at our residential aged care homes

We’d love you to connect with your loved ones using technology. We’ve installed video-conferencing technology on our iPads so that residents can keep in contact with their loved ones. Staff will assist residents with the use of the iPads to make this both an enjoyable and comfortable experience.

 Thank you for everything you’re doing to help us. We really appreciate all the ways in which you’re helping us to protect the health and wellbeing of everyone in the SCCQ family. It’s important that we maintain an open dialogue with all our residents and families so that we can support and assist you in any way we can, and we’re thankful for the feedback you’ve given to us throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

Please contact your Residential Manager to discuss your particular circumstances if you feel you need to visit during this period.

 

Update - relaxations for visitation and updated requirements to encompass Covid-19 declared hotspots

22 July 2020

We are pleased to let you know that  the Queensland government revised its Aged Care Direction (No. 7), effective 10 July 2020,  to allow residents and families increased visitation options, relaxation of rules around leaving the aged care home for outings and an update to visitor restrictions given the current situation in Victoria and New South Wales. The most recent Direction outlines the following requirements:

Visitation to aged care home residents

  • Residents may now receive multiple visits per day, although only 2 people per visit are allowed. Children under the age of 16 may visit.
  • There is no limit on the number of visits allowed or the length of each visit.
  • Service providers such as hairdressers, legal advisors, allied health providers and mental health providers may visit.
  • As was previously the case, during business hours, our Reception will be staffed and visitors will be screened and logged as is currently the case.
  • When Reception is not staffed, the doors will be locked. Another staff member will admit visitors and undertake the screening and recording process.
  • We’re encouraging visitation to occur during office hours to reduce disruption to resident care.
  • Please note that some of our aged care homes still require bookings if you’d like to visit outside office hours so please contact your respective home to find out further information.

Visitor restrictions still in place

The following visitors may not enter a residential aged care home:

  • A person who has been in a declared Covid-19 hotspot in the past 14 days;
  • A person who has arrived from overseas in the past 14 days;
  • A person who has been in contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19 in the past 14 days;
  • A person with respiratory symptoms or with a temperature higher than 37.5 degrees; and
  • A person who does not have the current flu vaccination or a medical exemption.

Residents leaving the aged care home

  • Residents can now leave the facility for health appointments, exercise, small family gatherings of up to 20 people (including with close friends), to visit a service provider (such as a hairdresser), to visit another residential aged care facility, to access end-of-life or palliative care and funerals.
  • There is no limit to the number of times a resident can leave the facility as long as it is for the stated purpose.
  • When residents leave the facility, our Reception will record the outing including the above stated purpose (or by another staff member if after hours).
  • Group outings are not permitted but individual outings are permitted. For example, a resident may wish to undertake an accompanied walk in the park.
  • If a resident would like to leave the home for an overnight stay, please discuss with your Residential Manager so that we can work with you to understand the possible associated risks.

As hotspots are identified and declared by the Queensland government, we will continue to support government directives for anyone moving from a declared hotspot to self-isolate for 14 days.

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.

Update - relaxation of restrictions at residential aged care homes

18 June

We are pleased to let you know that the Queensland government has released restrictions with regard to residents being able to receive visitors and leave their aged care homes for outings. The new Public Directive, which is attached for your reference, outlines the following relaxations:

Visitation to aged care home residents

  • Residents may now receive multiple visits per day, although only 2 people per visit are allowed. Children under the age of 16 may now visit.
  • During business hours, our Reception will be staffed and visitors will be screened and logged as is currently the case.
  • When Reception is not staffed, the doors will be locked. Another staff member will admit visitors and undertake the screening and recording process.
  • Visits are no longer required to be scheduled in advance.

Residents leaving the aged care home

  • Residents can now leave the facility for health appointments, exercise, small family gatherings of up to 20 people and funerals.
  • Retirement Village residents may now visit a residential aged care home.
  • There is no limit to the number of times a resident can leave the facility as long as it is for the stated purpose.
  • When residents leave the facility, our Reception will record the outing including the purpose (or by another staff member if after hours).
  • Group outings are not permitted but individual outings are permitted. For example, a resident may wish to undertake an accompanied walk in the park.
  • Social leave overnight stays are not permitted.

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.

You can read more about the Public Health Directive here.

Update to Stage 2 restriction relaxations at retirement villages

11 June

On Monday 1st June 2020, Stage 2 of the Queensland government’s roadmap to easing Covid-19 restrictions came into effect.

Stage 2 primarily focuses on allowing slightly larger gatherings of up to twenty (20) people.

What do the Stage Two restriction relaxations mean for your Retirement Village Community?

Family, Friends and community

  • You can now have gatherings in your unit with up to twenty (20) visitors.
  • Access to shared facilities now allows up to twenty (20) people
    • Village swimming pool
    • Village library
    • Community centre
    • Workshops
    • Exercise classes/personal training
    • Hairdressing
    • Gyms
  • Unlimited travel and overnight stays within Queensland.

It is important that while restrictions are beginning to ease, the following continuing conditions will still apply within the village community:

  • Social Distancing – 1.5m and good hygiene practices
  • Stay at home if you are sick or unwell
  • Tracking and Tracing paperwork and controls for access to communal spaces for residents, visitors and contractors will remain in place.

Please be aware that restrictions to entering residential aged care facilities have not changed. This means that any facilities shared with a co-located aged care facility, such as a chapel, cannot be accessed at this time.

Thank you for your ongoing assistance and support in observing and abiding by the public health directions and controls. It has been greatly appreciated and has contributed to the safety and wellbeing of our residents and staff.  Your village manager continues to be your key point of contact through this time, and we will continue to communicate with you through the next stages of easing restrictions as we approach Stage 3 (10 July 2020).

Update to spiritual care and religious gatherings at residential aged care homes

11 June

As you will be aware on Monday 1st June 2020, Stage 2 of the Queensland government’s roadmap to easing Covid-19 restrictions came into effect, allowing up to 20 people to attend a religious gathering. Funerals can now have up to 50 mourners.

For many of our residents the restrictions placed on access to facilities and increased vigilance regarding infection control have been difficult. This is particularly true with regard to long held religious practices and worship. As a result of the Queensland government’s restriction relaxation, we are now in a position where we can cautiously increase some access to these services.

It is important to note that while some restrictions have eased we still need to comply with the Queensland government’s Public Health Directives which limit access to our aged care facilities. This means that no outside visitors, including retirement living residents, are able to attend church services or Mass which occurs within an aged care facility.

We recognize that continues to be challenging as we continue to comply with government requirements. Thank you for everything you’re doing to protest the health and wellbeing of our residents, clients and staff.

Priests-in-Residence who are on staff at a facility

  • Priests-in-Residence are considered staff members and are therefore are bound by the infection control measures required of all staff when they arrive at the facility.
  • They are also able to move around the facility, ensuring they comply with any infection control measures that are in place.

Visiting Chaplains/Priests/Ministers:

  • Visiting Chaplains/Priests/Ministers are considered under the Government regulations as general community members. Therefore, their entry into the Residential Aged Care Facility must be treated like any other visiting person’s entry:
  • Must sign a health screening checklist
  • Have their temperature checked
  • Clean and disinfect hands
  • Have evidence for a current 2020 flu vaccination.
  • They are also bound by visitor restrictions, remaining no longer than 2 hours in the facility.
  • They should not move around the facility – going directly to and from the Chapel or designated worship space.
  • Visiting Chaplains/Priest/Ministers are advised to talk to the Residential Manager prior to commencing Church Service/Mass, to be briefed on any protocols or requirements specific to the facility.

Church Services / Catholic Masses

  • Maximum number of Attendees is 20 – only if this can be achieved with the 4m2 spacing requirements.
  • Chairs/seating spaced or marked out 1.5m apart
  • Hand hygiene must be practiced before and after Church Service / Mass
  • No shaking of hands etc. when offering the sign peace
  • No wine to be distributed
  • Host to be given in the hand only
  • Priest must disinfect hands before and after Communion
  • Unwell residents & Clergy should refrain from attending
  • Names of all residents/Clergy and staff who attend Church Service / Mass need be recorded for each occasion
  • Chairs and common seating spaces to be cleaned & disinfected after each service
  • No use of communal Mass/Hymn Books etc.
  • This provision is available for Aged Care residents only. No outside visitors, including Retirement Living Residents, are able to attend. Separate arrangements can be made for Mass in the Retirement Village where possible.

Distribution of Communion to residents not attending Mass

  • Priests-in-Residence or Pastoral Carers (who are approved Extraordinary Ministers of Communion) can visit residents in their rooms and distribute Communion in accordance with the requirements as outlined for distribution of Communion during Mass (e.g. hand hygiene). A record of residents who receive Communion in their rooms should be kept.
  • If Visiting Chaplains/Priests/Ministers wish to visit residents for the purpose of distributing Communion they should first advise the Residential Manager. They will need to ensure they meet the requirements as outlined for distribution of Communion during Mass (e.g. hand hygiene) and keep a record of who they have visited.
  • All Clergy and Pastoral Carers should refrain from visiting unwell residents.

 

Any Chaplains/Priests/Ministers who are unwell must refrain from entering a facility.

Update to residents leaving residential aged care homes

1 June 2020

As isolation arrangements in the general community are loosened, we are receiving numerous requests from residents and their representatives about leaving the facility for social and recreational purposes.

However please be aware that the Queensland government has not changed the guidelines for residential aged care residents leaving the home: residents cannot leave the facility other than for health appointments, funerals and emergencies.

The Queensland Government’s Health Directive 4 states:

The Operator of an aged care facility in the State of Queensland must not permit a resident, excluding an end of life resident, to leave the facility except to receive or access health care, to attend a funeral, in the case of emergency or on any other compassionate grounds.

‘Facility’ for the purpose of this directive means the building and grounds. A resident can go outside provided they are within the boundaries of the facilities grounds.

A resident or their representative can apply to the Chief Health Officer for an exemption to allow a resident to leave the facility. Where compassionate grounds exist, a process is in place to consider requests on a case-by-case basis.

If a resident leaves the facility for a health appointment, the person must:

a) Be provided with a mask and encouraged to wear it during the outing
b) Travel directly to the appointment and then return immediately
c) Must self-isolate for 14 days or until a negative test is to hand.

We would like to clarify for residents and representatives that the requirement is Queensland law and that Southern Cross Care Queensland has no discretion, beyond compassionate grounds. You can read the directive at the following link:

https://www.health.qld.gov.au/system-governance/legislation/cho-public-health-directions-under-expanded-public-health-act-powers/aged-care

We appreciate your understanding and patience as we continue to follow government guidelines to protect the health and safety of our residents and staff.

 

Update to volunteer and pastoral care services at residential aged care facilities

22 May, 2020

In light of the Queensland Premier’s announcement to ease restrictions from 16 May, we have taken the decision to implement the following protocols in regards volunteers and pastoral care within our facilities. These protocols will be in effect until 12 June 2020 and are subject to change with any ongoing amendments to Queensland Health guidelines.

Pastoral care and other sacramental services will continue but with current precautions observed. We are required to continue to comply with the rules of one person per 4 square metres, 1.5 metres between people, and proper hygiene protocols. From a sacramental perspective the following protocols apply:

  • The celebration of church services and Mass continues to be suspended at this time. Residents can still access online services as required.
  • At sites with a Chapel, it is important that any container for Holy Water remains empty and all infection control measures are maintained.
  • Pastoral Carers have been provided with a Prayer of Spiritual Communion which they can share with their Catholic patients who are accustomed to receiving communion. Residents can check with their Pastoral Carer regarding any other prayer or reflection requirements they might have.
  • In regards the Sacrament of Anointing, priests must safeguard themselves and follow all safety protocols. Priests have been given permission to lay on hands by holding them above, rather than upon the head, so as to avoid physical contact.
  • Pastoral Carers have been provided, from Meaningful Ageing Australia, with a list of pastoral and spiritual care ideas for use during the pandemic to ensure that our residents continue to have their pastoral and spiritual needs met.

During this stage our current Volunteers can begin to transition back into visiting facilities providing they observe the protocols that have been outlined. Volunteers should contact their facility to discuss what the current arrangements are. Volunteers are subject to the Government’s visit exclusion requirements which state that a person is:

  • Unable to visit if no proof of vaccination for 2020 influenza – except if the person has evidence of medical exemption.
  • Unable to visit if recent exposure to a positive Covid-19 case.
  • Unable to visit if self-isolating due to travel overseas or interstate in last 14 days.
  • Unable to visit if current respiratory virus or flu like symptoms (including temperature of greater than 37.5 degrees).
  • Unable to visit if under 16 years age.

At this stage we will not be processing applications for new volunteers but will recommence this as soon as is practicable

Update to hairdressing services in residential aged care facilities

22 May, 2020

Hairdressing services will be resuming at each of the homes, where the hairdresser is able to meet all the requirements under COVID-19 restrictions and expected hygiene measures.

The managers at each of the homes are working to re-establish the hairdressing services, and where  this is possible, hairdressing services will commence from 1 June 2020.

A communication will be sent next week from each home to confirm their specific arrangements for hairdressing services at the home.

Clarification of current visitation guidelines at our residential aged care facilities

20 May, 2020

Southern Cross Care Queensland (SCCQ) continues to follow the directions issued by the federal and state governments and the advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) for residential aged care facilities in order to minimize the risk of a covid-19 infection. The health and wellbeing of our residents and staff remains our absolute priority and the following update is based on this latest advice and direction.

Restrictions on entry into an aged care home remain in place.
The following visitors and staff (including visiting workers) are not permitted to enter the home:
• Those who have returned from overseas in the last 14 days.
• Those who have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days; defined as anyone who has been in contact with a known case, including the 24 hours before the case became symptomatic.
• Those with fever or symptoms of acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath).
• Those who have not been vaccinated against influenza (after 1st May 2020).

Please plan visits to the home with your manager.

Everyone seeking entry to the home will be required to complete a health screening check prior to entry. We continue to ask for your understanding that visits should be planned in advance with the staff at your home, particularly in relation to the location and duration of visits. This is important as we take all necessary steps to reduce the risk of infection because:
• Every home needs to support reasonable access for all our residents and their families;
• We have a requirement to complete regular cleaning of visiting areas;
• Minimising movement through the home reduces the risk of transmission of any flu like illness such as COVID-19.

In relation to visiting your loved one the measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 include:
• Planning your visit in advance: please contact the home during business hours and make a time to visit;
• Visits need to be of a short duration of no more than two hours;
• Limiting visitors to a maximum of two visitors at one time per day, from immediate social supports (family members, close friends) or professional service or advocacy;
• Visits need to be conducted in a resident’s room, outdoors, or in a specific area designated by the home;
• Visitors are asked to practise social distancing where possible, including maintaining a distance of 1.5 metres;
• Children aged 16 years or less are only allowed to visit by exception, assessed on a case-by-case basis; for example, where the resident is in palliative care.

SCCQ encourage family members and friends to maintain contact with your loved ones, and staff at each of our homes will continue to provide a range of ways to support regular contact through personal visits, phone calls or virtual visitation. The situation for each resident and their family members is different, so we ask that you speak with the manager of your home to make the most suitable arrangements for you and your loved one.

Update on easing of restrictions at our Retirement Villages

14th May 2020

As you will be aware on Friday 8th May 2020, the Prime Minister announced the Australian Government’s 3 Step Framework for a COVIDSafe Australia. Following this, the Queensland Government made its own announcement of its roadmap to easing Queensland’s restrictions. Briefly, the roadmap outlines three stages:

Stage 1 is the first small step in connecting with family and friends; allowing groups of people to be together in homes and in the community. Business will begin to re-open, and more people will begin to return to work.

Stage 2 will primarily focus on building slightly larger gatherings, and the continuation of more businesses opening, with certain higher risk activities remaining with tighter restrictions.

Stage 3 will see a commitment to reopening of business and the community with minimal restrictions, but underpinned by COVIDSafe ways of living.

Please be assured that we are currently working through our internal actions in developing COVIDSafe Plans that support commencement of easing restrictions on May 15th 2020.

What do the current restrictions mean for your Retirement Village Community?

Family, Friends and community

  • You can currently have gatherings in your unit with current residents, plus two (2) visitors from the same of different household, or up to five (5) visitors from the same household.
  • Currently all Retirement Village shared facilities remains closed under current public health directions from the Queensland Government.
  • Hairdressing – We are currently finalising controls that would enable the resumption of hairdressing within village salons. In light of retirement villages being in the high risk demographic for infection, it has been our view that in order to protect the health and safety of our residents, salons would be closed. This is because they formed part of the village’s shared facilities, and under public health directives shared facilities would be closed.

What will Stage 1 easing of restrictions mean for your Retirement Village community on 15th May 2020?

Currently all shared retirement village facilities remain closed; however under Stage 1, some of these facilities can begin to open up to a maximum of 10 people.

Family Friends and Community

  • Gatherings in homes – maximum of five (5) visitors allowed at in-home gatherings
  • Gatherings of up to 10 people:
    • Village Swimming Pool (indoor and outdoor) use can recommence with controls in place
    • Village Library – access can recommence with controls in place
    • Community Centres – access can resume up to ten (10) people with controls in place
    • Chapels (if applicable) – access can resume up to ten (10) people with control in place
    • Workshops – access can resume up to ten (10) people with controls in place
    • Exercise Classes / Personal Training – Up to ten (10) people with controls in place.
    • Hairdressing – access can resume with controls in place.

Lastly, it is important that while restrictions are beginning to ease, the following continuing conditions will still apply within the village community:

  • Social Distancing – 1.5m and good hygiene practices
  • Stay at home if you are sick or unwell
  • Tracking and Tracing paperwork and controls for access to communal spaces for residents, visitors and contractors will remain in place.

Finally, it is vitally important that we work with your Residents Committee in seeking its assistance and support in reopening your village’s community spaces and amenities. I have asked your Village Manager to liaise with your Residents Committee in the coming days to discuss transitioning access to the village’s facilities.

These easing of restrictions will also bring a higher level of management responsibility and compliance for your Village Manager. I would ask that you support your Village Manager over the next few weeks and months while they work diligently and in your best interests, to ensure these facilities can reopen with the relevant controls and rules in place.

Your ongoing assistance and support in observing and abiding by the public health directions and controls will be greatly valued and appreciated while we set about restoring the full use of your wonderful village facilities.

Your village manager will be your key point of contact through this time, and I will continue to communicate with your through the next stages of easing restrictions as we approach Stage 2 (12th June 2020) and Stage 3 (10 July 2020).

Update as governments begin staged relaxation of some community restrictions

11 May 2020

Thank you for everything you’re doing to help us protect the health and wellbeing of our residents, families and staff during this challenging time of COVID-19.

Recently, the Federal and State/Territory governments have established staged plans for relaxing some community restrictions across the next three months. In light of this, we are also considering our plans to enable wider interaction with your loved ones in a safe manner at each of our homes.

Last week, the aged care peak industry bodies Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) and Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA) undertook a broad-based consultation to create a single, agreed-upon framework of how visitation to aged care homes might work. The goal of this consultation is to address the confusion experienced by many families and loved ones as to what the guidelines ought to be to maximise safety for residents, families and staff. This will also enable a consistent approach across all aged care homes in balancing health protection with the importance of visiting with families and loved ones.

We will be sending further a communication to you once this information has been made available to us this week, to clarify with you what this means for you in visiting the SCCQ home in which your loved one lives.

Please note that in particular the issues around volunteers attending the homes and hairdressing services resuming are under development and we hope to release further information regarding these services shortly.  Whilst we note that the hairdresser’s access is of particular concern, the process around reintroduction of services is being undertaken carefully to continue to protect our residents from the accidental and devastating impacts of a COVID-19  transmission.

Thank you again for everything you’re doing to help us protect the health and wellbeing of our residents, families and staff. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

Update to visitation over the May long weekend

1 May, 2020

In light of the upcoming long weekend and relaxation of travel restrictions on families from the State Government, Southern Cross Care Queensland (SCCQ) would like to reinforce our position on visitation of loved ones in our residential aged care homes as follows:

  • We acknowledge the revised restrictions of the Queensland Governments for non-essential travel within a 50 km radius from people’s homes.
  • We support a range of visitation methods to SCCQ homes based on exceptional or compassionate grounds through planned appointments – please contact your facility manager to discuss/arrange.
  • We support visits to your loved ones to be undertaken in the designated areas of the home, in line with government guidelines, that maintain 1.5m social distancing requirements and post visit cleaning requirements – please discuss with your facility manager what those options are in the home.
  • We continue to support the Government’s visit exclusion requirements which state that a person is:
    • Unable to visit if no proof of vaccination for 2020 influenza – except if the person has evidence of medical exemption.
    • Unable to visit if recent exposure to a positive Covid-19 case.
    • Unable to visit if self-isolating due to travel overseas or interstate in last 14 days.
    • Unable to visit if current respiratory virus or flu like symptoms (including temperature of greater than 37.5 degrees).
    • Unable to visit if under 16 years age.

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.

Flu vaccination requirements in 2020

29 April, 2020

On 18th March 2020, the Commonwealth Department of Health advised that due to Covid-19, there would be some additional requirements for visitors seeking to enter residential aged care facilities. One of these requirements is to obtain the 2020 flu vaccination.

From 1 May 2020, anyone who would like to enter or visit a residential aged care facility must have received a current flu vaccination. This applies to staff, visitors, health practitioners, volunteers and others including external contractors and suppliers.

Southern Cross Care Queensland (SCCQ) has provided free flu vaccination clinics to all staff and therefore please be reassured that we have taken this preventative step.

When you visit from 1 May, please bring with you proof that you’ve had your flu vaccination. Appropriate evidence may be a statement or record from a health practitioner; or an immunisation history statement available from Medicare online or the Express Plus Medicare mobile app. Alternatively, if you have a flu vaccination medical exemption, please bring this with you instead.

Once we’ve seen evidence for the flu vaccination, we’ll give you a card that will replace the need to bring your evidence with you each time you’re visiting your loved one – just bring your card with you.

Please also be aware that our current exclusion criteria remain in place in relation to planned visitations of your loved ones.

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.

Update to general visitation at Southern Cross Care Qld residential aged care facilities

23 April 2020

Recently, we took the step of ceasing general visitation to our residential aged care facilities to protect the health and wellbeing of residents and staff.  This week the Prime Minister made comments regarding concerns that residential aged care facilities were exceeding the government recommendations about resident isolation and wellbeing.

We’d like to reassure all our residents and families that we are following the Commonwealth’s recommendations in relation to restricting visitation.

  • We are continuing to facilitate planned visitation for the purpose of care and support in accordance with government guidelines. Visits may be undertaken in designated visiting areas or via virtual means which have proven to be very popular.
  • Residents spend time as they choose in their rooms, access common areas of facility or have time in the outdoor areas. We continue to provide a varied activities program having adjusted our group social and recreational activities to ensure we are observing social distancing guidelines.

We are trying to balance protecting residents while allowing reasonable visitation and general freedom and the health, safety and wellbeing off residents remains our absolute priority.

We are continuing to focus on the comfort and enjoyment of our residents by implementing a number of steps to ensure that our residents are able to remain socially connected with their loved ones. Some of the measures we’ve introduced include:

  • Virtual visitation using video-conferencing technology – please talk to staff at your home to book in a time;
  • Waving windows – a clear barrier that protects both the resident and visitor but allows face-to-face contact and conversation (pictured);
  • Additional Lifestyle and Leisure activities and programs;
  • Supportive pastoral care;
  • Access to communal areas for social interaction, albeit while observing social distancing requirements; and
  • We are continuing to facilitate planned visitation for the purpose of care and support in accordance with government guidelines.

Isolation is only necessary if a resident has symptoms of respiratory illness or is confirmed to have Covid-19, or has recently returned from hospital.

We’d love to hear your feedback, so please make sure you contact your Residential Manager if you have any questions or concerns.

We’ve also attached some Queensland Government fact sheets which will help to clarify any questions that you might have and to ensure consistency of information.

Some of the points the attached fact sheet cover includes:

  • Who can visit a residential aged care facility?
  • Do you need to have the flu vaccination in order to enter a residential aged care facility?
  • Why can’t children enter a residential aged care facility?
  • How can we support our loved ones while protecting them from the risk of COVID-19?

Fact sheet: understanding the aged care direction

Fact sheet: frequently asked questions

Thank you for everything you’re doing to help us. We really appreciate all the ways in which you’re helping us to protect the health and wellbeing of everyone in the SCCQ family. It’s important that we maintain an open dialogue with all our residents and families so that we can support and assist you in any way we can, and we’re thankful for the feedback you’ve given to us

All Southern Cross Care Qld residential aged care facilities are ceasing all general visitation until further notice

16 April 2020

Recently, we took the step of ceasing visitation to our residential aged care facilities on weekends to protect the health and wellbeing of residents and staff.  We have now made the decision that it is time to cease all general visitation to all our residential aged care facilities to maximise ongoing safety for residents and staff.

This is not a decision we have taken lightly, because we know that it is important that our residents, their families and loved ones stay connected. In making this decision, we have carefully considered:

  • Government guidelines and requirements on restricted visitation to residential aged care facilities;
  • The ongoing risk to resident’s health and safety from the threat of COVID-19;
  • The ongoing requirement for social distancing and avoiding non-essential travel as per the government guidelines; and
  • Feedback from residents, staff and representatives, the majority of whom have requested that we cease all general visitation.

All of our residential aged care facilities will cease all general visitation beginning at midnight, Friday 17th April and will not reopen to general visitation until further notice except for those families who will be able to continue undertaking some visits in compassionate circumstances.

Virtual visitation

We’d love you to connect with your loved ones using technology. We’re working on having technology available so that residents can keep in contact with their loved ones using video-conferencing. Staff will assist residents with the use of the technology to make this both an enjoyable and comfortable experience as they take up new ways to maintain their connectedness with you.

 Thank you for everything you’re doing to help us. We really appreciate all the ways in which you’re helping us to protect the health and wellbeing of everyone in the SCCQ family. It’s important that we maintain an open dialogue with all our residents and families so that we can support and assist you in any way we can, and we’re thankful for the feedback you’ve given to us.

Please note that in compassionate circumstances, we will endeavour to provide visitation on a case by case basis.  For those seeking exceptional access, please contact the Residential Manager at your site.

Our residential aged care facilities at Duhig Village, Holland Park, and Stretton Gardens Residential Aged Care are ceasing general visitation until further notice

9 April, 2020

Recently, we took the step of closing our residential aged care facilities on weekends to protect the health and wellbeing of residents and staff.  We have now made the decision that it is time to cease all general visitation to Duhig Village, Holland Park and Stretton Gardens Residential Aged Care to maximise ongoing safety for the residents in their home. This is not a decision we have taken lightly, because we know that it is important that our residents, their families and loved ones stay connected. In making this decision, we have carefully considered:

  • Government guidelines and requirements on restricted visitation to residential aged care facilities;
  • The ongoing risk to resident’s health and safety from the threat of COVID-19;
  • The ongoing requirement for social distancing and avoiding non-essential travel as per the government guidelines; and
  • Feedback from residents, staff and representatives, the majority of whom have requested full closure.

Duhig Village and Stretton Gardens Residential Aged Care will close to all visitation beginning Good Friday 10th April and will not reopen to general visitation until further notice except for those families who will be able to continue to undertake some visits in compassionate circumstances.  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. We want to reassure families that we will ensure that residents receive additional opportunities for enjoyment during these times of restrictions.

Virtual visitation

We’d love you to connect with your loved ones using technology. We’re working on having new iPads delivered to Duhig Village and Stretton Gardens, so that residents can keep in contact with their loved ones using video-conferencing technology. Staff will assist residents with the use of the iPads to make this both an enjoyable and comfortable experience as they take up new ways to maintain their connectedness with you.

Thank you for everything you’re doing to help us. We really appreciate all the ways in which you’re helping us to protect the health and wellbeing of everyone in the SCCQ family. It’s important that we maintain an open dialogue with all our residents and families so that we can support and assist you in any way we can, and we’re thankful for the feedback you’ve given to us.

Please note that in compassionate circumstances, we will endeavour to provide visitation on a case by case basis.  For those seeking compassionate access, please contact the Residential Manager at your respective site to discuss.

Our residential aged care facilities will be closed over the Easter long weekend

3 April, 2020

The health and well-being of residents and staff at Southern Cross Care Queensland (SCCQ) is our priority and we are closely following advice from the Department of Health, which publishes information and updates on its website at www.health.gov.au.

Recently, we took the step of closing our residential aged care facilities on weekends to protect the health and well-being of residents and staff.  This will also be the case over the upcoming Easter long weekend.

Our residential aged care facilities will be closed on the Easter long weekend from Friday 10 April – Monday 13 April to all visitation.

We know that it’s important that our residents, their families and loved ones stay connected. However, we have faced significant issues on weekends with supporting safe visiting to residents at the home in line with Department of Health guidelines.

We know that this will be difficult for families as the Easter long weekend is often a chance to connect with loved ones and spend time together. We want to reassure families that we will ensure that our residents receive additional opportunities for enjoyment during these times of restrictions and we’re taking steps to make sure our residents are staying busy and having fun with a smile on their faces.

Virtual visitation over Easter

We’d love you to connect with your loved ones using technology. We’re working on having new iPads delivered to all our aged care facilities, so that residents can keep in contact with their loved ones using video-conferencing technology. We will keep you updated on this.

Thank you for everything you’re doing to help us. We really appreciate all the ways in which you’re helping us to protect the health and well-being of everyone in the SCCQ family. It’s important that we maintain an open dialogue with all our residents and families so that we can support and assist you in any way we can.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to discuss them with your manager.

Southern Cross Care donates to Coronavirus clinical trials

31 March, 2020

The Chief Executive Officer of Southern Cross Care Queensland (SCCQ), Jason Eldering, is pleased to announce that SCCQ will donate $10,000 to the Coronavirus Action Fund.

The Coronavirus Action Fund was established by the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH) Foundation to raise funds for vital medical research and clinical trials, hospital trials and hospital staff support.

University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research Director and Consultant Infectious Diseases Physician at the RBWH Professor David Paterson said Queensland researchers are set to begin clinical trials of a potential treatment for COVID-19.

Professor Paterson has praised the RBWH Foundation and the launch of its Coronavirus Action Fund for its efforts in helping to raise funds to begin the clinical trials.

CEO Jason Eldering said that the donation demonstrates the commitment of SCCQ to working in partnership with the community, particularly when facing challenging circumstances.

“When we unite to achieve a common goal, we can achieve the extraordinary, particularly when we need to find ways to protect our community,” said Jason. “Supporting researchers to find a treatment is just one way we can demonstrate that the health and wellbeing of our residents, staff and volunteers is our absolute priority.”

SCCQ would also like to thank the residents, staff, families and the public for their support as restrictive measures have been rolled out across our communities. “To our wonderful families who have been very supportive and understanding, I’d like to say thank you,” said Jason. “To our amazing staff, who do such a great job looking after our residents every day, I’d like the say thank you. To the broader community who have been so encouraging and generous toward us, I’d like to say thank you. I understand that this is a challenging and worrying time for residents and their families, and I’d like to reassure you that we’re doing everything we can to protect, love and care for our residents.”

If you’d like to donate to the Coronavirus Action Fund, you can do so here: https://www.rbwhfoundation.com.au/coronavirus-action-fund/ and Jason is encouraging anyone who is able to donate now.

Advice regarding leaving residential aged care facilities from the Queensland government

27 March, 2020

We are continuing to monitor the changing situation with relation to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak and need to advise on recent changes to Queensland Government directions controlling access and entry to aged care facilities.

Residents leaving our facilities

  • the advice from the Commonwealth is that all Australians should only leave their homes for brief trips to either seek medical attention or get essential groceries, and that is what we’re asking of our residents and families;
  • residents entering the community for any period of time puts other residents at risk. For this reason the Queensland Government has issued a Direction under the Public Health Act 2005 (Qld) that aged care residents are not to leave the facility other than to receive or access health care or in the case of an emergency;
  • SCCQ has closed weekend visitation and restricted visiting hours to by appointment only; and
  • if a resident leaves one of our facilities for any reason, when they return, the resident will be isolated for a period of 14 days.

What happens if a resident is placed in isolation?

Making a decision to isolate a resident often needs to be made quickly and may mean that a resident is moved temporarily.

We will consult with affected residents and where appropriate, nominated representatives in the event that isolation in a different room is considered necessary.  We are mindful of our responsibilities at law and under the Services Agreement that we have with residents, and changes to agreements will need to be discussed with you and documented.  Following any period of isolation away from a resident’s room, we’ll make sure the resident is returned to their normal surroundings as soon as it is safe to do so.

We love, care for and support all of our residents, and will continue to do so to the very best of our ability in these uncertain times. The health and wellbeing of our residents, families and staff remains our utmost priority.

Thank you for everything you’re doing to help us protect everyone in the SCCQ family. We really appreciate that these are challenging and worrying times and are committed to doing everything we can to love and care for our residents and their families.

Visitation controls and restrictions for our Retirement Villages

26 March, 2020

As you will no doubt be aware, the Australian Government has put restrictions in place to protect elderly residents and workers in residential aged care facilities.

As an organisation Southern Cross Care Queensland has several villages which are directly co-located with residential aged care facilities. Within our retirement village portfolio, we also have a median resident age of 80 years which is the segment of the population that the government deems to be at high risk.

In view of the restrictions and protocols implemented within our aged care facilities, and the announcement by the Queensland Government that students should not attend school from 30th March 2020, we have taken the tough yet necessary decision to restrict visitation across all of our retirement villages accordingly.

Effective 5pm Friday 27th March 2020, the following people will be restricted from entry to our retirement villages:

  • People who have returned from overseas in the last 14 days
  • People who have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days
  • People with fever or symptoms of acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath).
  • Children aged 16 years and under (exemptions can be assessed on a case-by-case basis, for example, where the resident is in palliative care).

How will visitation be different?

The new restrictions are being put into place to protect you, and to provide reassurance to your loved ones and family members about how these changes will protect our residents, the village and the broader SCCQ community from transmission of disease.

These include:

  • Compulsory attendance by visitor/s to the management office / reception to complete the Visitation Checklist, before attending your unit.
  • Requesting your visitors limit their visit to a short duration.
  • Limiting your visits to a maximum of two immediate social supports (family members, close friends) or professional service or advocacy at one time.
  • Conducting visits within your village unit rather than in communal areas.
  • Requesting your visitors that if they are unwell in any way postpone their visit.
  • Requesting that children under the age of 16 years do not attend the village.

In addition to this, we would recommend that you and your visitors actively practise social distancing, including maintaining a distance of four-square meters at all times.

Ongoing Support

We understand the significant impact this difficult decision may place upon you, the village community and your families. This decision was taken to protect the health and wellbeing of all individuals within our communities.

Your Village Manager remains available to guide and support you where you have any need for assistance. The organisation fully supports your village staff, to love, guide and support you through these unprecedented times. If you need assistance while in self-isolation or social distancing, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Manager.

Thank you

Lastly, I wish to thank each and every resident and staff member within our Retirement Living villages. Your patience and understanding in the face of change is to be admired. Your acceptance of the responsibilities COVID-19 has placed upon each of us to protect the health and wellbeing of everyone in the SCCQ family has no doubt been challenging for us all. However, what has shone through has been remarkable: Our Community Resilience.

“Resilience – is the capacity of a system, enterprise, or person to maintain its core purpose and integrity in the face of dramatically changed circumstance.” (Zolli)

With the love and respect that you have for each other, for your village and staff and the wider community in which you are connected I know that we will come through these challenging circumstances stronger together.

Our residential aged care facilities are closed to visitors on weekends

25 March, 2020

The health and wellbeing of residents and staff at Southern Cross Care Queensland (SCCQ) is our priority and we are closely following advice from the Department of Health, which publishes information and updates on its website at www.health.gov.au

Following feedback we’ve received from our residential aged care facilities, staff and families, SCCQ will be implementing further measures to protect the health and wellbeing of residents and staff at our residential aged care facilities on weekends effective from 28 March 2020.

Our residential aged care facilities will be closed on weekends to all visitation from 28 March 2020.
We know that it’s important that our residents, their families and loved ones stay connected. However, we have faced significant issues on weekends with supporting safe visiting to residents at the home in line with Department of Health guidelines. As a result, we will be closing residential aged care facilities on weekends to all visitation commencing 28 March 2020.

We have increased our Lifestyle and Leisure activities program with additional funding to ensure that our residents receive additional opportunities for enjoyment during these times of restrictions. We understand that social and emotional well-being is just as important as physical health and we’re taking steps to make sure our residents are staying busy and having fun with a smile on their faces!

Please note that visits on weekdays during prescribed visiting hours will be by appointment only. To manage the needs of all residents, families are asked to pre-arrange your visits. Please continue to call our reception staff to arrange your visit. As an ongoing measure to maintain a safe environment for our residents and staff, we ask that if you are unwell or have flu-like or respiratory symptom, please postpone your visit until you are well.

Updated protective measures for residential aged care will be issued soon.
The Federal government have increased restrictive measures for visiting residential aged care facilities in the past twenty-four hours, and we will issue these new measures as a separate document very shortly and we ask that you please familiarise yourself with these measures.

Virtual visitation on weekends
Although you will not be able to physically visit with your loved ones on weekends, we encourage our families and residents to make use of virtual visitation. If you have an Internet-connected mobile device or tablet, you can use video-conferencing technology such as FaceTime and Zoom to connect with your loved ones. We have ordered a number of iPads for our facilities for the use of residents in this way and we will let you know when these arrive.

Thank you for everything you’re doing to help us. We really appreciate all the ways in which you’re helping us to protect the health and wellbeing of everyone in the SCCQ family. It’s important that we maintain an open dialogue with all our residents and families so that we can support and assist you in any way we can.

Woolworths launches Priority Assistance for vulnerable customers

20 March, 2020

Woolworths have launched a Priority Assistance home delivery option for senior Australians and other vulnerable members of our community. This will enable groceries, fresh food and household items to be delivered to you. If you would like to be part of this, you will need to login at the link below and complete a form. SCCQ is already assisting many of our Community Care clients to access this service. If you’re an SCCQ resident and would like assistance with this service, please talk to your management team.

Woolworths Priority Assistance

Updated advice from the Commonwealth government – restrictions on visitation to residential aged care

18 March 2020

The health and wellbeing of residents and staff at Southern Cross Care Queensland (SCCQ) is our priority and we are closely following advice from the Department of Health, which publishes information and updates on its website at www.health.gov.au.

Following recent updates from the Federal government and feedback from families, SCCQ will be implementing further measures to protect the health and wellbeing of residents and staff at our residential aged care facilities effective from 19 March 2020.

Visiting our residential aged care facilities

We know that it’s important that our residents, their families and loved ones stay connected. However, we are taking measures to restrict access so that we can prevent the transmission of disease. We are also communicating these measures with contractors, residents, families and other regular visitors to our sites to share the same expectations. These measures include:

  • We have identified a single point of entry and exit, and all visitors will need to check-in and check-out at this point.
  • All visitors will be screened upon entry with questions about recent travel, contact with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and any current symptoms of illness.
  • We will soon be asking for details of flu vaccination as after 1 May 2020, this will be a condition of entry to the facility.
  • We’ll help all visitors with correct hand hygiene and cough/sneeze etiquette when they check-in and when they leave the facility.
  • Visits to our residential aged care facilities will be restricted to identified time periods.
  • Visits are limited to two visitors per day during the visiting hours. This is designed to minimise the number of potential exposures.
  • A schedule of our visiting hours will be available on our website sccqld.com.au. This may change from time to time and we encourage you to check before visiting.
  • Visitors may include family members, close friends and any social support the resident currently enjoys. Consistent with advice from the Government, we discourage visits by children under 16 years of age.
  • Visitors will be invited to spend time with the resident in their room or in identified outdoor spaces away from communal areas.

As an ongoing measure to maintain a safe environment for our resident and staff, we ask that if you are unwell or have flu-like or respiratory symptom, please postpone your visit until you are well.

Activities and outings

Our leadership team, Lifestyle and Leisure staff and pastoral carers are working hard to ensure that our residents continue to enjoy great care, social interaction and fun activities. Unfortunately, we will have to restrict some activities in accordance with the advice from the Government:

  • All large group activities, outings and entertainment is currently cancelled except in special circumstances.
  • Any school group visits have been cancelled.

We would like to assure our residents and family members that we will continue to provide high quality, compassionate care to our residents. We understand that this is a challenging and worrying time for residents and their families, and we’d like to reassure you that we’re doing everything we can to protect, love and care for our residents.

Thank you for working with us to protect the health and wellbeing of our residents, staff and volunteers which is, after all, our absolute priority. We will continue to provide updated information as it comes to hand. We encourage you to check our website for updates at www.sccqld.com.au.

Advice on the developing COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak

13 March, 2020

Southern Cross Care Queensland (SCCQ) would like to update our residents, families, staff and stakeholders about the current situation regarding COVID-19 (also known as the coronavirus) and other stringent infection control measures as we head into the flu season. We also want to let you know what we’re doing to help protect the health of our residents, families and staff.

The health and wellbeing of our residents and staff is our priority and we are closely following advice from the Department of Health, which publishes information and updates on its website at www.health.gov.au.

You may see signs across our site regarding visiting any of our sites if you are unwell. This reflects the current advice from the Australian Government which recommends:
• Anyone who has returned from a country or region that is at high or moderate risk for coronavirus should immediately self-isolate for 14 days.
• Anyone who comes into contact with a person with suspected or confirmed coronavirus should immediately self-isolate for 14 days.
• Anyone who is unwell or showing symptoms of illness should seek medical advice.

This advice from the Australian Government applies to all persons including anyone living in, working in or visiting our residential aged care facilities, retirement villages and community care network. We are also communicating with contractors and other regular visitors to our facilities to share the same expectations.

COVID-19 is of course not the only infection risk for our residents as we head into flu season. As the health authorities advise, the best way to protect against transmission of infections including rotavirus, influenza or COVID-19 is good hand and respiratory hygiene practices:

• Wash hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitiser. We have these available extensively across our services to supplement your personal hygiene practices when you are visiting;
• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or flexed elbow when coughing or sneezing and dispose of tissues in a bin immediately after use, followed by handwashing and/or sanitisation;
• Avoid contact with anyone who has symptoms such as fever, a cough, sore throat, fatigue and shortness of breath; and
• Consider getting the flu vaccination.

For the sake of the health and wellbeing of our residents and staff, we would kindly ask you to avoid attending our service if you are feeling unwell. Even a quick 5 minute visit from an unwell visitor can have a significant effect in spreading infection across our community.

If you are visiting, please be prepared to answer questions relating to the risks identified above, and be assured that we are doing this to look after our residents, staff, volunteers and other visitors.
These measures are in place to ensure that we are doing, and you feel that we are doing all that we can to reduce the likelihood of respiratory or other illnesses affecting our facility.

Globally the COVID-19 situation and the advice from the Australian and Queensland Governments is changing rapidly. We want to reassure you that we are closely following all published advice and ensuring it is implemented across all our services. We would encourage you to do the same, with all updates available at www.health.gov.au

Thank you for assisting us to protect the health and wellbeing of our residents, staff and volunteers which is, after all, our absolute priority. We will continue to provide updated communication regarding all respiratory illnesses that may affect our facility and we encourage you to continue to check back at this page for more updates.

Resources and Links

Department of Health Updates
Fact sheets