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