CEO Update - Letter to Residents, Families & Advocates
19 June, 2020
Dear valued Residents, Families and Advocates,
I want to once again thank you for your ongoing patience and understanding as we all work together to protect our community from COVID-19.
Masonic Care Tasmania (MCT) continues to be directed by the Tasmanian Government regarding visitors to aged care facilities in Tasmania. Last night the Tasmanian Premier put out a press release regarding some easing of restrictions in aged care services. We have not yet received the new direction, which is the legislative instrument, but I wanted to let you know as soon as I could about the announced changes.
Effective Monday 22nd June 2020 our residential aged care residents will be able to leave their homes to attend events with family and friends. This will obviously be a great relief to our residents and their family and friends.
The requirement to adhere to the public health guidance in the community will remain important with regards to social distancing, hand hygiene etc. The sign in and sign out processes of MCT facilities will remain in place, together with the obligation to answer a number of health-related screening questions that are asked of all people (residents, visitors and staff) upon (re)entry.
Family and friends will now be able to visits their loved ones for an unlimited time, and for more than one visit but there continues to be limit of 2 visitors a day. Public health advice is that visits should continue to be in resident’s rooms only. MCT will cease our booking system for in-house visits with immediate effect.
In order to comply with this easing of restrictions, and maintain the health and safety of all residents and staff, we will need your assistance and support to enable a smooth and efficient transition from the existing arrangements.
Following resident feedback, and to allow us to undertake our necessary additional cleaning regime, we have made changes to the visiting hours of our residential aged care facilities which will now be 10.00am to 6.00pm Monday to Friday, and from 10.00am to 4.00pm on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays.
Please note the following with regards to the new easing of restrictions:
1. There will be a maximum of two visitors per day, for each resident. Time limits will not apply to these visits. It would be greatly appreciated if you and your family and/or friends could coordinate visits to ensure that no more than two visitors a day arrive at the facility. This will prevent our staff having to turn anyone away.
2. Visits will be held in the resident’s room. Please go directly to and from your loved one’s room. Please do not spend time in the communal spaces as this will allow the other residents to continue to move freely throughout the facility.
3. There will be one single point of entry through the main reception at each facility.
4. Each visitor will need to supply proof that they have had the 2020 flu vaccination. These can be sent in any time to firstname.lastname@example.org or brought with you on your first visit.
5. We will take your temperature using a no-touch infra-red thermometer to screen for signs of fever upon entry.
6. This will be supported by a number of health-related screening questions for you to answer, and to sign a self-declaration.
7. Please continue to practice good hand hygiene and use the sanitizer gel at reception before and after your visit, and maintain social distancing measures (1.5m apart).
8. You will need to sign in and out of the MCT facility upon arrival and departure.
We are delighted to advise that children aged 16 years and under will be permitted to visit residential aged care facilities, provided that they have had, and provide evidence of their 2020 flu vaccination.
Of course, if you feel unwell or have flu-like symptoms, please do not visit. With the easing of restrictions underway, it is important now, more than ever, that we maintain our vigilance to prevent the spread of this virus and any other winter infections.
We ask for your patience and understanding when you visit our facilities. Please allow additional time for our dedicated staff to sign you in and out and to undertake screening. If there is a delay entering the facility due to a queue please maintain social distancing and treat our staff with respect, they will be doing their absolute best to keep things flowing.
It is important to understand that MCT must continue to manage our COVID-19 safety measures, which include mandatory flu vaccination documentation, additional cleaning, entry and exit requirements and adherence to all government directions. If at any time in the future the Directions regarding the management of COVID-19 change, we will let you know as soon as possible.
Please be assured that we are here to support you and your loved ones. If you have any questions or concerns about your own visiting arrangements, please contact your Facility Manager directly.
We appreciate your continued patience and understanding at this time and thank you in advance for your cooperation.
Chief Executive Officer
Masonic Care Tasmania