COVID-19 News

Update on COVID-19 outbreak (Freemasons)
8 April, 2022

 Dear Residents, Families and Advocates 

Update on COVID-19 outbreak – Freemasons Home 

I write further to my letter of 5 April to provide you with an update on the COVID-19 outbreak at Freemasons Home. 

As you are aware, yesterday (Thursday 7 April, 2022) a full sweep of PCR testing was conducted across the facility. We have now received these results and unfortunately it has been confirmed we have a further 10 residents who have tested positive, bringing our total number of COVID positive residents to 41. All Residents who have tested positive will be offered Anti-Viral medication in consultation with their GP. 

The Residents and their families have been informed and are receiving our ongoing support. If our team has not contacted you, rest assured that the impacted Residents are not your loved one. 

Following this result, the Department of Health has been confirmed that further rounds of PCR testing will be undertaken for all residents (excepting those residents who have already tested positive) this coming Sunday 10 April and again on Wednesday 13 April 2022. We will also be continuing to strongly encourage all residents to stay in their rooms and we continue to work with our physiotherapists and other allied health professionals to ensure that all Residents have access to these services. 

Resident Outings 

On our Family Forum earlier this week we had a number of questions relating to whether Residents are able to attend outings and events external to the Home. We have received advice from the Department of Health that, given the outbreak, all Residents are considered close contacts and therefore are restricted from leaving the facility for reasons other than medical appointments. We know this will be upsetting for many families with personal milestone celebrations and the Easter holiday period coming up. 

We will be continuing to welcome each resident’s nominated visitor who will be required to undertake a RAT on arrival and to wear a N95 mask and eye protection during their visit. Of course, as always, if you are a nominated visit and you feel unwell in anyway, please do not attend the Home. 

It is also important to reiterate the message we gave through our Family Forum earlier this week that management of outbreaks and advice given to providers across the State will differ. This is because the guidance and management is bespoke to each facility and considers a range 

of factors including facility layout and geography, number of positive cases and exposure risk. 

Workforce impacts 

In addition to the impacted residents, we now have a number of staff furloughing as either positive cases themselves or as close contacts. I want to reassure you that, whilst the impact on our workforce does bring challenges, we are maintaining appropriate staffing levels across all services and, in particular, with respect to our clinical staff. I would like to use this opportunity to advise we have also taken the steps of accessing additional resources through both the Commonwealth Government and Australian Defence Force (ADF) and we will be welcoming an additional 2 Registered Nurses from the Commonwealth in the coming days and are awaiting confirmation of an additional 3 Enrolled Nurses from the ADF late next week. I can also confirm that all staff will be continuing to RAT upon arrival and wear full Personal Protection Equipment. 

In closing and recognising this is a difficult and distressing time with an environment that is rapidly changing, please be assured that we will keep you up to date and provide ongoing communications as and when matters change. 

Yours sincerely 

Katie Cooley 

Chief Operations Officer 

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