We are writing to update residents in PAC residential aged care homes, as well as their nominated representatives and families, on new restrictions that were announced today by the Australian Government on visitors to aged care facilities. All aged care facilities must now enforce limitations on visitors, with all visits to be of short duration and visits limited to a maximum of two visitors at one time per day.
We recognise the high value many of our residents place on visits by their family, friends and loved ones, however reducing the number of visitors reduces the chances of the COVID-19 virus entering the care home and being transmitted to the residents and staff.
New Restrictions on Visitors to Residential Care Facilities
- No one should enter a PAC residential care facility if they are feeling unwell, including a sore throat, cough or have signs of respiratory symptoms. If showing any of these signs you will not be permitted entry.
- Entry to visitors at all PAC Residential homes will be restricted to immediate social supports, family members, close friends or advocacy workers – children under 16 will only be allowed by exception.
- Only 2 people to visit at once to each person each day.
- Visits will be limited to 15 minutes at a time – this is the recommended duration to reduce the chance of the virus spreading.
- Each site will only have one entrance open to allow for appropriate screening measures of visitors entering the home.
- All visitors will be asked questions upon entry, such as whether they have recently travelled overseas, have had contact with anyone who could have COVID-19 and if they are feeling well and observations on hand hygiene will also be made at entry and throughout a visit. Temperature checking will also occur before admission to the site is granted.
- Visitors must sign a visitor’s book and provide their details.
- Visiting in end-of-life circumstances will be done on a case-by-case basis, however social distancing rules will still apply.
- Weekends and evenings will have reduced visiting times set by the site. An additional PAC staff member will be available to conduct screening checks and to greet, check and accompany visitors to the resident. However, we are encouraging visitors to avoid visiting out of hours as wait times to enter the home might be longer due to the checks which must now be conducted.
- When visiting social distancing applies meaning please keep a distance of 1.5m at all times while visiting your loved one, even if visiting in their rooms.
- All visits must be conducted in a resident room, outdoors, or in an area designated for such visits. No visits should occur in communal areas.
- Please frequently clean your hands during the visits.
- All large group visits to residential care homes will be cancelled, such as school children visits, and we have also cancelled all outings into the community.
- All outside group activities will be cancelled, with no outside entertainers or volunteers permitted to run activities.
- Small group activities may occur in the homes, however all materials used and surfaces will be thoroughly cleaned and social distancing of 1.5m between residents applies.
We thank you in advance for your co-operation.
If you have any questions, please ask PAC staff who will be happy to assist.
Paul Sadler, CEO
18 March 2020