CURRENT COVID-19 UPDATE
17 September 2020
Thank you for your understanding and continued support as we cope with this global pandemic and its outcome to our communities.
Taking into account the recent news and updates on the Coronavirus outbreak, our number one priority is to establish strong preventative measures to help protect all involved but certainly the most vulnerable, the residents. We hope that you find these updates a helpful tool of informative communication.
Stringent Safety Measures
Our teams in all states continue to abide by the requirements and stipulations imposed by Aged Care Facilities as we continue to support them in these trying times. Maintaining enhanced infection control practices including hand hygiene, increased touch point cleaning and health screening of every team member before every shift.
We thank you for your continued support and together we can keep those in our care safe, supported and well. You may check State and Territory websites for the rules where you live and refer to your local state government for the latest responses to the coronavirus pandemic through the link below.
Third Step Restrictions – Regional Victoria
From 11:59pm 16 September, regional Victoria moved from Second Step restrictions to Third Step restrictions.
Under Third Step restrictions:
- There are no restrictions on the reasons you can leave home.
- There are no restrictions on how far you can travel within regional Victoria.
- If you can work from home you must work from home.
- You must wear a face covering when you leave home.
Restrictions are changing as part of the steps to reopening. It is important for us to stay safe as restrictions ease and continue to remain vigilant at all times.
Living The New Normal
As governments around Australia make cautious moves towards lifting COVID-19 restrictions, Australians have worked together to contain the spread of COVID-19.
As we continue to work together to make the ‘new normal’ as safe and enjoyable as possible, we should keep in mind that it is still very important to take safety precautions while re-introducing people and places to our daily lives.
Below are some practical tips for you and your loved ones to help you get the hang of living in the new normal.
- Wear a face covering in public places.
- Remember to keep up your hand hygiene by washing or sanitising your hands as often as possible.
- Make only essential shopping trips.
- Continue to check in on your friends and family near and far, through video chats and phone calls.
- Social distance as much as possible.
- Engage in some kind of physical activity whenever you can to help your mental and physical well-being.
- Stay positive and remember to take some time away from the media, social media and your devices.
Always remember to use caution and good judgment anytime you are out in public to help keep yourself and your loved ones healthy and safe.
Let us all continue to work together to ensure we are doing the right thing for our friends, family and our community.
Advice On Wearing A Mask
Wearing a face mask in the state of Victoria is mandatory whenever leaving home unless an exemption applies. This is because of the higher rates of community transmission of coronavirus there. See the Victorian government’s advice on masks.
If you are in a region where community transmission is occurring, you should take extra precautions in some circumstances. Wearing a mask can help protect you and those around you. Most especially if you are in an area where physical distancing is not possible, like on public transport.
It is important to stay across the advice for your area. For more information on the wearing of face masks, you may click on the link below.
COVID-19 has impacted people in varying ways and it is understandable that going into self-isolation or quarantine may feel very daunting. Fear and anxiety about the pandemic can be overwhelming and may cause a strong wave of emotions. It’s important to stay connected with friends and family at this time to reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.
And while it is important to stay informed, the following are some mental health and well-being tips and strategies to continue looking after ourselves and each other during these difficult times.
- Remind yourself that this is a temporary period of isolation to slow the spread of the virus.
- Remember that your effort is helping others in the community avoid contracting the virus.
- Routines sound dull, but they’re good for our mental health. Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time, eat at regular times, shower, and change your clothes. This will help you to manage your days and adjust when life starts to go back to normal.
- Try to maintain physical activity.
- Manage your stress levels, and if needed, increase your coping strategies (for example, listening to music, watching your favourite shows, meditation or exercise).
- Keep taking your medication. Phone or email your GP or pharmacist to find out how to get any new prescriptions you may need. If you’re staying at home and that’s disrupting your routine, set reminders to take your medicine when you need to.
- For those already managing mental health issues, continue to take any prescribed medication, continue with your treatment plan and monitor for any new symptoms.
- Seek professional support early if you’re having difficulties.
Click Here for more tips and resources about dealing with Mental Health at this time of need.
Each step we take needs to be reinforced by a strong commitment from all of us and our success depends on us making these behaviours part of our daily lives to ensure safety at all times. This is particularly important for our loved ones who are at greater risk of serious illness from COVID-19. Here are a few ways that’ll help maintain such safety measures and at the same time help us stay committed in flattening the curve,
- stay 1.5 metres away from other people whenever and wherever you can
- maintain good hand washing and cough/sneeze hygiene
- stay home when you’re unwell, and get tested if you have respiratory symptoms or a fever
- download the COVIDSafe app so you can track the virus quickly
Make conscious choices today about what you do, when you do it and how you do it. We should keep in mind that whenever we leave our homes, we should think about how we’re going to keep ourselves, our family, friends and co-workers safe.
COVID-19 Safe Workplace Principles
Recognising that the COVID-19 pandemic is a public health emergency, it is significant to know the various control measures needed to maintain a healthy and safe working environment. The following principles operate subject to the measures agreed and implemented by Governments through the National Cabinet process.
The National Safe Workplace Principles can be found here.
In a bid to automate coronavirus contact tracing, and allow the easing of restrictions, the Australian government has launched COVIDSafe. This app is a part of the government’s work to slow the spread of COVID-19. Having confidence we can find and contain outbreaks quickly will mean the government can ease restrictions while still keeping Australians safe.
The COVIDSafe app will help our public health officials to quickly contact people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 and to let us know if there is an increased risk in a particular area.
Scott Morrison says the Australian government’s COVIDSafe tracking app won’t be mandatory to download and install, but could play a part in easing COVID-19 restrictions.
In these challenging times, we continue to remain vigilant towards the risk of COVID-19 and it’s higher risk towards the elderly.
Preventive Control Measures
The following peer-reviewed illustration may assist in understanding why we need to continue with our social distancing measures.
Led by Complex Systems academic and pandemic modelling expert, Professor Mikhail Prokopenko, the research found that if 90 percent of the Australian population adopted social distancing, the spread of COVID-19 could be controlled by July 2020. Whereas social distancing of less than 70 percent would not suppress the pandemic.
Influenza (Flu) Vaccinations
The government has now mandated that everyone entering an aged care facility on or after 1st of May must have the current flu vaccination. This applies to all Healthcare 2 You staff as we continue to help support you, our valued clients in providing allied healthcare services to the Aged Care community.
In adhering to the current Influenza vaccination obligations, please be notified that our company holds and maintains a register containing all pertinent information regarding our staff and their Influenza immunisation. Furthermore, a copy of vaccination evidence will be available on any given visit day.
As mentioned, preventive control measures and flu vaccinations are currently in place to help support the community and at the same time avert any possible threats of the virus.
In line with these precautionary measures, the government has recommended that all Australians are required to stay home unless it is absolutely necessary to go outside.
We are permitted to only leave home for the essentials, such as:
- shopping for food
- exercising outdoors, avoiding contact with other people
- going out for medical needs
- providing care or support to another individual in a place other than your home
- going to work or study if you cannot do it from home
These are some practices we can strictly follow to ensure the community’s safety and protection. At the same time, we are grateful for all the tireless work of our employees and front liners to help protect and care for the people we love. Where possible, we need to stay home for them, while they go to work for the entire community.
The team at Healthcare 2 You strictly abides by the requirements and stipulations imposed by Aged Care Facilities as we continue to support them in these trying times. We are further strengthening existing controls across all sites, ensuring that all our staff adhere to the appropriate processes.
Healthcare 2 You closely monitors and follows advice from the Department of Health. This government body is well placed to monitor trends and impacts regarding the Coronavirus and provide advice specific to aged care.
Healthcare 2 You staff have been strictly advised not to attend an aged care facility if they:
a. Have returned from overseas in the last 14 days
b. Have had contact with someone who has tested positively for COVID-19
c. Are experiencing flu-like symptoms such as:
- fatigue/muscle aches
- shortness of breath
Below we’ve included potential questions and answers you may have regarding the Coronavirus and its impact in the community. Also included is the Healthcare 2 You Current Risk Reduction Plan to initiate the prevention of Coronavirus.
What is Coronavirus COVID-19?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, which may cause illness in animals or humans.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new virus that can cause an infection in people, including a severe respiratory illness. The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.
What are the usual symptoms of Coronavirus COVID-19?
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhoea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell. Most people recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness.
How does Coronavirus COVID-19 spread?
People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.
The risk of catching COVID-19 from the faeces of an infected person appears to be low. While initial investigations suggest the virus may be present in faeces in some cases, spread through this route is not a main feature of the outbreak. The World Health Organisation (WHO) is assessing ongoing research on the ways COVID-19 is spread and will continue to share new findings. Because this is a risk, however, it is another reason to clean hands regularly, after using the bathroom and before eating.
Healthcare 2 You – Current Risk Reduction Plan
Healthcare 2 You has notified staff to arrive at visiting facilities with sufficient time to complete the Hand Hygiene procedure. Some facilities will require competency testing and/or temperature checks.
1. Wash hands often with soap and running water, lathering the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails for at least 20 seconds. Dry with a paper towel or hand dryer. This needs to be done especially before and after dealing with patients, after toilet breaks and after meals.
2. Professional Hygiene standards, if you are practicing as an Optometrist, Physiotherapist, Podiatrist or Dietitian need to be adhered to.
3. Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth. If contact is made, wash your hands
4. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow.
5. You must Isolate yourself at home if you feel sick with flu-like symptoms or if you have had contact with any infected person (Coronavirus covid-19). It is not acceptable to expose others to potential infection. Phone your GP first if you need medical attention and inform us immediately thereafter. The GP will tell you what to do.
6. Don’t wear a facemask if you are well.
7. Carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with over 60 per cent alcohol.
8. Get the flu shot (estimated availability April). Mandatory Vaccination Laws for Healthcare Workers are either currently progressing through or predicted to be soon tabled in Australia’s state and federal parliaments. You should be up to date with all your vaccinations and have records available to substantiate this if required. Talk with your GP for further information.
9. Shaking of hands should be avoided
The current Coronavirus COVID-19 situation is dynamic and the Healthcare 2 You management plan will be subject to updates in line with Australian and State Government directives.
Let’s continue to work together to keep our residents, carers and ourselves safe. For any queries, please feel free to contact Healthcare 2 You via email email@example.com or through our contact number 1300 882 374.