COVID-19 UPDATES

News & Events

COVID-19 UPDATES

July 30, 2020


Liscombe House update

August 4 2020

Window visits 

We will continue with window visits only (unless your loved one is end of life or our clinical team believe you need to visit your loved one).

For those of you who live outside the 5km radius of Liscombe House, we cannot make any decision on your behalf about whether you choose to enjoy a window visit. Under the State of Disaster Stage 4 restrictions, you are allowed to leave home for caregiving and compassionate reasons.  

We suggest that if you choose to travel outside the 5km radius, that you carry proof of where you are going and why. 

It is worth remembering that the government is urging us all to limit movement and that it is safer to connect with family using phone calls, social media and video calls. 

It is important to remember that only 2 people are allowed to attend a window visit, under the new gathering arrangements, and should be members of the same household. One can be a child under the age of 16. Animals can attend too.


Liscombe House update

July 30 2020

We are delighted to say that we have received clearance from the Victorian Public Health Unit to lift the lockdown on Liscombe House.

This means we will no longer be caring for residents solely in their own rooms; residents are free to use the common areas within their wing; Currie Wing will no longer be in isolation and staff do not have to wear full PPE.

This is great news and we thank you all for your patience and compassion.

 Surveillance period

However, we have what the department calls “a two weeks’ surveillance period” from today, 29 July 2020 until we get absolute clearance. The main points include:

Symptoms

  • Remaining vigilant for symptoms of COVID-19 in residents and undertaking daily recording of all residents’ symptoms.
  • Remaining vigilant for symptoms of COVID-19 in all staff. We are reminding them daily about the need to stay at home if they are not well, get tested, remain at home until they get clearance from the Department to return to work.

PPE

  • All staff will continue wearing masks in line with government directives.

End of life care

  • A maximum of two visitors will be allowed in at a time. Frequency and length of visits will be driven by what is needed by the resident to die with dignity and comfort. All precautionary measures – temperature checking, continue. As directed by the DHHS, any family member visiting in end of life situations will have to wear a face mask (surgical mask). Where you can please provide your own, however we will provide if you are unable to get hold of a mask. Staff will assist with fitting your face mask correctly.

Window visits resume

  • While we are still in surveillance period, given the ongoing community transmission, the active cases around Liscombe House and the ease with which the virus (if it enters an aged care facility) can take off, we are delighted to resume window visits from Monday 3 August and until the end of the State of Emergency and the lockdown in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire.

We hope you understand our ongoing cautious approach.

Window visits need to be booked via keepingintouch@ocav.com.au with the subject line marked Window Visits.

They are available on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday from 10am to 12noon and 1pm to 3pm; not Wednesday or weekends.

Children under the age of 16 can attend window visits. Animals, too, can attend.

 Skype, zoom and booked phone calls

We are continuing arranging skype calls, phone calls and zoom meetings during the week only. If you want to organise something please book via keepingintouch@ocav.com.au with the subject line marked Skype/ Phone calls.

 Phone directly

Please feel free to ring your loved ones directly.

 Flowers

Flowers, cards: please drop these off in the box outside Liscombe House and again, clearly mark them with your loved one’s name. We will not be quarantining them. 

 Food for your loved one:

Please place in the box outside Liscombe House. Please do NOT bring in homemade food. Chocolates and pre-packaged food are fine.

 Can residents leave for medical appointments?

For the moment, we are arranging telehealth consultations, whether over the phone or via a video link. Please get in touch with covid19responseteam@ocav.com.au if you would like to attend a telehealth consultation with your loved one.

 Can I take my loved one out for lunch, for a massage or any other reason?

Until the State of Emergency and Stage 3 community measures lift, the advice is unfortunately, no.


Liscombe House update

26 July 2020

We are relieved and pleased to inform you that we have received all residents’ test results and the results of staff who were tested at Liscombe House. They are all negative. We still await results of a few staff who were tested elsewhere.

We are also delighted that all residents and staff continue to be symptom free.

 At this stage, we continue awaiting advice as to when the next testing will be. We will let you know once we hear.

We anticipate one more round before lockdown – managing residents in their room – ends on 30 July.


Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 and Liscombe House

20 July 2020

 

Although you have been through this, we thought it worthwhile to let you know what we have done and do to protect your loved ones and our staff during this pandemic, and what happens if we have a positive case in Liscombe House, either a resident or staff member.

What happens if someone tests positive for COVID-19 at Liscombe House?

We have an emergency management plan in place, which is triggered if there is a confirmed case at Liscombe House. We will go into lockdown as an immediate action as per our standard infection outbreak processes for viral outbreaks.

The site will be supported by a central response team led by the Executive Leadership Team. This team is supported by clinical experts to manage and minimise the risk of spread of the outbreak.

There is also a communication plan in place to ensure residents, families, team members and those impacted are provided with the right information at the right time, and as soon as practical.

Throughout this period, we work in tandem with, and be guided by, the Department of Health and Human Services.

What if my loved one contracts coronavirus?

We will continue to treat your loved one with the same care and respect as always. Personal protective equipment is worn by our team to control the spread of the virus to themselves or other people. If required, your loved one may be transferred to hospital to receive medical treatment. This is assessed on a case by case basis.

Your loved one will be kept in isolation in their room while infectious.

You will be kept informed about your loved one by our Director of Nursing or one of our Clinical Care Coordinators.

Will we be able to have window visits during lockdown?

Unfortunately, we will not be able to supervise these as we need to limit movement around Liscombe House. However, we can and will organise skype and phone calls.

I am worried about my loved one even though they do not have the virus. I know you will be busy but who can I ring?

Firstly, whether your loved one has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or not, we will be providing daily updates via email.

Secondly, please ring Reception on (03) 9433 1100 and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

 What happens if there is lockdown but my loved one does not have the virus?

The likely outcome will be that all residents will be confined to their room during the lockdown period.  Meals will be delivered to resident rooms and activities will continue on a one on one basis.

 What if there is COVID-19 locally?

 We will take advice from the DHHS about whether we need to go into lockdown for preventative reasons. We will update you via email as soon as we know.

My loved one is at end of life care can I visit even in lockdown?

Yes, you can but you will need to wear PPE – which we will provide – and follow all the advice that we give you. Up to two people will be able to visit at any one time.

What is being done now by Liscombe House to protect residents and its team members?

 We are well trained in infection control and already have procedures in place to manage infectious illnesses. We have put in place additional measures to ensure we continue to minimise the risks to our community from COVID-19. These preventative actions include:

  • asking the COVID-19 case definition questions and taking a temperature check of every person who enters Liscombe House
  • ensuring everyone who enters signs a form verifying they do not meet the case definition. This includes staff, visitors, contractors, supplier and volunteers
  • checking evidence that each person has had the flu vaccination or has a medical exemption
  • managing visits into Liscombe House and across the wings to prevent cross-contamination.
  • enforcing social distancing between all people

We are also:

  • following the Department of Health Guidelines and are in close contact with expert advisers to stay updated on coronavirus and how we can best respond

In addition

  • We have written to everyone who works with us (i.e. agencies, casuals, volunteers, students, contractors and consultants) about our strict requirements on self-isolation and expectations around proper hand hygiene and use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • We are following a Crisis Management Framework, with strong procedures in place to support any confirmed case of COVID-19
  • We are increasing our already robust infection control measures and providing refresher training for everyone who makes up our workforce
  • We are providing every staff member with additional training and Infection Control and Outbreak Toolkit talks
  • We are providing regular communications to all stakeholders.

If I cannot come into Liscombe House, what other options are there?

 We can support you to stay in touch through a range of services. We hope that these will help reduce any concern you and your loved one may be experiencing.

  • You can email keepingintouch@ocav.com.au and we can pass messages on.
  • If your family member has a mobile phone or an in-room phone, you can call them directly.
  • We have devices with Skype installed on them, so you can video call with residents. Please email keepingintouch@ocav.com.au with Booking Skype so they can schedule a time with you and your loved one.

Liscombe House update – 10.15am

16 July 2020

All our residents and employees today continue to be COVID-19 symptom-free, you will be pleased to learn.

However, following discussions with the State and Federal Departments of Health, they have requested that we take the following precautions:

  • In the interests of the health of all Liscombe House residents, we will now be moving to caring for all residents in their rooms.
  • The Currie Wing is in full lockdown with extra infection control precautions in place
  • Liscombe Wing residents have also been requested to remain in their rooms until further notice
  • We are temporarily cancelling all window visits to minimise movement around and to allow staff to focus on resident care
  • Limited Skype services will be available.
  • Testing will be conducted for all residents and employees commencing today by the Victorian Department of Health.
  • We are increasing employee levels to ensure all our residents are taken care of.

These measures are precautionary, in response to the increasing incidence of COVID-19 throughout the Stage 3 lockdown areas and instructions from the Victorian Public Health Unit.


Liscombe House update

July 15 2020 – 

We are pleased to advise that all residents and staff throughout Liscombe House continue to be symptom-free of COVID-19. The affected staff member is doing well, and we continue to support her and everyone. We continue to wait further advice from the Department of Health.

Increasing community transmission

With increasing COVID-19 infections due to community transmission in Victoria, both Federal and State Health Departments have issued recommendations that aged care facilities in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire increase protective measures against the virus.

We will be implementing the following as of today:

Staff Face Masks

Staff will now wear face masks when interacting with residents, and additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) if required, according to the situation and requirements.

Visitor Face Masks

As directed by the DHHS, any family member visiting in end of life situations will have to wear a face mask (surgical mask). Where you can please provide your own, however we will provide if you are unable to get hold of a mask. Staff will assist with fitting your face mask correctly.

A maximum of two visitors will be allowed in at a time. Frequency and length of visits will be driven by what is needed by the resident to die with dignity and comfort. All precautionary measures – temperature checking, flu vaccination proof, COVID19 restrictions, – will continue. You will not be allowed to enter if you have cold/ flu or respiratory symptoms.

Increased Resident Protection Measures

We have introduced daily COVID-19 screening for ALL residents, including observations such as temperature.

We will be deferring routine appointments and encouraging use of telehealth consultations with doctors wherever possible.

Our staff are assessing other aspects of our care and services, such as dining arrangements, and a decision will be made on these over the next couple of days.


July 14 2020

Confirming COVID-19 positive case in employee

This is to confirm that the Old Colonists’ Association of Victoria has had one employee test COVID-19 positive.

The employee last worked at the Liscombe House aged care home on Saturday 11 July and did not have any symptoms. The employee developed symptoms on Sunday, tested, self-isolated and subsequently tested positive on Tuesday 14 July.

We are awaiting further advice from the Department of Health.

No resident or staff member has shown any symptoms of COVID-19 in the last five days. We are monitoring residents and staff for COVID-19 symptoms every day.

All residents and next of kin have been contacted.

OCAV is now completing the process of contact tracing of this employee. The employee continues to isolate at home and we are in regular contact to provide support.


Liscombe House update: Restricted Access.

July 8 2020

Dear everyone

As you will be aware, people living in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire are going into a six-week lockdown as of midnight Wednesday 8 July.

As a result, we have made several important decisions. These are:

Restricting physical access into Liscombe House.

  • We are restricting physical access to Liscombe House from Thursday 9 July for six weeks as a precautionary measure. This is to reduce the risk of spread of this highly contagious virus. We are aware that some of you live in regional Victoria which is not subject to the lockdown but believe that it is in the best interests of everyone – including yourselves – that the restricted access includes all family members.
  • Window visits will remain and will need to be booked via keepingintouch@ocav.com.au with the subject line marked Window Visits. See below for further details.
  • We are pleased to be able to arrange skype calls, phone calls and zoom meetings, or please feel free to ring your loved ones directly. If you want to organise something please book via keepingintouch@ocav.com.au with the subject line marked Skype/ Phone calls.
  • If you have a phone or ipad that you would like to drop off to Liscombe House, please feel free to do so. Please clearly mark it with your loved one’s name, and upload any software that is needed. We will clean it and give it to your loved one. We will help anyone with a call.
  • Flowers, cards: please drop these off in the box outside Liscombe House and again, clearly mark them with your loved one’s name. We will not be quarantining them

Rebooking appointments

Appointments that are in place for Wednesday 8 July will still go ahead.

One of our keeping in touch team will be in contact with those of you who have booked for Thursday and onwards to rearrange times either for window visits or skype/ phone/ zoom calls.

Window visits

Window visits will be available on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday from 10am to 12noon and 1pm to 3pm; not Wednesday or weekends.

Children under the age of 16 can attend window visits.

Food for your loved one:

Please place in the box outside Liscombe House. Please do NOT bring in homemade food. Chocolates and pre-packaged food are fine but you will need to sign the form detailing what the food is and for whom. This is in line with our food safety requirements.

End of life care

A maximum of two visitors will be allowed in at a time. Frequency and length of visits will be driven by what is needed by the resident to die with dignity and comfort. All precautionary measures – temperature checking, flu vaccination proof, continue.

Can residents leave for medical appointments?

We actively encourage telehealth consultations, whether over the phone or via a video link. We understand this may not be possible always but please ring us first if you are making any appointments for your loved one. On return to Liscombe House, we will actively monitor the resident for symptoms.

Thank you

We thank you all for your understanding and support during these unprecedented difficult times. The team is so appreciative of your positive feedback on what we are doing so please continue to send your comments through. The situation changes day by day but we can assure you your loved ones are being well looked after. Please, if you have any concerns, email us directly on covid19responseteam@ocav.com.au.

We will send another update to give you some insight into what would happen in the event of a positive case being declared inside Liscombe House.

Stay safe, stay at home, keep washing your hands and keep 1.5metres apart. We wish you all well as we all work together to combat COVID-19..

With kind regards

Phillip Wohlers, CEO

Shaaron Robilliard, Director of Nursing


THESE ARE CURRENTLY NOT IN USE DUE TO STAGE 3 RESTRICTIONS IN METRO MELBOURNE AND MITCHELL SHIRE

VISITOR ACCESS GUIDELINES FOR LISCOMBE HOUSE

UPDATED 22 JUNE 2020

These visitor guidelines follow updated directives issued on Monday 22 June by the Victoria’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, as well as the Visitor Access Code. We ask that you share these updated guidelines with any other people who may also wish to visit your loved one. The guidelines, together with social distancing and other precautionary measures, are a crucial part of our infection prevention strategy.

New government directives

Two people allowed to visit twice per day for no longer than two hours’ duration.

This can either be one visit with two people of up two hours, or

Two visits with one person at each visit and for one hour only

 

Visiting hours UPDATED

Physical visits

Mondays to Fridays: Starting at 10am and finishing by 12pm; starting at 2pm and finishing by 5pm.

Weekends and Public Holidays:  Starting at 1.30pm and finishing at 4.30pm.

 

No children under the age of 16 are allowed in unless it is for end of care – this is a government mandate.

Visits must take place in the resident’s room.

 

Window visits:

Monday – Friday only: 10am – 12pm and 1pm – 3pm

Children under the age of 16 can attend window visits.

 

Booking your visit

Please email us to make a booking, and that you ask other family members to do likewise. When you email, please provide the name of anyone who will visit (two visits a day but no more than two visitors per day across the two visits.) Please do not make telephone bookings.

We need to keep all names for official records, including contact tracing.

Please can you email during the week from 9am to 5pm. Requests that come in after hours will be dealt with the next business day. Please give us 24 hours to make and confirm the booking with you.

 

How to book

Physical visits: keepingintouch@ocav.com.au and in the subject line write Physical Visit.

Window visits: keepingintouch@ocav.com.au and in the subject line write Window Visit.

Skype/ phone: keepingintouch@ocav.com.au and in the subject line write Skype/ Phone

 

Screening before entering

All visitors must provide evidence of a current flu vaccination, be temperature checked, sign a form declaring they have no COVID-19 symptoms (fever, runny nose, sore throat, cough), are not COVID-positive and have not been in contact with someone who is COVID-positive.

 

If any visitor does not have proof of a current flu vaccination, they will not be allowed in. You can instead do window visits.

If you have any flu or cold like symptoms, please stay away.

 

Flu vaccine exemptions

The only absolute contraindications to flu vaccines are:

·        anaphylaxis after a previous flu vaccine

·        anaphylaxis after any part of a flu vaccine

 The flu vaccination is not recommended if you:

·        have a history of Guillain-Barré Syndrome, and

·        the first episode occurred within 6 weeks of receiving a flu vaccine.

If you are receiving cancer immuno-oncology therapies (checkpoint inhibitors) you need to consult your treating doctor first.

If you fit any of the above descriptions, you will need to provide a letter from your doctor/ doctors on letterhead with contact details. The letter must specifically reference one or more of the above points to explain why you are unable medically to have the vaccination.

You will not be allowed in Liscombe House if the letter does not reference the condition. You will also not be allowed into Liscombe House if you are unable to provide a letter.  

In both instances, we are happy to organise a window visit for you.

If your loved one is in palliative or end of life care, then we will discuss the situation with you and advise appropriately.

 The ‘flu vaccination was a legal directive by both the Federal and Victorian Chief Health Officers. The exemptions are as described by the Federal and Victorian Chief Health Officers, as is the directive about the letter.

 

No animals into Liscombe House

No dogs please unless you are having a window visit.

 

Visitor limits

Each resident can now have two visits a day but no more than two visitors a day across both visits.

The visitors can come separately or together, for a single visit or for two separate visits

The total amount of visiting time must not be more than two hours. This can be one visit of no more than two hours or two visits totalling no more than two hours. For example, each visit may last an hour each.

No children under the age of 16 except in window visits, exceptional circumstances and end of life situations.

 

End of life visits

A maximum of two visitors at a time. Frequency and length of visits will be driven by what is needed by the resident to die with dignity and comfort.

 

Social distancing and hygiene protocols

Social distancing practices must be followed – keep at least 1.5m away from the resident, staff and other people in Liscombe House. No hugs, kissing or handshakes. These are legal directives that are set by the Government.

 

Food update

Please do NOT bring in homemade food.

Chocolates and pre-packaged food is fine but you will need to sign the form detailing what the food is and for whom. This is in line with our food safety requirements.

 

Quarantining

In line with advice from the Chief Medical Officer, we are no longer quarantining cards, gifts or flowers.  Please feel free to bring them in.


Media contact

Penny Underwood – mediawise@mediawise.net.au or 04099 252 99

 


For queries or clarifications please email: covid19responseteam@ocav.com.au

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