REVEALED: Nursing home measures to combat virus outbreak

A LARGE and prominent aged-care facility in Ballina has revealed its COVID-19 Emergency Response Plan, put in place ready to combat a potential outbreak.

While there has been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Crowley Care, its CEO Michael Penhey said it would only take one resident to contract "the virus" for facitlty to initiate the detailed plan.

"If a case of COVID-19 was suspected or confirmed, the aged care facility would be locked-down with all non-essential persons restricted from access," Mr Penhey said.

"Should the need arise to isolate other residents and/or staff that may show viral symptoms, this will be undertaken.

"This (the plan) includes ongoing collaboration with the Public Health Unit at New South Wales Health."

He said Crowley Care would continue to dedicate a significant number staff hours and resources as a precautionary measure to protect residents and staff.

"To limit the passing of the COVID-19 from person to person, additional precautionary measures would come into force at Crowley Care," he said.

Including:

•The lockdown of Crowley Care's Residential Care Facility and the creation of isolated areas within the home;

•Banning visits, events and meetings to limit community exposure;

•Adhering to best practice infection control and best hygiene principles;

•Access for all residents and staff to sanitising products, and increased cleaning and monitoring of communal areas;

•Reducing staff contact with residents to a level only required for resident care.

The procedures in place include:

•Crowley Reception hours have changed to ensure we fulfil the new government visitor screening guidelines

•All staff have access to required protection equipment

•Entry to the Residential Care Facility is now only via reception and visitor rules apply

These are:

•Entry to the residential care facility is limited to resident visits

•Only two visitors at a time, once per day for a short duration

•Visitors must be only direct family or health supports

•Visitors must abide by the visitor screening guidelines and follow all instructions by staff when visiting

The following visitors and staff (including visiting workers) are not permitted to enter the facility:

•Those who have returned from overseas in the last 14 days

•Those who have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days

•Those with fever or symptoms of acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath)

•Those who have not been vaccinated against influenza (after May 1)



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