Reviewed at 05/02/21
What has changed?
New restrictions as at Thursday, 5th February 2021
- Anyone who has been in Greater Melbourne on or after 29 January 2021 cannot enter a residential aged care facility unless 14 days have passed since you were in Greater Melbourne or you fit into one of the categories of people who are allowed to enter a facility with a negative COVID-19 test. This includes end of life visits.
- If you have been in a public exposure site as listed by the Victorian Government you cannot enter a residential aged care facility in Queensland for any purpose unless you have an exemption for an end of life visit. You must get a COVID-19 test and quarantine for 14 days. Link to public exposure sites VIC here https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/case-locations-andoutbreaks-covid-19
- As all TriCare Aged Care Residences are now unrestricted, residents are permitted to leave the home for any reason and like the wider community are required to follow government directions on movements and gatherings.
- There are no limits on the number of visitors, length of time of visits, or number of visits in a day.
Aged Care Visitor Access Times:
Monday to Friday 9am to 4.30pm & Week-ends and Public Holidays 9:30am to 11am – 2pm to 3.30pm
Further Entry Restrictions for Visitors – Both Aged Care and Retirement Communities
Any person who meets any of the following criteria, MUST NOT ENTER our Retirement Villages and Aged Care Facilities for at least 14 days:
- returning from overseas or COVID-19 hotspot in the past 14 days; or
- during the 14 days immediately preceding the entry or since the start date identified, the person has been in a COVID-19 hotspot; or
- during the 14 days immediately preceding the entry, the person had known contact with a person who has a confirmed case of COVID-19; or
- has a temperature equal to or higher than 37.5 degrees or symptoms consistent with COVID-19; or
- has been tested for COVID-19 and not yet received the results.
If you are experiencing any cold or flu-like symptoms, please call your local GP or 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84).
Aged Care Additional Entry Restrictions For Visitors
In addition to the visiting restrictions above, the following will also apply to TriCare’s Aged Care Facilities:
- All visitors must have had the 2020 seasonal flu vaccination if available; and
- All visits are restricted to the resident’s bedroom or outdoors,
As per the Federal Government directive, all visitors and staff entering a residential aged care service must have a current influenza vaccination if available and provide evidence of vaccination at the time of entry to the Aged Care Home.
Please collect a certificate from your doctor or place of injection as evidence for entry. From the 1 May 2020, as per regulatory requirements, we will not be able to allow visitors into the home who have not had an influenza vaccination and who cannot provide evidence at the time. Please see the attached link for more information:
This is the new Direction (no. 23) effective from 05 February 2021:
Upon entering an Aged Care Facility:
- You MUST sign in & out of our visitor books.
- Consent to have your temperature taken. If ≥37.5C you MUST leave.
- Sanitise your hands when entering & leaving.
- Go directly to your loved one’s room or an outdoor area.
- Comply with all staff direction given.
Retirement Communities Specific Entry Restrictions For Visitors
At this stage, there are no additional restrictions to the above mentioned general entry restrictions on visiting residents at our Retirement Communities. However, we strongly encourage visits to be kept to a minimum and visitations to remain in accordance with the State and Federal Government restrictions.
General Hygiene and Social Discipline Principles
All visitors, please ensure you:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds, and in addition, use hand sanitiser;
- Coughing and sneezing into a disposable tissue (or elbow, not hand) and immediately placing the tissue in a rubbish bin, then washing your hands;
- if unwell, avoid contact with others and seek medical advice;
- Social distance from other persons of 1.5m or greater (no physical contact including kissing or hugs).
In addition to the above principles, we encourage all persons to strongly consider staying at home and not undertaking public outings unless essential. Visitors are welcome to provide support for residents, but visitations should be kept to an absolute minimum.
Additional Measures By Tricare
The following measures have been implemented further to reduce the potential spread of the virus include but are not limited to:
- Restricting entry points at the Aged Care facilities and placing hand sanitiser at these entry points;
- Communicated our strict entry protocols to contractors, allied health professionals and medical colleagues who attend the site;
- Additional training for staff on effective infection control practices and management of viruses;
- Established emergency response protocols if an outbreak occurs;
- We have restricted staff travel between our Retirement Villages and Aged Care Facilities to essential services only;
- A communication strategy to keep families and staff updated in the event on an outbreak;
- Regular communication with suppliers to continue supplies of essential goods;
- Purchased additional stock of some key products in the event of an outbreak;
- Reinforcing the importance of social distancing for staff and residents during all episodes of the necessary contact; and
- Heightened awareness for hand hygiene using soap and water as preferred option or hand sanitiser in the event of no soap and water.
Phone and Video Calls
TriCare strongly encourages friends and family members to keep in close contact with their loved ones via telephone and preferably video calls, such as Skype and Facetime when possible.
For further information, please visit the below websites:
- Aged Care Residents and their Families – https://www.health.gov.au/resources/collections/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-resources#for-aged-care-residents-and-families
- Residential and Aged Care Workers – https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-health-care-and-residential-care-workers
- Department of Health – https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert
- Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Smart Traveller) – https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/
We continue to working closely with the Queensland Department of Health and the Federal Government and are adhering to the advice of the Chief Medical Officer for the Australian Government in the monitoring and preparedness for COVID-19.
We are educating and keeping our residents, visitors, family members and staff updated about the seriousness of infection control and outbreak management.
We thank everyone for supporting the measures we are taking during this challenging period. The health and wellbeing of our Residents, Staff and Visitors remain our primary focus.