Reviewed at 17/06/20
TriCare is committed to the health and wellbeing of our Residents, Visitors and Staff. We wish to inform you of the steps TriCare is taking to manage the risk of Coronavirus (COVID-19) from entering our Retirement Communities and Aged Care Facilities.
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:
- Persons who have returned from overseas or interstate in the past 14 days; or
- Persons who have been in contact with any person who has returned from outside Australia or interstate within the last 14 days; or
- Persons who have been in contact with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 within the past 14 days; or
- Persons with cold or flu-like symptoms such as fever temperature equal or above 37.5 degrees, cough, runny nose, sore throat, or shortness of breath.
If you are experiencing any cold or flu-like symptoms, please call your local GP or 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84).
Aged Care Specific Entry Restrictions For Visitors
In addition to the visiting restrictions above, from June 17 2020, the following will also apply to TriCare’s Aged Care Facilities:
- All visitors must have had the 2020 seasonal flu vaccination or will have by the 1st May;
- Residents can have up to 2 visitors at any one time and there is no limit on the number of visits allowed in a day or the length of each visit.;
- All visits are restricted to the resident’s bedroom; and
- Children under 16 can now visit.
As per the Federal Government directive, all visitors and staff entering a residential aged care service must have a current influenza vaccination 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. 6): https://www.health.qld.gov.au/system-governance/legislation/cho-public-health-directions-under-expanded-public-health-act-powers/aged-care
For those visitors that do not have a current vaccination but wish to stay connected to loved ones, we will support you to access contact in other ways, such as phone calls, teleconference updates, Skype etc. We are committed to supporting residents and families to stay connected as much as possible.
Aged Care Residents Outings:
A resident can now leave the facility for reasons including:
- Small family gatherings up to 20 people
- To receive health care services
- To visit another residential aged care facility
- Visit a service provider (eg hairdresser, legal advisor)
- Attend a funeral.
Groups of residents CANNOT yet go on external excursions (e.g. a group of residents cannot be taken to the beach or a shopping centre etc…)
Upon entering an Aged Care Facility:
- You MUST sign in & out of our visitor books.
- Provide proof of your current flu vaccination.
- Consent to have your temperature taken. If ≥37.5C you MUST leave.
- Sanitize your hands when entering & leaving.
- Go directly to your loved one’s room.
- 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 sanitizer 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.