We would like to provide an update on recently announced changes to South Australia’s COVID-19 restrictions for Residential Aged Care facilities.
On Saturday 20 June 2020 an updated Emergency Management (Residential Aged Care Facilities) Direction No 6, 2020 was released, providing further allowances for aged care residents and visitors.
We are pleased to advise that the updated Direction relaxes some restrictions regarding cross-border travel, visits by children and the ability for residents to leave a facility.
We certainly welcome the State Government’s easing of aged care restrictions, which we hope will provide our residents and loved ones with further opportunities for meaningful connection.
The below changes, outlined in the Direction, will come into effect across UnitingSA’s aged care homes at 10am on Wednesday 24 June 2020.
Please note: The allowances listed below are in addition to existing entry screening protocols, which assess all visitors against COVID-19 risk factors.
- Visitors coming from the Northern Territory, Western Australia, Tasmania or Queensland are now permitted to visit an aged care facility upon arrival in South Australia (and without the need to self-quarantine).
- Visitors coming from other states/territories are only permitted to visit within 14 days if they are providing end-of-life support to a resident (refer to Section 4 for further detail).
VISITS BY CHILDREN
- Children under the age of 16 years are now able to visit an aged care facility, provided they have had their flu vaccination (babies under six months are exempt from the flu vaccination requirement).
RESIDENTS LEAVING A FACILITY
- Residents may now leave an aged care facility and return, regardless of their reason for leaving.
- Residents must undertake COVID-19 screening upon return. If a resident indicates ‘yes’ to any identified risk factors, appropriate strategies will be put in place to mitigate risks to other residents.
- Visits for the purpose of providing end-of-life support to a resident are permitted, including children. ‘End-of-life’ is defined as a person for whom death is imminent (likely within two weeks).
- Interstate visitors from a place outside of the ‘low-community transmission zones’ (outlined in Section 1) must self-quarantine at all times when they are not visiting a facility.
- A person is not permitted to enter an aged care facility if they have a temperature higher than 38 degrees Celsius, a history of fever or chills in the preceding 72 hours, or symptoms of acute respiratory infection or loss of taste and smell.
In addition to the above, the following visitor guidelines remain in place:
- Visits must be pre-booked ahead of time by phoning your aged care home.
- Visits should occur during the hours of 10am and 4pm daily, and within the allocated two-hour timeframe.
- All visitors must undergo COVID-19 screening on entry, including a questionnaire, temperature check and provision of flu vaccination evidence and photo identification.
- Visits should occur in your loved one’s room or other specified indoor or outdoor area (if available).
- Visitors must practice hand hygiene upon entry and maintain a distance of 1.5 metres at all times.
- Residents are permitted a maximum of one visit, of up to two people, per day.
As restrictions begin to relax, we would also like to take this opportunity to stress the importance of visitors notifying our aged care homes if they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 within 14 days of visiting. As we have seen, COVID-19 infection is not always evident straight away and it is important we are aware of this.
We appreciate your ongoing support as we continue our journey through COVID-19, and will keep you updated as new information is received.
Visit our coronavirus updates page for the latest information.