On 23 March 2020 we increased our response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, introducing a raft of measures to ensure the safety of our aged care residents.

These measures included stopping all visitors to our aged care homes, restricting staff movement within and between our homes, and cancelling all non-essential visits by external providers.

These stringent access controls were initially implemented for a period of two weeks, ending 6 April 2020, subject to further review.

Following a detailed analysis of the current COVID-19 environment, including a thorough risk assessment, UnitingSA’s leadership has made a unanimous decision to extend the stringent access controls for a further four week period, ending 4 May.

We remain acutely aware of the emotional toll these visitor restrictions are having, and will continue to have on our residents, families and friends. But I assure you, we have made this decision in the best interests of those in our care. The health and safety of all our residents is paramount.

As a community and a country we are facing a tremendous challenge, requiring us to pull together and do our bit to protect one another, particularly our most vulnerable.

By continuing to restrict access to our homes, we will significantly reduce the risk of COVID-19 being unknowingly transmitted to our residents.

We will also continue to implement layered prevention measures across our workforce, including routine staff screenings for COVID-19 risk factors, strict isolation provisions and mandatory infection control training.

Our homes have already made significant inroads into establishing new communications methods to keep our residents in touch with their loved ones.

Family and friends are strongly encouraged to contact their aged care home directly to find out how we can support their ongoing contact and connection.

Visit our coronavirus updates page for the latest information.