Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to work together to keep COVID-19 outside of our residential aged care homes.

As you may be aware, our homes remain subject to visitor restrictions in order to protect elderly loved ones in our care.

These access controls were initially implemented on 23 March after a detailed risk assessment and amid a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in South Australia.

The restrictions are subject to ongoing evaluation, with the next review date scheduled for 4 May.

UnitingSA’s current response exceeds Federal Government announcements regarding visitation at aged care sites, however our ongoing risk assessments have shown the need for such measures to ensure the health and safety of our residents.

We have not been alone in arriving at this conclusion, with a considerable number of aged care providers within our state and across the country having implemented such restrictions.

We know that elderly members of our community are the most vulnerable to COVID-19 and in the greatest need of protection.

We have witnessed the impact of COVID-19 on aged care homes both within Australia and internationally. Currently, a number of aged care facilities across the nation remain in full lockdown with outbreaks in progress. This means residents are confined to their room, which is not the case at UnitingSA.

To prevent such an outbreak in our homes, we have been implementing a raft of infection control measures since COVID-19 first emerged in Australia.

We have invested in additional staff training, building modifications, special leave provisions, infrared thermometers and communication technology, as well as the development of significant new workplace procedures and resources.

As an organisation we are well equipped for the environment we find ourselves in. We are also pleased that the rate of infection is slowing and that the subsequent risk to our residents is reducing.

Consequently, we hope to be in a position very soon to ease our restrictions and resume a program of limited face-to-face visits with mandatory screening precautions.

This potential shift in restrictions will be comprehensively considered by our leadership team in the lead up to 4 May. Following these deliberations, we are hopeful that we will be able to safely welcome visitors back into our homes from this date.

We will provide a further advice once our evaluation has been completed.

We sincerely look forward to reuniting loved ones in an environment that is safe for all.

Until this time, we will continue to keep residents, families and friends connected using video and email technology, social media and our dedicated window visit points.

We will also continue to work closely with families and make arrangements on an individual basis for residents at the end stages of life.

Please do not hesitate to contact UnitingSA if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you for helping us keep COVID-19 out of our homes.

Visit our coronavirus updates page for the latest information.