The South Australian Police Commissioner recently updated the Emergency Management (Residential Aged Care Facilities No 4) Direction 2020, which guides our COVID-19 response.

We are pleased to advise that the updated Direction permits a resident to leave their aged care home for the purpose of exercise, provided they remain within 500 metres of the facility.

On receipt of this advice, UnitingSA’s leaders have been working to develop processes and guidelines to support the safe implementation of this new measure.

The measure will come into effect across UnitingSA’s aged care homes at 10am on Thursday, 11 June 2020.

While UnitingSA welcomes the decision of the SA Police Commissioner, we are mindful of our responsibility to maintain a COVID safe environment for all residents.

Therefore, we would like to stress that this measure is solely for the purpose of exercise, and that the following conditions will apply:

  • Exercise periods are to be of no more than one hour and must occur between 10am and 4pm.
  • Residents are to remain within 500 metres of the facility (a map indicating this zone will be available at reception).
  • Residents can exercise in groups of up to two (this can include another resident, family member or friend who has undergone our COVID-19 screening process).
  • Residents may not leave the facility to attend a café, shopping centre or other business or venue.
  • Residents and any escorting visitors must sign a declaration at reception prior to leaving, as well as on return.
  • Residents and any escorting visitors must also undergo COVID-19 screening and practice hand hygiene upon return.
  • Entry and exit to the aged care home is only to be via the main reception entry.

This new measure comes in addition to previously advised government allowances, permitting residents to leave their aged care facility to attend essential medical or dental appointments, or the funeral of an immediate family member.

We will continue to monitor the changing situation and update our response measures in accordance with the latest State and Federal Government directions.

Thank you for your ongoing support as we work to protect the health and wellbeing of loved ones in our care.