Updated: Mar 17, 2020
Residents are being urged to limit visits and find other ways of connecting with their loved ones in nursing homes to help prevent any outbreaks of coronavirus.
In a statement, McLean Care said these are difficult and unprecedented times and it is working meticulously to be as prepared in the event that an outbreak of COVID-19 occurs in any of the regional communities such as Tamworth.
"We know that older adults and those with chronic medical conditions including heart disease are at heightened risk from this illness," McLean Care said.
"We are therefore taking this situation very seriously and stand firm in our commitment to the provision of high-quality services to vulnerable older Australians.
"Our McLean team are highly knowledgeable and experienced and our priority is to ensure the safety, the health and well-being of our residents, clients, staff and our communities."
On Monday night, Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck said the advice from the Communicable Disease Network of Australia issued to aged care facilities outlines the precautionary measures for residents, staff and their families as the Federal Government continues to implement strategies to contain the virus.
"It includes the recommendation that family and friends limit visits to residential care centres, particularly for residents already suffering from chronic illness," he said.
"Given the risks to older Australians from COVID 19, particularly those with chronic disease and other frailties, we now recommend that residential aged care providers restrict visitor access."
McLean Care said it has adopted the approach set out by the World Health Organisation:
Prepare and be ready
Detect, protect and treat
Innovate and learn
In the statement, McLean Care added that is has developed and will continue to amend, the Covid-19 outbreak protection plans and in the unfortunate event of an outbreak, the management plans.
"These comprehensive plans allocate clear roles and responsibilities, resources, specific actions and timeframes," it said.
"To date, we have had no confirmed cases of Covid-19 for our residents, staff or clients, and as this crisis unfolds, we will continue to monitor and act on official advice from both federal and state government authorities on an ongoing basis."
McLean Care has put the following recommendations in place.
Please do not visit our residential aged care facilities or home and community care clients unless it is absolutely necessary.
If you need to visit these hours have changed to 10am to 12noon and 2.30pm to 5pm in all of our residential aged care facilities and we ask that you only visit during these times. Our reception staff will ask specific screening questions of you prior to you finalising your entry.
Alternatively, we can assist you to remain connected to your loved one/s by using other options such as phone calls and FaceTime link-ups. Please contact us for Residential Services and Home and Community Care you can visit our website www.mcleancare.org.au to learn how we can arrange this for you.
Please do not visit our residential aged care facilities or home and community care clients under any circumstances if you have returned from a domestic flight anywhere in Australia within 14 days on your return OR if you are experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms or you have been in contact with anyone that has had cold or flu-like symptoms until we know that the COVID-19 Pandemic is under control.