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Covid-19 update at Colton Close

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What’s occurred?
As of Sunday 6 September, we were advised that an employee who was identified as a close contact of a positive case had contracted COVID-19. The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services has advised us to place the home into complete lockdown until further notice. This is incredibly challenging for all involved, and we are working closely with government and health authorities to take every precaution that we can.


2. Who may have been affected at the aged care home?
As a precaution, the residents in the apartment that the employee worked in were cared for in their rooms and were all tested on the 27th August. The results came back as negative and residents were then able to leave their room on 1st September. Testing for COVID-19 for all residents and employees occurred again on the 3rd September. Again, all results were negative.

3. What key steps did you take upon being notified?
As soon as we became aware of the confirmed case on Sunday 6 September, we immediately notified the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and we are now working closely with both them and the Commonwealth Department of Health to take every step possible to contain any possible COVID-19 spread. All residents are now being cared for in their rooms and testing occurred of all residents and employees on Tuesday 8 September.

4. What external supports are you receiving?
We are working closely with the Australian Department of Health, Victorian Department of Health and Human Services and Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission to respond swiftly and effectively to the possible risks at stake. As part of this, we have been allocated a Department of Health Case Manager who will assist us to receive the supports and guidance required.

5. Do you have sufficient outbreak measures in place?
We have effectively implemented outbreak management infection and prevention control measures. This includes residents being cared for in their rooms, frequent deep cleaning of the entire home and importantly full PPE equipment for all employees. The PPE includes a gown, surgical grade mask, face mask and gloves at all times of caring. Employees are being trained and briefed in on the appropriate donning and doffing of this equipment at the beginning of each shift. We are also closely monitoring PPE stations to ensure they are fully equipped.

Please note we have sufficient PPE at the home and staffing levels to accommodate the greater levels of cleaning and protocols now in place.

6. Is Benetas conducting COVID-19 tests of those involved?
On 27 August, close contact residents were tested, with all results returning as negative. These residents were tested again on 3 September. Again, all results were negative. Two employees that were identified as close contacts were tested, and both came back negative. The close contact employee was tested on 28 August and returned a negative result. On Sunday 6 September, the employee returned a positive test to COVID-19. All residents and employees were tested again Tuesday 8 September.

7. How are you managing the residents?
At 9:15pm last night the Department of Health and Human Services Public Health Unit informed us that the home must go into complete lockdown until further notice. Unfortunately this means all residents must remain in their rooms until we receive further information and guidance. At this stage we are unsure how long residents will have to remain in their rooms. We are aware that this is very challenging, and we will keep you informed as soon as anything changes in regards to the foreseen period.

8. How are you supporting residents’ wellbeing?
The safety and health of all residents is our top priority, however we are very conscious of the incredible impact that these measures and uncertainties have on each and every resident. We have increased pastoral care support to help residents during this time, and our Lifestyle Team are working hard to develop activities and avenues to support resident wellbeing going forward. We will provide further updates on these efforts.

9. What preventative measures do you have in place across your aged care homes?
For our residential homes we made the decision to restrict access to only allow essential visitors on site. This was first introduced on 19 March when the risk of the disease spreading was unknown. Since then our homes opened from 11 May as cases decreased.

Now, in line with the Stage Three and Four “Stay at Home” restrictions, our homes across Victoria have once again reinstated restricted visitor access, allowing only essential visitors to site. This has been done in the best interest of our residents to keep them safe as they are the most vulnerable group to this virus. Across Benetas, we have also put in place additional training for all employees, entry to our residential homes via a single door only, with temperature testing of every person that enters, stringent cleaning and vigilant hygiene measures.

Last updated 2:30PM Wednesday 9 September 2020.
If you have further questions, please direct these to covid19enquiries@benetas.com.au.