Dear Residents, Consumers, Families and Friends,
This week we’ve all been following the unfortunate news of a new COVID outbreak. After a lengthy period with no community transmission, South Australia has had to contend with a significant cluster of COVID cases. It’s a timely reminder to us all to avoid becoming complacent in our COVID protections. It also highlights why ongoing COVID protocols are so important for us to protect our loved ones in the aged care system.
One of the major ways we can fight COVID transmission is by using Personal Protective Equipment, otherwise known as PPE. This equipment can include masks, gloves, goggles, gowns and face shields. At OneCare, PPE is an important part of what we do to keep our residents safe. We have a variety of comprehensive COVID-specific and everyday protocols in place for the thorough and safe use and disposal of PPE.
PPE For Our Staff
You may have heard about aged care facilities having problems accessing adequate amounts of PPE. While obtaining PPE was a challenge for us early in the pandemic, we are currently not experiencing any problems accessing PPE supplies. OneCare has completed internal audits of availability of PPE as part of our extensive COVID 19 management plans, and we are confident that we hold the required stock levels. OneCare has been purchasing additional PPE since the beginning of the pandemic and increasing our available stocks.
The Aged Care Quality & Safety Commission has inspected all our homes as an element of their infection control review and Covid-19 preparedness. Their external audit of PPE has also indicated we hold appropriate stock levels. Additionally, OneCare has worked closely with state, federal governments to ensure we will have access to the emergency Federal stockpile of PPE if/or when required.
In short, we know that our staff will be fully equipped and supported in the event that COVID would make full PPE a necessity.
PPE For Our Visitors
It is currently a voluntary decision for visitors if they wish to wear masks while visiting our facilities, however this rule may change in future if circumstances merit it. We understand that mask wearing can sometimes feel uncomfortable, as it has not been a significant part of our Australian culture pre-COVID. However, we would like our visitors to feel completely comfortable and supported if they choose to wear a mask. We do not see masks as an inconvenience, rather they are an important tool and an expression of our deep care and intent to keep the people we care for safe.