Ozcare’s Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Blog Ozcares Response To Coronavirus Covid 19

Ozcare is closely monitoring the Australian Government Department of Health for the latest updates on COVID-19, as well as following the advice from our federal and state-based health authorities and our peak bodies.

We take great pride in providing services within our aged care facilities, day respite centres and to the wider community, and we are committed to minimising the spread of COVID-19. As always, the health and well-being of our clients, staff and volunteers, remains our number one priority.

Ozcare already has in place extensive outbreak management policies and procedures to manage any suspected form of outbreak in our aged care facilities. All outbreaks are managed by these set protocols, and reporting requirements, as set by Queensland Health Public Health Units.

Additionally, our staff are trained, and adhere to, several policies and procedures for infection control and environment management.

Ozcare has formed an executive working group to implement a number of preventative measures across Ozcare to keep our clients, staff and volunteers safe and well.

We have taken the following precautions to date:

  • Implemented outbreak cleaning protocols throughout Ozcare
  • Enforced a restricted visitor policy and restricted visiting hours at our aged care facilities
  • Introduced mandatory temperature checks & screening questionnaires to all visitors to our aged care facilities
  • Introduced mandatory influenza vaccinations for all Ozcare staff working at our aged care facilities and in our community care services
  • Place additional hand-sanitisers throughout our services
  • Vigilant monitoring of clients by all staff members for any early ‘flu like’ symptoms and immediate reporting of these to Clinical Management, Seniors Management and GPs
  • Additional internal reporting protocols for unwell clients, staff and volunteers
  • Head office and branch based admin staff are working remotely. Enquiries still to go to 1800 Ozcare (1800 692 273) or info@ozcare.org.au

Restrictions on entry into Ozcare Aged Care Facilities
Effective 24 April 2020

The Australian Government has announced restrictions on entry into residential aged care facilities to manage outbreaks of coronavirus. Avoidance of exposure is the single most important measure for preventing COVID-19 in our aged care facilities, and to protect vulnerable Australians.

The following visitors, employees, visiting contractors and workers will not be permitted to enter our aged care facilities:

  • Those who have returned from overseas in the last 14 days.
  • Those who have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days. A contact is defined as anyone who has been in contact with a known case, including the 24 hours before the case became symptomatic.
  • Those with fever or symptoms of acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath) symptoms. Temperature checking is currently in place and any person with a temperature at 37.5 or above cannot enter the facility.
  • Those who have not been vaccinated against influenza (after 1 May 2020).

In addition to the above requirements, we have the following rules in place for visitors:

  • Please do not visit if you or others in your immediate family are unwell
  • On reporting to reception, all visitors must complete the visitor screening questionnaire, have your temperature taken (must be less than 37.5 degrees) and ensure your hands are washed or sanitised prior to entering the facility
  • The facility is locked down to one entrance only and you must not access the building via any other means. Staff will be manning reception during visiting hours.
  • You are required to sign in and sign out of the facility each time you visit – as per normal protocol
  • Visits are set at a maximum of one hour once per day only and your length of stay will be monitored by staff. You are required to leave the premises if directed by staff that you have overstayed the approved time
  • If you have already visited the facility on a given day you cannot return and visit at any other time on the same day
  • A maximum of two visitors at one time per day and visits are to continue in the client’s bedroom or outdoors
  • Visitors are encouraged to practice social distancing, where possible, and maintain a distance of 1.5 metres
  • No children aged 16 years or under can enter the facility

Changes to Visiting Hours

To assist with the implementation of these changes, we have limited visiting hours to Ozcare aged care facilities.

New Visiting Hours:

  • Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
  • Saturday, 8am to 12noon
  • Sunday, 2pm to 6pm 

No visitor will be provided access to the facility outside of visiting hours without prior management approval. There will be a staff member on reception during visiting hours to assist with implementing visitor restrictions. It is important to make clear that no families will be prevented from spending extended time with a relative when they are palliative.

Under Queensland Health legislation, no client is to leave an Ozcare aged care facility for anything other than external medical or health related appointments.

These precautions have been taken to protect our clients, staff members, families and volunteers.

For further information please visit the below websites: