The following update is based on the most recent advice provided by the respective State Governments of Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales. Every effort is made to ensure that McKenzie Aged Care Group is informing its staff, residents and their families of the latest COVID-19 restrictions.
Queensland: Updated 15 December 2021
Since 1am AEST Monday 13 December, Queensland’s border restrictions were eased. Click on the links below for detailed information on the Queensland Government website about what this means for people:
Restrictions for unvaccinated people
The Queensland Government’s Aged Care directions have also advised that from 17 December, unvaccinated people will be unable to visit residential aged care. This does not apply to residents of these facilities, and there will be some exceptions for medical treatment, end-of-life visits and emergency situations.
For detailed information about the exceptions for an unvaccinated person entering an aged care facility, please read clause 11 of the Residential Aged Care Direction (No.11)
McKenzie Aged Care is abiding by the current directives and we will review the visitation rules for unvaccinated people in line with any changes as provided by the Queensland Government.
If you cannot visit your loved one due to these restrictions, please use our stay connected options.
Residents Returning to an Aged Care Facility
After 17 December 2021, residents who leave a residential aged care facility for any duration with an unvaccinated person, upon return, will need to undertake a Rapid Antigen Test, isolate in their wing, be screened daily with a COVID-19 screening tool and at day 3 undertake a PCR Test.
Please refer to the following QLD Government web pages for more information about COVID-19 directions in that State.
Victoria: Updated 15 December 2021
Visits will no longer be limited to specified reasons. As our homes open their doors again to visitors, there will still be some rules that we ask everyone to comply with so that we can all continue to visit each other.
How many people can visit?
Due to facility capacity limits and to ensure that everyone adheres to the required social distancing rules, each resident is requested to limit the number of visitors at the discretion of the Facility Manager so everyone has an opportunity to welcome loved ones. As we open up and threats in certain Local Government Areas relax, we can look to increase visitor numbers and freedoms.
All visits will require a booking to be made to ensure adequate spread for density requirements and to ensure equity for all who wish to visit.
Please book your visits at least a day in advance of the intended day of visit.
It is advised that you contact the residence you are wanting to visit to check their visiting hours.
Do I need to be fully vaccinated to visit?
As with all Victorians, aged care visitors are strongly recommended to be vaccinated. This is in line with the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee recommendations which strongly encourages all visitors, aged 12 and over, to aged care facilities be vaccinated.
I am unvaccinated or have only had one dose. Can I visit?
Where visitors have had only one dose of vaccination or are unvaccinated, either by choice or medical exemption, visits must be conducted outdoors after returning a negative Rapid Antigen Test and wearing appropriate PPE.
Do I need to be tested before entering a residence?
A negative Rapid Antigen Test result is required by ALL visitors prior to ALL visits. This will be undertaken on arrival by McKenzie Aged Care staff. As it can take 10-15 minutes for the test to provide a result, we ask for your patience during the process. It may be wise to arrive for your visit slightly early to allow time for the testing.
Self purchased Rapid Antigen Tests from retail stores will not be accepted.
Can I enter the residence if I am enquiring about a respite or permanent stay?
Visits from prospective residents are allowed, subject to vaccination status.
Important information for safe visiting
- Visitors must wear masks indoors
- Visitors should continue to undertake hand hygiene
- Visitors will be required to wear the same personal protective equipment that staff are required to wear when caring for a resident
- Visitors will be screened and asked to sign visitor declarations
- It is required that visits occur in a resident’s room, outdoors or in a specific area (e.g private dining room). No visits are to take place in communal areas with other residents. Visitors are respectfully requested to make their way straight to the assigned location after screening/testing and remain there for the duration of the visit. Anyone found entering communal zones will be asked to leave.
- Indoor visits should occur in well ventilated areas. Open windows to provide natural ventilation provided outdoor temperature is suitable.
- Practice social distancing throughout.
- Visitors must not visit if they are unwell.
While visitors are allowed, under the Care Facilities Directions, some people are not permitted to enter a care facility. This includes people who:
- have symptoms of COVID-19
- have had a COVID-19 test because they have symptoms or have attended an exposure site and are waiting for the result are required to isolate or quarantine
- have had contact with a COVID positive person in the past 14 days.
- Unvaccinated – unvaccinated or medical exemptions must visit outdoors only. A negative Rapid Antigen Test and wearing full PPE is mandatory.
Please refer to the following VIC Government web pages for more information about COVID-19 directions in that State.
New South Wales: Updated 30 November 2021
Residents are permitted to have two fully vaccinated visitors aged 12 years and over, plus two children aged under 12 years per day provided:
- Visitors aged 12 years and over must have received a second dose of a COVID vaccination at least 14 days prior to their visit.
- Children under 12 years are permitted to visit provided they are accompanied by a fully vaccinated person
- Where visits include a child under 12 it is strongly recommended, where possible:
– the visit is in an outdoor area
– the child should wear a mask
– the child should have Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) just before the visit
- Visits should not be in any inside communal areas. All visitors must wear a surgical mask while visiting indoors. For reasons when masks can be removed please see Additional Advice – Mandatory mask wearing.
- People who are providing a service to the resident (including a health or other professional service) are not counted in the number of visitors permitted.
The Minister has signed an exemption to the Public Health (COVID-19 Care Services) Order 2021 to allow more than 2 visitors per day for the purposes of visiting a resident who is at the end of life.
Visitors must not enter an RACF at all if they:
- have COVID-19 symptoms
- are a close or casual contact of a person with confirmed COVID-19 unless they have completed their self-isolation and testing requirements.
- are waiting for a COVID-19 test result.
- have been to an overseas country of concern in the last 14 days
- have been to other overseas countries (not of concern) in the previous 14 days, unless they are:
– fully vaccinated and have received a negative PCR test 7 days or later after arrival in NSW
Residents are permitted to leave the facility and attend family gatherings or for other reasons but must abide by the current Public Health (COVID-19 General) Order 2021.
Facilities must ensure that residents are provided with appropriate personal protective equipment, infection control and mask wearing advice if they leave the facility. See the latest face mask rules.
If a person cannot wear a face mask because of a disability, physical or mental health illness or condition, they must carry either:
- a medical certificate or letter signed by a registered health practitioner (such as a doctor) or a registered NDIS provider or
- a statutory declaration.
Please refer to the following NSW Government web pages for more information about COVID-19 directions in that State.