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 8 October 2021
From 4pm today, restrictions will be eased for the following Local Government Areas and we can welcome visitors back from these regions:
- Brisbane City Council
- Gold Coast City Council
- Logan City Council
- Moreton Bay Regional Council
- Townsville City Council (including Magnetic Island)
- Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council
This also means that our Seabrook (Deception Bay), Bribie Cove (Bongaree), Sandbrook (Burleigh Waters) and The Terraces (Varsity Lakes) will be open to visitors from 4pm.
For residential aged care facilities located across Queensland, the following measures apply:
Visitors, staff, students or volunteers at a residential aged care facility should not be anyone who:
- is unwell
- has been diagnosed with COVID-19
- has returned from overseas in the last 14 days (excluding safe travel zone countries) unless an exemption has been granted
- is in home quarantine, unless an exemption has been granted
- has had contact with a person with COVID-19 in the last 14 days
- has visited a COVID-19 hotspot in the last 14 days or since the hotspot was declared (whichever is shorter)
- has visited an interstate exposure venue in the last 14 days unless an exemption has been granted for an end of life visit
- has been in an interstate area of concern in the last 14 days or since the identified start date (whichever is shorter), unless you fit into one
- of the categories of people who are allowed to enter a facility with a negative COVID-19 test
- has been tested for COVID-19 and is waiting for the result (except for tests due to surveillance testing obligations)
- has COVID-19 symptoms of fever (37.5 degrees or more), cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, loss of smell or taste, runny nose, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting or fatigue
You may enter a residential aged care facility if you do not fit into any of the above categories.
- wash their hands before entering and leaving the facility
- stay 1.5 metres away from others where possible
- stay in the resident’s room, outside or in a specific area (avoiding communal spaces)
- stay away when unwell
- follow requests from the facility to help keep staff and residents safe.
If you cannot visit your loved one due to these restrictions, please use our stay connected options.
Please refer to the following QLD Government web pages for more information about COVID-19 directions in that State.
Victoria: Updated 29 October 2021
The Department of Health has provided new visiting directions to aged care providers which will take effect from 6pm Friday 29 October 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, at the discretion of the Facility Manager each resident is requested to limit numbers of visitors to a maximum of 3 per day, 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 11 October 2021
From 11 October 2021 residents are permitted to have two visitors per day provided:
- they are aged 12 years and over and
- have received a second dose of a COVID vaccination at least 14 days prior to their visit
There is an exception for up to two unvaccinated people to visit a resident for an end of life visit. They must always wear a surgical mask and the visit must be solely inside the resident’s room. Facilities should consider Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) if readily available for visitors attending an end of life visit.
People who are providing a service to the resident including a health service or professional or other service are not included as part of the visitor limitations.
All visitors must wear a surgical mask while visiting indoors. For reasons when masks can be removed please see Additional Advice.
Apart from end of life visits, visits may be permitted in either the resident’s room or an outside area but not in any inside communal areas.
Visitors must not enter an RACF at all if they:
- have been to any close, casual or monitor for symptoms locations in NSW, Victoria, Queensland, and the Australian Capital Territory or New Zealand in the last 14 days
- have COVID-19 symptoms
- are a close contact of a person with confirmed COVID-19 and are within their isolation period.
- live in a household with a person who is currently isolating.
- are waiting for a COVID-19 test result.
Please read Exceptional circumstances for visiting a RACF.
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 (the Order).
There are directions in the Order relating to vaccination requirements. All people aged 16 years and over must be fully vaccinated to visit:
- Hospitality venues such as a café or restaurant
- group classes and activities at recreation facilities
- retail outlets such as shopping centres (not including critical services such as a supermarket or pharmacy)
Facilities must ensure that residents are provided with appropriate PPE and infection control advice if they leave the facility. 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.