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 14 March 2022
Certain visitor restrictions are in place in residential aged care facilities across Queensland to ensure the ongoing safety of patients and staff.
Visitors, staff, students or volunteers at a residential aged care facility should not be anyone who:
- is unwell
- is diagnosed with COVID-19
- recently had COVID and it has been 7 days or less since their isolation period ended
- is in home quarantine, unless granted an exemption
- has returned from overseas in the last 14 days, unless granted an exemption
- is a close contact of a person with COVID-19, unless 7 days have passed since their quarantine period ended
- has had a COVID-19 test 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
- is unvaccinated and not visiting for a permitted purpose. Permitted purposes include:
– under 16 years of age; or
– unable to receive a COVID-19 vaccine because of a recognised medical contraindication and has evidence of a recognised medical contraindication; or
– is a COVID-19 vaccine trial participant, and receipt of a Therapeutic Goods Administration approved vaccine would impact the validity of the trial. As this exemption is temporary, the medical certificate must not have expired.
– visiting a resident of shared disability accommodation service for one of the following purposes:
– end of life visit (you do not need an exemption)
– in an emergency
– maintaining continuity of care to a resident, including advocacy services, that cannot be delivered by electronic or non-contact means – for example a visitor providing support for a resident to eat their meals.
If you fit into one of the above categories, you may still be permitted enter a residential aged care facility if:
- you are granted an exemption to visit a resident at the end of life and you have the permission of the operator of the aged care facility
- if in isolation or quarantine, or during your post-isolation or post-quarantine periods, you are permitted to leave isolation or quarantine under the Isolation of Diagnosed Cases of COVID-19 and Management of Close Contacts Direction.
- If an Exemption is granted in other exceptional circumstances.
Visitors and volunteers should:
- wash their hands before entering and leaving the facility
- provide their contact information on entry, using the Check In Qld app or another method of collection
- stay 1.5 metres away from others where possible
- comply with mandatory face mask requirements
- stay away when unwell
- follow requests from the facility to help keep staff and residents safe.
Please refer to the following QLD Government web pages for more information about COVID-19 directions in that State.
Victoria: Updated 12 April 2022
All our homes have a booking system in place, it is advised that you contact the residence you are wanting to visit (during business hours) to check their visiting hours and make a booking.
Rapid Antigen Testing Requirements
As per the Guidance for the Pandemic (Visitors to Hospitals and Care Facilities) Order 2022 (No. 4) it is a requirement that all visitors must make a reasonable attempt to undertake a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) on the same day as attending the home, and provide acceptable evidence of a negative result. If a visitor cannot, after making reasonable attempts, obtain a RAT then additional visiting restrictions may apply.
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.
Please refer to the following VIC Government web pages for more information about COVID-19 directions in that State.
New South Wales: Updated 14 April 2022
It is recommended that each visitor shows evidence of a negative RAT result taken within 24 hours before entry. Visitors providing essential care and entering on a regular basis can, with the agreement of the Residential Aged Care Facility, do less frequent testing but the minimum interval recommended is twice weekly.
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.
- Visitors are strongly encouraged to get a booster vaccine if they are eligible for one, and to have a negative Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) prior to each visit
- Up to 2 children under 12 years are permitted to visit provided they are accompanied by a fully vaccinated person.
- Babies and toddlers under 3 years of age should not wear a mask as it is a choking hazard.
- Wherever possible, the visit should be in an outdoor area. Visits should not be in any inside communal areas. All visitors must wear a surgical mask over their nose and mouth while visiting indoors. For reasons when masks can be removed please see Additional Advice – Mandatory mask wearing. * Please note it is a McKenzie Aged Care directive that all visitors/staff/contractors are required to wear a face shield/goggles in addition to the N95 mask while at the home.
- People who are providing a service to the resident (including a health or other professional service) are not counted as a visitor.
- Existing requirements in the Public Health (COVID-19 Care Services) Order 2021 on visiting residents who are at end of life remain in place.
Visitors must not enter an RACF at all if they:
- have COVID-19 symptoms
- have been exposed to COVID-19 unless they have completed their self-isolation and testing requirements. People who have had high risk exposures should not enter high risk settings for at least 14 days since their exposure to a COVID-positive person.
- are waiting for a COVID-19 test result.
- have been overseas in the previous 14 days, unless they are:
– fully vaccinated, it has been at least 7 days after arrival and they have received a negative rapid antigen test 6 days or later after arriving in NSW.
Residents may leave the facility and attend family gatherings or for other reasons but must abide by the current Public Health (COVID-19 General) Order 2021.
Residents who leave the facility to attend a family gathering and return the same day should on return have a RAT on days 2, 4 and 7 after they return. If well, residents do not need to isolate. If they develop any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 they should immediately be isolated and have a RAT or PCR test.
Residents who do not return the same day should be isolated until they have a negative PCR, (RAT if delays in PCR processing) the day of return with subsequent tests on day 3, 5 and 7 after they return.
Residents should get a booster dose as soon as they are eligible for one.
Residents should not leave the facility if they have COVID-19 symptoms until they have had a RAT or PCR test and have received a negative result.
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.
Please refer to the following NSW Government web pages for more information about COVID-19 directions in that State.