Coronavirus (COVID-19) update
Please check this page regularly for updates and our response to the Coronavirus situation.
You are also welcome to contact our team on email@example.com.
What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses known to cause respiratory infections. These can range from the common cold to more serious diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). The elderly and anyone with an underlying immune deficiency or pre-existing health condition are the most at risk of this disease and a range of precautionary measures are being taken nationally to limit the spread of the disease and protect those most at risk.
Steps RFBI has taken to protect our residents, clients and staff
As an aged care provider, RFBI has robust infection control measures in place and our staff are knowledgeable in how to mitigate the risks of an infectious disease outbreak and respond to this, should we have one in our villages or in an area where we deliver home care services. These procedures are regularly reviewed by our in-house Nurse Practitioner and updated in line with new information and recommendations from the Department of Health.
There are no cases of COVID-19 in any of our residential aged care villages.
29 May Update: RFBI welcomes families for face to face visits again from Tuesday 9 June
Recently the Prime Minister announced a three step approach to easing restrictions across Australia and people living in NSW are now enjoying the ability to catch up in small numbers both at home and outdoors, with even greater freedoms allowed from 1 June. This is certainly welcome news, however it is important to note that health experts still advise that the risk of Coronavirus is very high for those aged over 70 years (or over 60 years if they have a health condition) and we must continue to do all we can to protect these people.
At RFBI we have implemented a number of measures to keep our residents, clients and staff safe. One of these has been to restrict access to visitors at our residential care villages and our teams have been working hard to ensure that even with these restrictions in place, our residents and families stay connected. Since the start of March our team has assisted over 5,000 video calls via LifeSize and Zoom, as well as countless calls via Facetime, What’sApp and other video conferencing channels. We have also hosted thousands of window visits and supported resident and families to stay connected in a variety of other ways as well. But we know, nothing really replaces being able to see your loved one face to face and we thank all of our residents and families for their patience and support throughout this time.
We are delighted to advise that we will be welcoming families for face to face visits again at eight (8) of our Villages from Tuesday 9 June. The villages where we are re-opening for face to face visits are in locations where there has been no new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the local or surrounding community for an extended period of time, and with strict visiting protocols we now believe we can facilitate face to face visits again safely. The locations where we are welcoming families for face to face visits from 9 June are:
- Glen Innes
- West Wyalong
We are monitoring the situation closely in all of our locations and look forward to having more of our villages welcome face to face visits from families in the not too distant future when it is safe to do so. Window and assisted video calls will of course continue in these areas.
New visitor protocols
To make our face to face visits as safe as possible for everyone, we have created new visiting protocols and a Village Concierge role at each RFBI Village who will support face to face visits and carry out pre-entry screening checks. All face to face visits are by appointment only and to support this we have launched a new online booking system. The booking system can also be used to book window visits and assisted video calls. Visiting appointments can also be made over the phone by calling your RFBI Village direct.
RFBI’s response to COVID-19; Protecting our residents, clients and staff
- Face to Face visits available in some locations. Where visitor restrictions are still in place exemptions apply for palliating residents.
- Where face to face visits are possible, these will be done under strict new visiting protocols
- Introduced a new ‘Village Concierge’ role at each RFBI Village to support face to face visits
- Created a new online visiting system
- Anyone seeking to enter an RFBI Village is to complete a pre-entry screening declaration
- Anyone seeking to enter an RFBI Village is to have their temperature taken prior to entering the Village
- We continue to admit new residents, with a pre-screening process to ensure they do not put any of our current residents at risk
- Any resident returning (or entering) an RFBI Village from hospital is to self-isolate in their room for 14 days
- Twice daily temperature checking of all residents
- Expanded activities program and additional hours for Leisure and Lifestyle team
- Supported engagement between residents and their families
- ‘Coping with COVID-19’ handy hints and tips to help our clients, families and local communities stay healthy, happy and connected throughout this difficult period
- Ordering of additional PPE stocks so it is on hand should we need it
- Regular communication with residents, clients and families
- Weekly check-in calls for Care at Home clients
- Contactless support available for all Care at Home clients
- Outbreak Response Team at each Village
- Outbreak Management Toolkit for staff
- Outbreak Management Plan for staff in the event of a Coronavirus outbreak
- Additional cleaning at all villages
- Enhanced hand hygiene controls at all villages
- Mandatory additional staff training on infection control processes and procedures
- A dedicated email address so that we can respond promptly to any questions or concerns relating specifically to Coronavirus (COVID-19) and our response firstname.lastname@example.org
RFBI’s response to Coronavirus at specific RFBI Villages and Care at Home services
If you would like information about our response to Coronavirus specifically relating to any of our Villages, or Care at Home services, please feel free to call our team on 1800 181 959 or contact the Village or Care Coordinator directly.
- 12 May, Aged Care Visitor Access Code released by aged care peak bodies
- 10 May, Media statement from NSW Premier regarding the easing of restrictions
- 8 May, Government 3 Step CovidSafe plan
- 8 May, Media statement from Prime Minister of Australia
- 27 April, new voluntary Coronavirus app COVIDSafe – search ‘COVIDsafe’ in your app store
- 8 April, Media statement from Prime Minister of Australia
- 31 March, new government Coronavirus App – search ‘Coronavirus Australia’ in your app store
- 30 March, Updated rules and financial support offered
- 29 March, Government updates on social distancing and financial assistance available
- 24 March, Media statement from Prime Minister of Australia
- 22 March, Media statement from Prime Minister of Australia
- 18 March, Department of Health: ‘Information for residents of residential aged care services, their family members and visitors’
Reminder about flu vaccinations
The government has made it a requirement that anyone seeking to enter an aged care facility after 1 May, 2020 must have received the flu vaccination. There are exemptions for people who are unable to have the vaccination for medical reasons. Information about this has been shared with all of our residents, clients, families, staff, volunteers and business partners. If you would like to know more please call your local RFBI Village or email us at email@example.com.
For information and answers to common questions , please read the Department of Heath’s FAQ sheet for Restrictions on entry into and visitors to aged care facilities
NSW Health COVID-19 Clinics
NSW Health COVID-19 / Flu assessment clinics are up and running across the state. These clinics are for those with fever or respiratory symptoms who are most at risk, including those returning from overseas, in contact with a COVID-19 case, or health workers. Please call your GP or healthdirect on 1800 022 222 before visiting a clinic.
For a list of Clinic locations please click here.
How you can help prevent Coronavirus spreading
Advice from the health experts working on COVID-19 is that the most effective way of reducing your risk, and that of others around you, is by maintaining good hand hygiene. All of our staff have undergone additional mandatory hand hygiene training and we have placed information and hand sanitizer at the entrance to all of our Villages. Click here for tips on how to wash hands properly.
For more information you can also visit the Department of Health website.