COVID-19: New rules for aged care and dental services
Published at: 20 Mar 2020
THERE ARE NEW REGULATIONS SURROUNDING AGED CARE FACILITIES WHICH INCLUDES GV HEALTH‘S GRUTZER HOUSE, PARKVILLA AND WARANGA HEALTH.
GV Health’s Community Care & Mental Health executive director Joshua Freeman said it was necessary to work together to protect the community’s most vulnerable.
He said there were now new restrictions in place when it came to GV Health’s aged care facilities Grutzner House, Parkvilla at Tatura and Waranga Health as a result of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is important that people closely monitor their own health to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19,” he said.
“Staff and visitors will have to provide details on their health status when entering facilities.
“They will be asked if they have travelled internationally, if they have symptoms, or if they’ve been in close contact with anyone who has had or has COVID-19”
Mr Freeman said GV Health was also prepared in the event a resident developed COVID-19.
“We have a COVID-19 outbreak plan which we will work though if the event of an outbreak,” he said.
“If this were to occur, residents would be isolated and treated according to the plan.”
Mr Freeman stressed visitors who had returned from overseas or had come in contact with someone with COVID-19 would not be able to visit aged care facilities, nor would anyone with a fever or who had not been vaccinated against the flu.
“From May 1, you must have your influenza vaccination to visit aged care facilities,” Mr Freeman said.
He said visits should also be short and conducted in the resident’s room, outside or in a specified area.
“We are avoiding people gathering in a communal space,” he said.
“There is to be no more than two people visiting at one time, including doctors, and those aged under 16 years will not be permitted to visit residents unless under special circumstances.”
Mr Freeman said visitors would also need to practice good hand hygiene, washing hands before entering and when leaving and they would also be encouraged to maintain social distancing.
“We’re taking these steps to ensure that our residential aged care facilities take extra precautions to protect our residents,” he said.
“We have lots of signage to explain these processes in order to protect the health of the residents that we look after.”
Some changes to dental services
There have been some changes at the GV Health Community Dental Service according to Dental Services’ acting clinical director of Rose McDonald.
Dr McDonald said the service had followed the footsteps of the Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne after the COVID-19 outbreak.
“We have advised for some changes,” she said.
“In aiming to minimise aerosol production, we may delay certain treatments that produce lots of aerosols, for example extensive scale and cleans and large fillings.”
Dr McDonald also said reception staff would ask patients to reschedule their appointments if they met the self isolation criteria for coronavirus.
“We are still treating dental patients and will continue to assess the situation and will notify patients if there are any changes,” she said.