Coronavirus: Response of Port Macquarie-Hastings and Camden Haven aged care centres

Port Macquarie-Hastings and Camden Haven aged care centres have introduced some positive initiatives to help ease any anxieties amongst residents in light of the coronavirus outbreak.

Whiddon Laurieton have a number of internal activities to entertain residents during what can be a concerning time, including movie sessions.

The spokesperson said they've also taken other steps, including postponing all events and external guests to minimise risk to residents and staff.

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The Laurieton centre has also increased hygiene practices, including having sanitiser at each entry point, increased cleaner schedules and education for staff on hand washing procedures.

Meanwhile Bethany Aged Care Centre in Port Macquarie is run by the The Salvation Army.

The organisation's Aged Care National Director, Richard de Haast said for residents who are experiencing anxiety following the coronavirus outbreak, there is emotional and spiritual support on offer through the on site Chaplains.

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, Mr de Haast said the centre's staff have sent regular communications to residents and family members.

"These communications have been informed by working closely the Department of Health and Public Health Units to ensure updated information about the virus is shared as soon as it is made available," he said.

"At the moment, we are focused on hygiene, clinical supplies, restricting visitors that have travelled or transited through countries that present a high risk in relation to the virus, as well as visitors with flu-like symptoms."

Meanwhile, a spokesperson from Uniting Mingaletta Port Macquarie Residential Aged Care said the centre's emergency response plan builds on existing outbreak planning and preparations, which includes robust infection control processes that are already in place.

"This community health issue is receiving the highest levels of attention in our organisation. We are also working closely with local public health units," the spokesperson said.

The Uniting spokesperson acknowledged health matters of this nature can be concerning.

"We encourage any aged care resident or their family members who may have questions to speak to their service manager," she said.

On Wednesday, March 18 Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced visitors and staff will not be permitted to enter an aged care facility if they are:

  • People who have returned from overseas in the last 14 days
  • Those who have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days
  • Those with fever or symptoms or acute respiratory infection and symptoms
  • Those who have not been vaccinated against influenza after the 1st of May

Mr Morrison said facilities must reduce the risk of transmission to residents, including limiting visits to a short periods and a maximum of two visitors at one time per day.

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