Residential aged care infection control and emergency planning

The Department of Health’s Chief Medical Officer has released a letter to Residential Aged Care Providers regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Summary:

- Aged care homes often have frequent visitors and carers coming and going, and close physical contact between staff, residents and their families.
- Elderly residents are more at risk of infections generally, and are particularly vulnerable to serious illness if they do become infected. 
- While the number of cases of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is currently small in Australia, it is possible that this situation could change and services need to plan and be prepared for this.

 

An aged care home emergency plan would consider factors such as:
- first steps if infection is suspected or identified (e.g. seeking medical assessment, diagnosis and contact with local public health officials, if needed);
- arrangements to ensure adequate care of the infected individual (e.g. staffing, isolation/quarantine within the facility, medical care, further liaison with public health officials);
- protection measures for other residents, visitors and staff; and 
- notification advice to families, carers and relevant authorities

 

Resources:

The full letter can be found here

Australian Health Sector Emergency Response Plan for Novel Coronavirus

A 24-hour National Coronavirus Health Information Line available on 1800 020 080

 

 

 

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