Yesterday, the NSW Ministry of Health formally advised residential aged care providers of changes to the current Public Health Order in place for residential aged care facilities. 

The new Public Health Order still contains the following requirements:

  • All screening will need to continue upon entry – at the moment this includes temperature checks, names and contact details, and may include areas identified as Hotspots.
  • Visiting times will continue to be limited to the specific days and times currently in place at each village.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday      8:30am – 4pm

Thursday     8:30am – 7pm

Saturday     10am – 12noon

Christmas Day/Boxing Day   9am -5pm

  • Gates will still remain closed, so that visitors will have to buzz for entry, and will be directed to a single point to ensure all screening still takes place.
  • Visitors are asked to remain within the resident’s room,or go to an outdoor area away from other residents.  Visits in communal resident areas, such as dining or lounge rooms, are not permitted, as this is where risk of transmission to other residents is greater.
  • Flu vaccinations are still required for staff and most contractors, except in exceptional circumstances

The new Public Health Order also has the following changes or amendments:

  • The restrictions on the number of care and support visitors a resident can receive at one time has been changed – they are no longer limited to only two people per visit.
  • It removes the requirement for persons entering to provide a care and support visit, to have the flu vaccination.
  • It allows a person to enter a residential aged care facility to provide a “welfare or wellbeing” visit to residents or to accompany a prospective resident. Such visitors do not have to have a flu vaccination.
  • Aged care providers will be advised on a regular basis by the Chief Health Officer if there are changes to the numbers of visitors allowed.

In addition to the above, Bankstown City Aged Care still requires all visitors, staff and residents to practice good hygiene, and sanitise or wash hands regularly and upon entry, to avoid any unnecessary risks of infection.

We are happy and excited to pass the details of these changes on to our families, residents and staff, in the lead up to the Christmas season, and see them as a positive step in the right direction. 

Deborah Key