Re: COVID-19 case at Yallambee Village

Dear Residents and Relatives,

I am writing to provide an update on this morning’s communication to you about the agency worker who tested positive yesterday for COVID-19.

The infected worker only entered Esme Hilton House and worked her shift on the top floor of the building on the morning of Thursday 29 July 2021.  The Public Health Unit have advised us she was asymptomatic when she worked and only tested positive late yesterday.  

Sonic Health are onsite between 2pm – 5 pm today to swab 100% of residents and staff.  We have been advised the earliest the results will be available is 24 hours from the lab receiving the specimens which means late tomorrow afternoon/early evening.  There is an urgent escalation protocol in place if any staff or residents develop symptoms before all the tests have been processed by the lab. Residents in the entire village are being monitored 3 times per day for any symptoms, including a fever. We will be contacting the next of kin via phone in the following order to advise you of the test results:

  1. The next of kin of any resident who has a positive result
  2. The next of kin of the residents living on the top floor of Esme Hilton
  3. The next of kin of the residents living on the ground floor of Esme Hilton. 
  4. The reminder of the residents living at Yallambee.

The Public Health Unit convened an urgent outbreak meeting today with the BCAC team and have provided support and advice on who is considered a close contact of the positive worker. We were advised all the actions we had taken met the requirements and no additional measures were required. The Commonwealth Department of Health have also provided access to the national stockpile of PPE to support the facility for the period of the outbreak. The next meeting is midday tomorrow and I will provide a further update after that meeting.

All visitor requests have to be approved by the Public Health Unit during an outbreak so please contact the Facility Manager, Bitto Singh if you would like us to escalate your request.  Some of you may recall during the height of last year’s lockdown in Sydney 100% of requests were denied by the PHU, however your request will still be forwarded for consideration, especially for anyone who is being provided with end of life care.

As I have new information I will continue to update you.  I anticipate the next communication will be approximately 3pm tomorrow via email, followed by a phone call as test results become available. Once all residents and families have been notified about individual results I will email the results of the entire facility.  Please update your extended families on the situation and communication from BCAC.

We are working tirelessly to ensure we keep all our residents safe and appreciate it will be difficult for you and your families in the next 24 hours whilst we wait for the test results.

We will still be continuing zoom calls and phone calls between residents and families during this time .

Thank you for your support and patience.