The pandemic and its variety of pressures have created ongoing challenges in the aged care sector. We continually align our facilities’ procedures with the ever-changing Government protocols to best protect the health and wellbeing of our beloved residents.
We know these restrictions have been frustrating for family and friends. We sincerely thank our extended AACG community for their continued support and understanding, while we work through the Government’s health directives.
The main COVID-related questions circulating in Australia right now are:
- Do I need to get the Covid-19 vaccination?
- What are the benefits?
- What are the risks?
- Do I need to have the vaccine?
- Do I have interaction with ‘the vulnerable’ in our community?
- Who are ‘the vulnerable’ in our community?
The directive is simple: If you can have the vaccine, you need to get vaccinated now.
The Delta strain has changed the way we look at the virus and the way our health agencies are responding to the current outbreak. The Delta strain increasingly targets children in our community and this outbreak has seen that just over 50% of the COVID cases are in fact children.
Children can contract the virus with evident symptoms showing but can also carry the virus with very mild symptoms to even no symptoms at all. Therefore, they can easily transmit COVID to people surrounding them without having any identifiable poor health condition.
Our elderly community has been identified as the most vulnerable age group within society. Therefore, at AACG, we wish to minimise outside risk, which could compromise the resilience of our aged care residents’ immune systems.
What does this mean for AACG staff?
The National Cabinet has mandated that the aged care workforce is required to have at least their first dose of any available Covid-19 vaccine by 17 September 2021.
Our AACG staff have already been monitored as per the request of the Federal Government for months now and the majority of our staff have already had both their doses of a COVID vaccine. Therefore, we have remained well ahead of Government mandates but still reassure our residents and their families that a 100% vaccination rate for all staff will be implemented before the deadlines.
On top of this, we also ask our staff to appraise their health status on a daily basis before coming to work. They are asked to consider:
- If they have a runny nose?
- If they have a temperature?
- If they are feeling overly tired?
- Are the members of their household ‘well’ including their children?
- If any member of the staff families is unwell?
If the answer is YES to any one of these questions, we ask that they don’t come to work until a COVID-19 test has come back negative. We all share these same responsibilities in our community because as we have seen it doesn’t take long for an outbreak to take hold.
AACG will continue to implement the safest health practices available to ensure the ongoing safety of our residents. We thank the AACG broader community for remaining vigilant and continuing to adhere to the Government’s current health restrictions.