HammondCare Residential update on coronavirus (COVID-19) at 31 March 2020

 
We would like to express our sincere gratitude for your continued commitment and dedication to supporting each other and working with us.

As the situation changes day by day, HammondCare continues to follow the directives of the Australian Government.

There have been some important changes over the last week following the Government’s announcement of tighter Stage 2 restrictions which effects businesses and individual behaviour to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. This included closures of some services (e.g. pubs, gyms, cinemas) and restrictions on businesses.

As of 29 March 2020, the Prime Minister also announced that all outdoor gatherings are now limited to two people and people over the age of 70 were strongly encouraged to stay at home for their own safety, as much as is practicably possible.


Despite some changes this week in the way we as a society are being asked to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, we still encourage you to be prepared, be alert, but not be alarmed.

Important Update: 2020 Flu Vaccine

Whilst the flu vaccination is considered beneficial for all people every year, this year is particularly important for all people connected to aged care services. The Government is strongly encouraging all people to get the influenza vaccination and HammondCare urges you to do this as soon as you are able.

The 2020 Influenza Vaccination is now available to the public. From this point on, as directed by recent Public Health Orders, anyone visiting an aged care home must have a 2020 vaccination against influenza, if the vaccination is available to you.

This means, that if you visit a HammondCare aged care home, the staff will ask you you whether you have had the 2020 influenza vaccination and will be urging you to go to your GP or pharmacy as soon as possible to get this vaccination. They will continue asking this question until all visitors are able to show proof of the 2020 influenza vaccination.

From 01 May 2020, all visitors to aged care services must have had the 2020 influenza vaccination. If you have not had the influenza vaccination from 01 May 2020, you will be unable to visit and will be asked to leave the home.

Proof of vaccination: We ask that you contact your GP now for the influenza vaccination and request a vaccination card or medical certificate, or proof as per Government Guidelines, as this will be required to be shown by every visitor, each visit. After 01 May 2020, if you do not show proof at every visit that you have received an influenza vaccination this year, then unfortunately you will be unable to visit and will be asked to leave the home.

HammondCare is ensuring that all staff in our residential care services comply with the need for a 2020 influenza vaccination by 01 May 2020 and are rolling out vaccination programs to make this as easy as possible for them. For those in our home care community, whilst the immunisation is not mandatory for home care clients or staff, we will be strongly encouraging and providing our home care staff with the vaccine.

What can you do to help reduce the spread of COVID-19?


There is a lot of information going around particularly as the situation in Australia keeps progressing. The gold standard is to continue with good hand hygiene and infection control principles:

  • Frequent hand washing
  • Cough into the crook of your elbow, and dispose of any tissues
  • Frequent cleaning of any hard surfaces in your home (kitchen benches, bathrooms etc)
  • Stay away from others if you are unwell, and seek advice from your General Practitioner. Please also call your Care Manager to let them know you are not well. 

In addition to the above, the Australian Government has advised that all people should stay at home, and are allowed to leave for things that are considered ‘essential’. If you are to leave your house you are to practice social distancing (staying 2 metres from other people as much as possible).

For people living in the community in their own homes, this is the most ideal situation to minimise the spread of COVID-19, where you can control when you go out of your home and who is visiting you. We encourage you to as much as possible stay at home, and only go out for the essentials where possible – to get groceries, to the pharmacy or to the doctors. Even if you are feeling well, it is important to take steps to prevent the spread of this virus and to ensure your own health and safety, particularly if you are visiting people in aged care.

How can you stay in touch?

We understand that these recommendations and the Government’s restrictions on society can be challenging when you are not able to see people as frequently in person.

Some other aged care providers have already banned visitors to aged care homes for example. We at HammondCare have decided against this approach at this stage. Instead, we recognise that social engagement with visitors is of significant importance to residents particularly when we are faced with the uncertain timeframes that may be ahead of us. We know that this COVID-19 situation will not be short-term and we want to ensure people are able to visit loved ones during this time as they are able.

In the event that these new Government restrictions mean that you did not see people as frequently, we recommend the use of a video conferencing such as Skype. If you need assistance with this, please do not hesitate to contact the service and they can help you set this up.

If you have any concerns or queries about how HammondCare is prepared to respond to any infection or outbreak, please don’t hesitate to contact our team on 1800 776 112 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - we are here to support and help you.

Relevant resources

For the most up to date information and advice on COVID-19 please visit the Department of Health website page at: health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert

https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/advice-for-people-at-risk-of-coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-people-in-aged-care-facilities