HammondCare update on coronavirus (COVID-19) at 6 March 2020

Please note: As at 15 March 2020, the Australian Government implemented a universal precautionary self-isolation requirement on all international arrivals to Australia for 14 days.

 

No doubt many of you are aware of recent news regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Australia is well prepared and has excellent health systems to deal with this virus, and HammondCare is closely following the national response as it continues to evolve.

HammondCare wants to take this opportunity to share details about our response plan should the situation escalate or in the unlikely event there is an outbreak in one of our locations or care environments.


We also want to provide you with information about your involvement in minimising the spread of Coronavirus.


Watch HammondCare General Manager, Residential Care, Angela Raguz discuss the topic and HammondCare’s actions with ABC News.

How HammondCare and you can help prevent the spread of Coronavirus:

  • Knowing the symptoms: fever, cough, shortness of breath and sore throat, and understand if you fit the specific requirements for self-isolation including recent travel to mainland China, Iran, Italy or South Korea at this point, and any future places of travel identified by the Australian Department of Health. PLEASE NOTE: As at 15 March 2020, the Australian Government implemented a universal precautionary self-isolation requirement on all international arrivals to Australia for 14 days.
  • If an employee has visited China, Iran, Italy or South Korea or had contact with a confirmed Coronavirus case and is engaged in care work or other work involving direct contact with residents, clients, patients, or other staff and volunteers etc., HammondCare may need to direct the worker to stand down from work for a period of 14 days after leaving China, Iran, Italy or South Korea or coming into contact with a confirmed case of Coronavirus. PLEASE NOTE: As at 15 March 2020, the Australian Government implemented a universal precautionary self-isolation requirement on all international arrivals to Australia for 14 days.
  • Focusing on hand hygiene: Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, before and after eating, and after going to the toilet.
  • If you have a cough, cough into the crook of your elbow not into your hands. Dispose of tissues and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
  • If you are unwell, avoid contact with others, and please reconsider whether you need to come to an aged care home, hospital or other environment where vulnerable members of our society are.

What should you expect if any outbreak of infection is identified in a HammondCare location?

  • HammondCare has a plan in place to ensure we are prepared with the right information and resources to ensure we can respond swiftly.
  • Standard precautions are already in place daily in care environments which includes the use of gloves and handwashing as normal practice, and staff have been trained to identify and escalate any signs of infection.
  • Precautions are also in place in other HammondCare sites - such as additional hand sanitiser - to support staff to stay safe and informed.
  • If any sign of an outbreak of infection is identified this will be escalated, medical assessment and diagnosis undertaken and if appropriate, contact will be made with the local Public Health Unit.
  • If an outbreak is confirmed, HammondCare will follow the direction of the local Public Health Unit and the Department of Health, and we will immediately implement additional Infection Control Practices which are designed to minimise the incident of cross infection.

This may include:

  • Additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in care environments, for example gowns and face masks if appropriate.
  • Additional hand sanitiser stations.
  • Isolation of the affected residents, clients, and patients if possible, and limited movement of residents and patients in their care environment.
  • If necessary, additional cleaning may be undertaken.
  • Local teams will communicate to relevant residents, clients, patients, family, volunteers and staff in a timely manner should there be an identified outbreak. Relevant people will receive a phone call about a confirmed outbreak in a specific location and written notice will be displayed as you enter that location.

The end goal of any containment process is to protect the most vulnerable members of our society by preventing a disease from being spread. We encourage everyone to be prepared, be alert, but not to be alarmed.

For the information and the latest updates from the Australian Government Department of Health, please visit: https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert.

If you have any further questions about how HammondCare is prepared to respond to any infection or outbreak  please feel free to contact our team on 1300 426 666 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For any media inquiries, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..