Coronavirus Update

 

Tuesday 23 June 2020

Good afternoon all,

Please find the following information providing staff with an update on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus Update
We are pleased to be able to provide participants, families / guardians, and staff with an update on the phased approach (previously communicated on 26 May 2020) that Mercy Connect is taking with the relaxation of pandemic restrictions.

It is important to note that we continue to monitor daily government announcements and any reported cases of COVID-19, with particular reference to Victoria’s recent COVID-19 outbreaks, which may require any relaxed restrictions to be reintroduced as deemed reasonable and necessary.

We would like to reiterate the warning the New South Wales Premier, Gladys Berejiklan, has provided this morning, and that is not to travel to COVID-19 hotspots within Victoria, including refraining from travelling to Melbourne unless it is absolutely essential. With Victoria battling with a new outbreak of infections and an uptick in community transmission it is important that we minimise the risk of outbreaks that occur within our communities.

Due to the ongoing, unknown nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must remain vigilant and agile in our approach, in accordance with National, State and Mercy Connect guidelines, and be prepared to further amend developing plan as required.

As such, the introduction of each detailed phase will continue to be actively monitored, with weekly reviews to be conducted by the Executive Team.

Ongoing infection control precautions will remain in place to reduce the likelihood of COVID-19 transmission, whilst supporting desired social interaction and activities.

Such practices include:

  • Staff must not attend work if they are unwell.
  • Monitoring participants health status; any coughing, runny nose, shortness of breath or a possible temperature will require the person to be isolated until appropriate people have been notified, and initiating COVID-19 testing and cleaning.
  • Hand Sanitiser Station to be located at the entrance to the building to be used on entry and exit.
  • Cough and sneeze technique education.
  • Use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Social distancing practices.
  • Frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned during the day and a full clean at the completion of the day, including bathrooms.

Albury – Day Program: Remains at Phase 1
a) Outreach participants who live on their own or with their family / guardian will continue to attend.
b) External participants who are supported by other organisations are still not permitted to attend.

Orange – Day Program: Progresses to Phase 3
a) Outreach participants who live on their own or with their family / guardian will continue to attend.
b )Participants living in Mercy Connect accommodation will be permitted to attend full day programs activities.
c) External participants who are supported by other organisations will be permitted to attend for a period of 4 weeks. A signed information sheet / declaration will need to be completed by each family / guardian.

Albury & Orange – Accommodation: Progresses to Phase 2 (with limitations)
From 29 June 2020.
a) Mercy Connect group homes will remain closed to all non-essential visitors (with Day Program activities continuing at home only in Albury).
b) Family members / guardians, can continue visiting participants in outside locations.
c) Participants will continue to encouraged to go out for exercise purposes.
d) For those who live independently in Mercy Connect Units, it is proposed that they continue with daily activities, where possible.
e) Participants may have day trips to family / guardian homes; however, still no overnight stays. A signed information sheet / declaration will need to be completed by each family / guardian.

Corporate Office (Thurgoona, Albury): Remains at Phase 1
a) All office-based staff will continue with normal working routines i.e. no longer working from home. Social distancing and infection control practices remaining in place.
b) Office remains closed to the external public, including participants.

Central West Office (Illamatta Way, Orange): Progresses to Phase 2
From 29 June 2020:
a) All office-based staff will continue with normal working routines i.e. no longer working from home. Social distancing and infection control practices remaining in place.
b) Office is re-opened to the external public, including participants.

Making nutrition a priority for COVID-19 and beyond
The NDS are hosting a Member Wellness Webinar about making nutrition a priority for COVID-19 and beyond. The webinar will be held on Friday 3 July 2020, 12:00pm – 1:00pm. I encourage staff to attend the webinar. You can register your attendance to the webinar by going to this link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/4215927906900/WN_NZwCpJ26QmChRda3XfPqkA

Together we grow.

Trent Dean
Chief Executive Officer