CEO Update 

29th June 2022

COVID-19 Visitors Guidelines

Carino Care requires that visitors show evidence of a negative COVID-19 rapid antigen test result
taken within 24 hours before entry. Visitors providing essential care and entering on a regular basis
can, with the agreement of the RACF, do less frequent testing but the minimum interval
recommended is twice weekly.

Residents are permitted to have two fully COVID vaccinated visitors aged 12 years and over, plus two
children aged under 12 years per day:

• Visitors aged 12 years and over must have received a second dose of a COVID vaccination at
least 14 days prior to their visit.
• Visitors are strongly encouraged to get a booster vaccine if they are eligible for one, and to
have a negative Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) prior to each visit
• Up to 2 children under 12 years are permitted to visit provided they are accompanied by a
person fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
• Visitors are strongly encouraged to receive the 2022 seasonal flu vaccine as soon as it is
possible.
• All visitors must wear a surgical mask over their nose and mouth while visiting indoors. For
reasons when masks can be removed please see Additional Advice – Mandatory mask
wearing.
• Wherever possible, the visit should be in an outdoor area. Visits should not be in any inside
communal areas.
• People who are providing a service to the resident (including a health or other professional
service) are not counted as a visitor.
• Existing requirements in the Public Health (COVID-19 Care Services) Order 2022 on visiting
residents who are at end of life remain in place.

Under the Public Health (COVID-19 Care Services) Order (No 2) 2022 the operator of the residential
aged care facility can authorise a visitor unvaccinated against COVID-19 to enter and remain on the
premises for the purpose of visiting a resident who is at the end of life. In such cases, appropriate
care must be taken and it is strongly recommended:

• The visit is either facilitated outdoors, or solely inside the resident’s room and
• The visitor takes a rapid antigen test before the visit.
An exemption to the Public Health (COVID-19 Care Services) Order (No 2) 2022 has been signed to
allow more than two visitors to visit a resident who is at the end of life:
• The exemption is subject to the condition that the operator of the facility takes reasonable
steps to ensure:
• No more than 4 people (including children) visit at any one time
• All visitors wear a mask while in an indoor area, unless the visitor is interacting with the
resident they are visiting
• There is minimal interaction between the visitors and the staff and other residents
Updated 29th June 2022
Visitors must not enter a RACF at all if they:
• Have COVID-19 symptoms
• Are a household or close contact. These people must comply with the directions in the NSW
Health Household and Close Contact Guideline and must not visit a RACF for at least 7 days
after the last person in their house had a positive COVID-19 test. They should continue to
avoid RACFs for an additional 7 days.
• If there are extenuating compassionate reasons for
visiting a RACF and the visitor does not have symptoms of COVID-19, the facility may risk
assess to determine whether a visit can safely occur.
• Are waiting for a COVID-19 test result.
• People who are otherwise recently exposed to COVID-19 are recommended to not visit a
RACF for at least 7 days after exposure.

Visitor information if the service has a COVID outbreak

Unfortunately, COVID-19 is still active in the community and some of our services have been
affected by a COVID-19 outbreak.
If this happens the service will ensure visitors are aware of the exposure/outbreak at the RACF and
will update carers and families on regular basis as to the status of the outbreak. You will still be
asked to make an appointment to see your loved one. This will assist the management in planning
visitors and monitoring and supervising visitors onsite.
Essential visitors are permitted to continue to visit affected residents, including those considered to
be high risk and in designated red zones.

Essential visitors include:
• carers and usual ‘partners-in-care’, named visitors, people who provide personal care; those
visiting a resident who is at/approaching end of life.
Visitors must comply with RACF entry requirement, including RAT, PPE and vaccination as outlined in
the Chief Health Officer Advice. Where possible visits to affected residents should occur outdoors or
in an area with significant natural ventilation.

 

CEO Update

 

 24th May 2022

 

We are nearing the end of May 2022 and this year has been extremely challenging to date.

All of our homes have been touched by COVID cases. The lockdowns have affected the residents, their families and the dedicated staff who have continued to work tireless during this time. We appreciate everyone’s patience during this difficult time.

 

We have been diligent in ensuring all of our staff have had three COVID vaccines to minimise the risk to others and have had a number of clinics at the homes for residents to receive the vaccines and boosters if they so wish. Visiting is still being scheduled to assist with the distancing requirements around COVID.

 

Now, as we enter the true “flu season”, the Homes are focusing on Fluvax clinics. Carino Care strongly encourages all residents, visitors and staff to receive the current Fluvax, which is readily available at a number of pharmacy outlets.

 

Last year saw the lowest number of influneza cases in aged care, because of the vaccine program for residents, staff and visitors and stringent use of personal protective equipment such as masks.  I note this year already, the influneza virus is affecting a number of people in the community, so please help us avoid and outbreak of this in our most vulnerable.

 

On a positive note, you may have noticed some of the upgrades the homes have had in furniture, external garden and outdoor areas, solar panels, CCTV and equipment. This work will continue across the next two months.

 

Finally, as the government changes and Labour takes the reins we are looking forward to the focus on improving the aged care sector, the increase in care hours and the subsequent support to providers and we navigate the rest of 2022.

 

James Grealy- CEO

 

 

COVID-19 Pandemic Update

 

January 10th, 2022

 

CEO update

 

As we commence the new year of 2022, I’m sure you will agree we did not foresee that we would still be dealing with the COVID-19 virus. The year has started with a focus on the new Omicron variant and at last count over 45,000 new cases a day in NSW and over 395 aged care facilities with positive cases.

 

I understand many of you may feel anxious about your loved ones and we ask for your patience as some of our services move into a lock down situation.

Several of our homes have already felt the effects of COVID and we are working closely with the relevant government departments to manage these, and representatives and relatives are being notified if their loved one is affected and are being updated regularly.

Previously we asked visitors to have a negative PCR test prior to visiting, but please note given the fast spread of the virus we are also doing Rapid Antigen testing on visitors when they arrive and if this shows a positive result, you will not be allowed entry.

Please contact the aged care facility before attempting to visit to check the latest status.  Scheduled appointments are still the preference unless your loved one is palliating, where separate arrangements will be made.

 

Remember, you cannot enter the facility if you are not fully vaccinated for both influenza and COVID-19 or unless you have a valid medical exemption.

 

Thank you.

Dr. James Grealy -CEO


November 8th, 2021

 

CEO update

 

As 2021 draws to a close, we can all say that it will be a relief to see 2022. While we have faced many Covid challenges in NSW for the past 4 months, we have some wins to celebrate in managing this insidious virus.

All of Carino Care’s working staff are fully vaccinated for both Infuenza and COVID-19

All visitors coming into the homes are now fully vaccinated for both Influenza and COVID-19.

 

Only people with accepted medical exemptions are excused from this requirement. 80% of our residents across Carino Care has chosen to participate in the COVID vaccine program and are also fully vaccinated. All of homes have robust Pandemic Management Plans in place.

 

We are still managing social distancing and visitors as per the NSW Health Advice. As such, unfortunately, Christmas celebrations this year will be limited to residents only for annual Christmas entertainment event.

 

Visitors are still required to book a visit time so the site can maintain the required covid distancing requirements.

 

Please speak to your site administration or manager if you need more information regarding this. Regular updates will be posted via our MINT social app also over the coming weeks.

 

Thank you for your patience, wishing you all a safe Christmas and a better 2022.

Dr James Grealy


July 14th, 2021

 

CEO update

 

NSW has entered the most worrying time since the COVID pandemic commenced back in 2020 with increasing numbers of community transmission and a highly infectious delta variant spreading through the greater Sydney region.

Carino Care has been taking every precaution to mitigate the risk of Covid entering our homes during this time.

 

While most residents in our services have been vaccinated against COVID, the risk to the elderly is still the greatest.

 

Given the lockdown restrictions in Sydney we have taken a risk approach to who we allow to enter our homes.

 

Visitors of residents who are palliating or who are highly distressed will continue to be supported to attend the service. PPE and screening procedures including using the QR code will still apply.

Other family members will be supported to visit via electronic means (Facetime or Skype) and in some circumstances, window visits.

Please speak to your site administration or manager if you need more information regarding this.

 

Regular updates will be posted via our MINT social app also over the coming weeks.

 

All Carino Care staff are currently undergoing the vaccine program and will also be covid tested over the next week- just to be sure we are not carrying the virus into our homes, unbeknown.

 

Thank you for your patience,

Dr James Grealy


June 21st, 2021

Dear Families and Visitors,

 

The recent news that there are now cases of the highly contagious Covid variant in Sydney is very concerning. There have been new cases in the Sydney and Illawarra areas, but excluding the Central Coast. The state of Victoria still remains an affected area and there are also new places of concern.

The most recent advice from the NSW Chief Medical officer is the following for our Carino Care Homes:

– All staff and visitors must wear a surgical mask

– Only two visitors per resident should be allowed each day

– Visits should be within the Resident’s room (if it is a shared room we will institute visiting in a common area with social distancing)

The residents within our homes have all received two shots of the Covid vaccine and staff within our homes have been incentivised to participate in the Covid vaccination program.

All staff have received their influneza vaccine this year and no visitors can enter the homes without proof of an influneza vaccine.

We would like to remind you to please stay home if you have the slightest symptoms of a cold.

Recently two of our facilities have been placed in lockdown for flu like illnesses and these have likely been traced back to visitors who have entered the homes.

 

Please also read the following link for the latest updates and advice regarding the recent Covid cases

COVID-19: Advice for aged care services – COVID-19 (Coronavirus) (nsw.gov.au)

 

Regards,

Dr James Grealy

CEO


20th May 2021

Dear Families and Friends,

We are pleased to announce that all of our homes have had the Covid vaccination clinics, and a large number of the Residents have received both Pfizer vaccines.

This gives us all a sense of relief as we try and incorporate Covid into our everyday lives.

This year all aged care workers and visitors are required to have an influenza vaccine to enter the homes.

From 1 June to 30 September 2021 staff and visitors should not enter an aged care facility if they have not received a dose of the 2021 influenza vaccine, unless they meet the criteria under the exceptional and special circumstances.

Priority should be given for COVID vaccination. Visitors are permitted to enter a facility if their influenza vaccine is delayed due to receiving COVID vaccinations, please speak to the management team and provide documentation showing COVID vaccination dates for entry.

Please feel free to send any further queries to our inquiries email.

Dr. James Grealy

CEO


24th March 2021

Dear Families and Friends,

NSW Health is working closely with the Australian Government to plan and implement a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccination program in NSW.

In NSW, the first people to receive a COVID-19 vaccine will include:

  • Healthcare workers working in locations with a higher risk of exposure to, and transmission of COVID-19, such as emergency departments, COVID-19 testing clinics, and COVID-19 wards;
  • Staff working in designated quarantine facilities.
  • Residents and staff of residential aged and disability care facilities.

The Australian Government is responsible for securing and distributing the COVID-19 vaccines and overseeing the national COVID-19 vaccination strategy. The NSW Government is collaborating with the Australian Government to implement the COVID-19 vaccination plan in NSW.

Carino Care homes are currently being contacted and dates set for vaccination clinics.  The vaccine is voluntary and consent must be obtained before a Resident can participate.

Please feel free to send any further queries to our inquiries email.

Dr. James Grealy

CEO

Advice to residential aged care facilities – COVID-19 (Coronavirus) (nsw.gov.au)