Regis Alawarra Lodge – COVID-19 precautionary response

Dear Families,

Unfortunately, we have been advised this afternoon by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS,) that an Allied Health worker, who attended residents at Alawarra Lodge on 6 August, has tested positive to COVID-19. The Allied Health worker wore PPE whilst seeing these residents.

We have been advised that this person was not infectious to other people during their time at our Home. We do not know where this person acquired their infection.

To assist authorities with their investigations and contact tracing, we have been asked to organise widespread testing for our Home. In the interim the DHHS has asked that Alawarra Lodge remain in lockdown until all results are known.

Once we have the results we can reassess restrictions at our Home. In the meantime our residents have been asked to remain in their rooms and all staff will be in full PPE. DHHS will organise for all residents and staff to be tested by Sonic Healthcare over the next few days.

We have advised the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission about this notification.

This information has been sent to all residents and we have called each resident’s Nominated Primary Contact directly. We will keep you updated via email every day with the latest news and advice. Residents will also receive daily printed updates until the outbreak is declared over by the DHHS.

In addition, you can call through to Regis Advice on 1300 998 100, who will be able to transfer you to a dedicated support team who can answer your questions and action anything as needed. We have established this process to help the team at the Home focus completely on the care and support of our residents at this time and ensure our Outbreak Management Plan is enacted quickly, efficiently and successfully.

Our Lifestyle team will continue with an adapted one-on-one program, including providing emotional support and assistance to residents with FaceTime and phone calls to loved ones over the coming days. This connection is important, particularly as our residents remain in their rooms. We are coordinating the delivery of additional iPads and tablets to the Home to help support this.

This news is, of course, not the news we wanted to hear during this challenging time. The Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) has a range of resources available to support you and your loved ones. I encourage you to visit the OPAN website and read the OPAN Flyer (PDF). We have also included a COVID-19 Fact Sheet (PDF) and COVID-19 Useful Resources Sheet (PDF) for your reference that will also be provided to your loved ones. I hope you find them useful.

I understand that you may feel concerned, anxious or worried by this news. We are here to support you and your loved ones during this challenging time and will keep you informed at every step of the way. Please call Regis Advice (1300 998 100) for reassurance, or to ask any questions you may have.

Keeping our residents and our employees safe at this time is our highest priority.

Best wishes,

Linda Mellors
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer