Victorian Families – COVID-19 Update

Dear Victorian Families,

I hope you are all keeping safe and well. The high level of community-based COVID‑19 infection has inevitably impacted the health system over recent weeks and you will have read, with sadness, about the multiple outbreaks that have impacted hundreds of people and healthcare workers across Victoria. Unfortunately, Regis and our residents, families and staff have not been immune. Our thoughts are with all Victorians at this difficult time. Given this, I am writing today to provide you with an update on all our Victorian Homes.

I am very pleased to share that all results from the last rounds of COVID‑19 testing for all residents and staff at Regis East Malvern and Regis Macleod were negative. These Homes were in outbreak mode as a result of a staff member testing positive for COVID‑19. Repeated testing of all residents and staff confirmed that it hadn’t been passed onto anyone at either Home. Following advice from Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), these Homes were able to move to Enhanced Surveillance. This means residents can use communal areas whilst maintaining physical distance while staff stopped using full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Although it should be noted that staff at all Regis sites in Victoria are using face shields and masks as additional precaution at this time. The DHHS will provide Regis an update towards the end of next week, where we hope these outbreaks will formally be deemed over.

All staff and residents at Regis Dandenong North, Regis Blackburn, Regis Shenley, Inala Lodge and Alawarra Lodge also needed to be tested following a precautionary response due to community transmission. All results came back negative and the Homes have resumed normal operation.

Our Regis Sandringham Home also took a precautionary response while we waited for a test result to be returned for a staff member who became a close contact with someone who was COVID‑19 positive. Thankfully their result was negative and the Home quickly returned to normal.

Regis Ringwood has identified a staff member as a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID‑19. Therefore, the Outbreak Management Plan is in place. This result is expected either today or tomorrow and if it is negative, the Home will return to normal.

The Regis Outbreak Management Plan remains in place within Regis Fawkner, Regis Brighton and Regis Cranbourne.

All residents and staff at Regis Fawkner have been tested again for COVID‑19. The majority of test results have been returned as negative, although a handful are pending and expected back shortly. Sadly, one beloved resident has passed away and our thoughts are with their family at this difficult time.

Regis Brighton has concluded the 11th round of testing and results for all residents indicate there are no new confirmed cases of COVID‑19 detected. Most staff results have also been returned as negative, with only two pending. If these also return negative results it will have been more than 14 days since the last resident or staff member tested positive for COVID‑19. As a result, residents will be able to come out of isolation and socialise in communal areas once again. Albeit with social distancing in place. This will be a major milestone and we will all be relieved for our residents and their families.

While we reflect on the likelihood of the Home returning to normal, it is important to pause for a moment to remember residents who have passed away or been impacted as a result of this outbreak. Our thoughts are with all these families and our beloved residents.

Residents and staff at Regis Cranbourne have had their first round of COVID‑19 testing with a total of two staff members testing positive for COVID‑19. Fortunately, our residents have all tested negative in this first round of testing.

We are grateful for the support from the Commonwealth Government, the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, the Victorian Aged care Response Centre, Northern Health Residential In-Reach Program, Alfred Mobile Assessment and Treatment Service and Monash Health In-Reach Program for supporting our residents and providing clinical advice to our staff.

In addition to this, I would like to recognise our staff for their hard work and dedication during this challenging time. A number have contracted the virus and we have remained in contact throughout to ensure they remain supported. We are thankful that the majority have subsequently returned negative test results and received clearance to return to work. A number have also been provided with accommodation in nearby hotels rather than potentially exposing their own families and loved ones. Their commitment to the care of our residents is appreciated.

Since the outbreak of COVID‑19, we have taken a number of steps to ensure our residents and our staff members are safe. As always, I thank both you our families and our residents for adapting to these new measures and directions. I know it is challenging to be away from your loved ones but it is so important. I encourage you to continue connecting with your loved ones via Facetime and phone calls while our necessary Access Controls remain in place.

Please contact your Home’s Manager or call Regis Advice on 1300 998 100 if you would like more information about our response plans and your Home’s preparation. In the meantime, please know that we are doing everything we can to protect your loved ones.

Please stay safe and take care.

Best wishes,

Linda Mellors
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer