Important Information about Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Welcome to the Southern Cross Care (WA) Coronavirus (COVID-19) information page

WA has moved to Level 2 public health and social measures from 3 March 2022.

With the introduction of WA Level 2 public health and social measures, SCC has adopted the following entry restrictions at all of our residential care homes and Community Options:

  • Visitors must return a negative Rapid Antigen Test prior to entry.
  • Residents may only receive 2 visitors per day in our Residential Aged Care Homes for the purpose of a care and support visit.
  • Please help us by booking using the Zipline booking system.
  • Visiting can occur between 10am to 4pm, seven days a week if you call ahead to book.
  • Visitors need to wear a mask, provide evidence of their COVID-19 vaccination and proof of identification, in addition to existing screening precautions.

You will not be able to enter our care homes if you:

  • Are experiencing a fever or symptoms (cough, sore throat, fever, loss of taste or smell, headache, shortness of breath), or
  • Have been to a COVID-19 hot spot and health advice is to test and isolate, or
  • Have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 7 days, or
  • Have returned from interstate or overseas in the past 7 days, or
  • Do not have an up-to-date COVID-19 vaccination.

Masks are Mandatory:

  • Surgical grade masks are mandatory for all visitors, contractors, and staff in our care homes.
  • Visitors must wear a mask in residents' rooms and communal areas, keeping a distance of at least 1.5 metres from any other person if it is practicable for the person to do so.

Screening and Check-in:
Visitors, staff, volunteers, and contractors must comply with SCC screening requirements to enter our care homes by reporting to Reception and using Zipline:

  • Use Zipline to check in including using the QR code on their ServiceWA App (or SafeWA app) or sign the contact register.
  • Provide a valid COVID-19 vaccination certificate and identification.
  • If you use the ServiceWA app, visitors do not need to provide additional identification.
  • Visitors who have recently arrived in WA in the past 7 days cannot enter our sites.
  • If you have been isolating and are now clear to visit our home, please have your evidence ready to show our staff.
  • Have a temperature check to confirm it is 37.5 degrees or less.
  • Declare you do not have any cold or flu-like symptoms.
  • Provide evidence of a valid 2021 flu vaccination.

 

Thank you for your understanding of our ongoing COVID-19 screening and safeguarding measures, designed to help protect the health and safety of our residents, staff and our community.

COVID-19 remains a serious risk to the elderly and those with a chronic medical condition. Our primary concern is for the health and safety of our clients and residents, their families and our staff who provide essential care support services.

If you have been to any of the high-risk hotspots at the specified times outlined, you must get tested immediately and complete 14 days of self-quarantine regardless of test result.  If you have not yet been contacted by Public Health Operations call 13 26843.

 

Please regularly review the COVID hotspot locations as they are changing regularly.

Department of Health WA Confirmed Locations:

https://healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/Coronavirus/Locations-visited-by-confirmed-cases

 

If you wish to know more about the policies and directions being placed on aged care and community care providers by State and Federal Governments, please check these links:

WA Department of Health Aged and Community Care Information - link

Commonwealth Department of Health Aged and Community Care Information - link

 

Residential Care

We are available to assist with admissions to our residential care homes, subject to an application meeting our COVID-19 admission procedures.

For families that would like to contact loved ones in a Southern Cross Care aged care facility, please contact the receptionist at the care home to arrange a video or phone call.

As our staff will be required to support our residents to use Skype or other online meeting methods, we will need to follow a strict appointment process to ensure that all clients and families have equitable access to online meetings.

Only essential staff will be able to attend our residential care homes at this time and contact tracing technology and registers are in place.  If medical appointments are required, we will establish Telehealth options where practical.

Our managers and nursing staff will provide all families additional support where required for compassionate reasons, advocacy and end of life care.  Please contact your site manager directly to discuss your circumstances.

Southern Cross Care’s Residential Care Homes Visitor Policy aligns with State and Federal COVID-19 Health requirements and restrictions.  It is based on the Industry Code for Visiting Residential Aged Care Homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Home Care

If you attended any of the COVID-19 hotspots during the times advised on the Government’s website, you must declare this when we call you to confirm your service – please let us know if you are awaiting test results or have had a negative test result.

Any clients who have attended a COVID hotspot can continue to receive services, however our staff will be required to deliver the services in required personal protective equipment (PPE).

We are asking that you contact us before a scheduled service visit if you are feeling unwell in any way or if you or anyone in your home is self-isolating, being tested or diagnosed with COVID-19. We can deliver services; however we will do so with the required PPE.

Our support workers will continue to wear a mask during all services in your home and whilst in the community.  We ensure hand hygiene is undertaken between each client visit and when in the community.  We aim to keep at least 1.5m away from you where possible while in your home.

Our support workers will be contacting all clients ahead of their scheduled visit to see how they are and to screen for exposure to the COVID virus.

Both you and your support workers should adhere to the requirement to wear a mask in public and maintain 1.5m social distancing when out in public, wherever possible.

If you go out into the community, please ensure you have the SafeWA app on your mobile phone and check in as required or sign the tracing register at the venue you visit.

We encourage clients to consider if Telehealth is a suitable alternative for medical appointments, please speak with your medical practitioner and let us know if we need to assist you with this.

If clients prefer to not have visitors to their home, they are welcome to cancel services by phoning 1300 669 189 during office hours.

Communications with your Wellness Partner and our scheduling team will continue as normal over the phone 1300 669 189.

This policy applies to all home care services in the Perth and Peel Metro Area.

 

Community Respite Centres

Our community respite centres at Donovan House and Tony Quinlan will continue with the usual program of services during the week.

If you attended any of the COVID hotspots during the times advised on the Government’s website, you must declare this when we call you to confirm your service – please let us know if you are awaiting test results or have had a negative test.

Our staff will continue to wear a mask during all services in our centres and whilst in the community.  All staff and clients are required to complete contact tracing and COVID-19 screening declarations upon arrival.  We aim to keep at least 1.5m away from you where possible.

Please note that visitors are currently not permitted into our community respite centres.

 

Retirement Living

Residents in our villages may receive visitors.  Visitors at our villages are required to wear masks and must maintain social distancing of 1.5m.  Please ensure that you complete contact tracing at check in to our villages.  For the safety of our residents in our villages, please do not visit if you are feeling unwell in any way.

If you attended any of the COVID-19 hotspots during the times advised on the Government’s website you must observe the appropriate isolation period requirements.  Please do not visit until it is safe to do so.

 

Community Option Homes

For families that would like to contact loved ones in one of our Southern Cross Care Community Options homes, please contact the supervisor at the home to arrange a video or phone call.

As our staff will be required to support our clients to use Skype or other online meeting methods, we will need to follow a strict appointment process to ensure that all clients and families have equitable access to online meetings.

Clients of our Community Options homes can continue to leave their home as needed and in line with the WA Government restrictions. They must wear a mask and use the COVID Safe WA app. Clients and staff who are leaving the sites are to record their movements in the relevant sign in and out sheets located at the entrances at each site, including completion of COVID-19 contact tracing and screening when returning.

No visitors (other than essential services such as nursing staff) can attend the Community Options Houses, unless there are exceptional circumstances such as to provide emergency support. Where medical appointments are required, we will establish Telehealth options where practical.

All Community Options staff are always to wear masks whilst at work.

All essential services are always to wear masks and limit their movement within the homes and follow responsible hand hygiene procedures.

 

Helpful links

Perth and Peel Lockdown - link

State of Emergency WA Government - link

Regional travel restrictions - link

Interstate and overseas travel restrictions – link

WA Department of Health Aged and Community Care Information - link

Commonwealth Department of Health Aged and Community Care Information - link

Vaccine information in your language - link

 

 

COVID-19 Vaccination Rollout

The Australian Government in conjunction with the WA State Government is prioritising residents in aged care homes to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.  This is occurring in all Southern Cross Care and Southern Plus residential aged care homes over the course of the next 3 months.

Residential aged care residents

Residential aged care residents can access COVID-19 vaccination in the first phase of Australia’s vaccine rollout (Phase 1a).

You can receive your vaccination at your residential aged care facility.  We will be communicating with next of kin or family decision makers as we are advised of information from the Commonwealth Government regarding COVID vaccinations.

Learn more about what to expect on vaccination day at your facility.

Home and community aged care recipients

People receiving Commonwealth-funded home and community aged care will be able to access a COVID-19 vaccine through vaccination clinics or GP practices as they meet priority eligibility.

For the latest advice, information and resources for COVID-19, go to www.health.gov.au or call the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you require translating or interpreting services, call 131 450.

Mental Health and Disability

If you reside at Community Options home, you will be offered the COVID-19 vaccine as part of Phase 1a of the rollout. You can receive your vaccination at Community Options or via your GP.  We will be communicating with next of kin or family decision makers as we are advised of information from the Commonwealth Government regarding COVID vaccinations.

If you experience a mental health disability you will be offered the vaccine as part of Phase 1b of the rollout including:

For the latest advice, information and resources for COVID-19, go to www.health.gov.au or call the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you require translating or interpreting services, call 131 450.

Auslan videos and easy to read resources and further information for people with disability about COVID-19 vaccines can be locate by using this link.

 

Last Updated: 4 March 2022

What to do

Stay home if you're unwell

Protect the vulnerable

If a COVID-19 case arises, don't panic

Communicate, communicate, communicate

How you can help protect our loved ones:

Social Distancing Icon

Practice Social Distancing

Stay at least 1.5 metres away from people at all times to ensure you aren't engaging with any unnecessary risk.

Hand Hygiene Icon

Practice Hand Hygiene

Effectively washing your hands is an easy way to keep yourself and those around you safe.

Stay Home if Unwell

Don't leave your house if you are sick. This is a crucial step in preventing any virus spread.

Cough Etiquette Icon

Practice Proper Cough Etiquette

Make sure to cough into a tissue or the bend of your elbow to limit the spread of bacteria.

COVID-19 Test Icon

Get Tested

If you think you could have coronavirus, it is absolutely essential that you are tested. Remember, it is a legal requirement that you isolate whilst awaiting results.

isolate icon

Isolate

If you are experiencing symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19, don't panic - isolate immediately.

Residential Care Homes

COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout

The Australian Government in conjunction with the WA State Government, is prioritising residents and workers in aged care to be among the first to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Occurring over the next 3 months, this forms the first step in the national vaccine roll out strategy.  Information is now available for aged care workers, residents and their families, to support informed decision-making about the COVID-19 vaccination. Our utmost priority is ensuring our community confidently understands the program, including consent requirements and vaccination day specifics.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the COVID-19 Vaccination safe?

  • The Government has advised the vaccine is safe, effective and free.  All vaccines used in Australia must be approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).  The TGA assesses the safety, quality and effectiveness of all vaccinations before they are registered for use.

Does my loved one have to have the vaccine?

  • As with all vaccines, valid consent is required before administering the vaccine.  Written consent is not mandatory however it is preferred.  You may choose to talk to a health professional such as your GP or our clinical staff to determine the health benefits and risks of vaccination.  This will help you discuss the vaccination decision with your loved one.

What is the vaccination schedule at SCC aged care homes?

  • The Federal Government will advise us each week where and when the vaccine will be rolled out at each of our residential aged care homes. We will communicate with residents and their families as soon as we are provided confirmation from the Federal Government.

The Australian Government has produced detailed resources about the COVID-19 vaccine:

Information on COVID-19 Pfizer (Comirnaty) vaccine

Preparing for COVID-19 vaccination

What to expect on COVID-19 vaccination day at your residential aged care facility

After your COVID-19 vaccination

If you have queries about the COVID-19 Southern Cross Care vaccination rollout, please contact your Facility Manager.

 

Visitor Guidelines (Metro and Regional) effective 12.01am 14 February 2021:

  • Comply with our visitor screening procedure
  • Maximum of two visitors at a time
  • Between 10am and 4pm Monday to Sunday
  • All other visiting is by appointment only
  • All visitors must have a valid flu vaccination certificate
  • Have a temperature check to confirm it is 37.5 degrees or less
  • Declare they are asymptomatic
  • Follow social distancing requirements
  • Follow hand hygiene practices

Visitor Restrictions:

  • A visitor that is unwell in any way, with fever or respiratory infection (cold, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath) will not be permitted to enter the facility
  • Not vaccinated against the flu
  • A person who is suspected or confirmed positive for COVID-19 or influenza
  • Have had a COVID-19 test and is waiting on the test result

Refer to interstate and overseas travel restrictions as these change as required.

Further information is available here.

Southern Cross Care’s Residential Homes Visitor Policy aligns with State and Federal COIVD-19 Health requirements and restrictions for people in aged care facilities, and is based on the Industry Code for Visiting Residential Aged Care Homes during COVID-19.

How we are supporting our Residential Care Community

One site workforce

Where possible all staff to only work at one site

 

Infection control training

Mandatory infection control and first aid training

 

Admissions procedure

Policies for acceptance of new residents to minimise risks to existing clients

 

Video calling

Video calling via Skype has now been implemented at every residential care facility for residents to utilise if they wish

 

Regular hand hygiene

• At entrance of home
• Before and after each resident contact
• Before and after coughing
• Before and after contact with potentially contaminated surfaces

 

Intense cleaning

We have increased cleaning of the environment and equipment

Social distancing

Practise social distancing always

 

Gowns, surgical masks, protective eyewear, and gloves

• Hand hygiene before putting on gloves
• Exposure to body fluids
• Heavily contaminated surfaces

 

Cough etiquette

Cough into a tissue or into the bend of the elbow

 

Contaminated waste

Dispose all waste involved in human contact in medical waste

 

COVIDSafe

Download the COVIDSafe app for iPhone

Download the COVIDSafe app for Android

Residential Care at Southern Plus East Fremantle

Southern Plus Home Care Services

It safe to receive home care services and we encourage our clients to continue with their regular in-home support.

At Southern Plus, it’s business as usual:

  • We will continue to offer all in home services, and your existing schedule will not change for these services unless you ask;
  • Please contact us before a scheduled service visit if you are feeling unwell in any way or if you or anyone in your home is self-isolating, being tested or diagnosed with COVID-19;
  • Social support services for outings to grocery stores, medical appointments and other activities will continue to be supported in line with the State Government advice;
  • From 6pm Friday 5 February 2021, we can offer additional social support services for excursions to your favourite coffee shops or other venues;
  • All staff have supplies of PPE should a future outbreak occur:
  • If you go out into the community, please ensure you have the SafeWA app on your mobile phone and check in as required. If you do not have a mobile please ensure you sign the tracing register at the venue you visit.

Communications with your Wellness Partner and our scheduling team continue as normal over the phone 1300 669 189.

To download the SafeWA app, please click below:

How we are supporting our Home Care Clients

Consistent care team

Where possible the same care team are delivering support to clients

 

Calling ahead

Calling ahead before visits to check for symptoms

 

Infection control training

Mandatory infection control and hand hygiene

Regular hand hygiene

• At entrance of home
• Before and after each client contact
• Before and after coughing
• Before and after contact with potentially contaminated surfaces

 

Social distancing

Practise social distancing always

 

Gowns, surgical masks, protective eyewear, and gloves

• Hand hygiene before putting on gloves
• Exposure to body fluids
• Heavily contaminated surfaces

Cough etiquette

Cough into a tissue or into the bend of the elbow

 

Contaminated waste

Dispose all waste involved in human contact in medical waste

 

Flu Vaccination

All staff mandatory to have a valid flu vaccination certificate

 

COVIDSafe

Download the COVIDSafe app for iPhone

Download the COVIDSafe app for Android

Southern Cross Care Respite Services

 Overnight Respite Services

Clients accessing overnight respite services at Donovan Respite Centre and Tony Quinlan Respite Centre will continue to be able to access the centre for scheduled visits.   Visitors will be permitted to enter the respite centre subject to our visitor screening procedures.

Day Services Respite Centres

Donovan and Tony Quinlan Respite Centres are reopening this week for scheduled day service programs.

When attending our respite centres:

Please contact us before a scheduled visit if you are feeling unwell in any way or if you or anyone in your home is self-isolating, being tested or diagnosed with COVID-19.

You will not be permitted to enter our respite centres:

  • A client that is unwell in any way, with fever or respiratory infection (cold, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath) will not be permitted to enter the facility
  • Not vaccinated against the flu
  • A person who is suspected or confirmed positive for COVID-19 or influenza
  • Have had a COVID-19 test and is waiting on the test result
  • If you are out in the community and do not have a mobile please ensure you sign the tracing register at the venue you visit
  • If you have knowingly been in contact with someone who has returned from any overseas travel in the past 7 days (these individuals are required to be in quarantine and to be tested for COVID)

Retirement Living

Residents in our villages may receive visitors.  For the safety of our residents in our villages, please do not visit if you are feeling unwell in any way.

If you have knowingly been in contact with someone who has returned from any overseas travel in the past 7 days you will need to self isolate (these individuals are required to be in quarantine and to be tested for COVID).

Our Continuing Response to COVID-19

  • Additional PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) has been obtained and provided to sites and staff, including masks, hand gel, gowns, gloves, etc.
  • Specialist training for staff to ensure they apply best practices in hand hygiene, infection control and their daily care and duties around each facility or in the delivery of home care services.
  • Regular communications being sent to staff, based on the information and updates being provided by the Australian Government and WA Department of Health.
  • Staff unwell with fever or respiratory symptoms are asked to stay at home and seek medical advice.
  • A strict visitor policy has been implemented, including the taking of body temperatures, influenza vaccination records and visitor logbooks.
  • Existing infection control policy, procedures and measures at all residential care facilities and with our home care services confirmed and strengthened.
  • A specific procedure for managing the care of people diagnosed with COVID-19 has been implemented and training of residential staff has been completed. Home care staff training is in progress.
  • A specific procedure for managing the care of people diagnosed with COVID-19 has been implemented and training of residential and home care staff has been completed.
  • SCC has revised our High-Level Infectious Cleaning Procedure to ensure environmental cleaning and disinfection is completed using best-practice and with TGA approved chemical disinfectants.
  • Ongoing audits and reviews of our practices and procedures to ensure strict compliance, including scenario testing in the event of an outbreak.
  • Regular communication has been distributed to residents, families and next of kin of our clients residing in our residential care facilities advising them of SCC’s response to COVID-19 and providing them with information on the virus (and Govt. website).
  • Admissions procedures for new residents have been reviewed and updated.
  • Letters sent to all Southern Plus home care clients advising them of precautions and asking them to inform Southern Plus if they are at a higher risk of having the virus
  • Phone calls have been made to all Southern Plus home care clients to discuss their current situation and to determine if they need additional home care or support services.
  • Vulnerable home care clients have been identified and strategies to support and protect them have been identified.
  • Letters sent to SCC retirement village residents advising them of precautions and SCC’s response.
  • When attending events, social distancing is still encouraged where possible.
  • Video calling via Skype has now been implemented at every residential care facility for residents to utilise if they wish.

All of these activities are helping to ensure that our organisation is well prepared to respond to COVID-19, and minimise any impact it may have on our provision of high-quality services to our clients and residents.

Stay Safe and Protect Our Vulnerable

#covidstopswithme

We all have a role to play in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

We ask all members of our community to continue to practise good hygiene, including proper hand washing, sanitising and cough etiquette. If we all do this, we can stop our elderly loved ones from contracting COVID-19.

  1. If you feel sick or see symptoms, stay home
  2. Check in on the vulnerable, do what you can to help and protect them
  3. If a COVID-19 case arises, don’t panic, just isolate
  4. Communicate, communicate, communicate

COVID-19 Response Team

  • Southern Cross Care have an Outbreak Management Team and an Emergency Pandemic Planning Committee, who are continually monitoring the situation to ensure SCC is prepared to deliver safe care in the case of a COVID outbreak.
  • Southern Cross Care has an organisational-wide Pandemic / Outbreak Prevention and Management Response Plan, as well as a COVID-19 Residential Aged Care Facility First 24 hour Outbreak Response Plan. This plan is based on the Federal Department of Health Plan, and breaks down the critical actions into 28 key stages; allocating these tasks to specific roles.
  • A specific procedure for managing the care of people diagnosed with COVID-19 has been implemented and training of residential and home care staff has been completed.
  • Regular and ongoing communication to residents, families and next of kin for all our clients will continue
  • Ongoing audits and reviews of our practices and procedures to ensure strict compliance, including scenario testing in the event of an outbreak
  • Each of our facilities has an identified infection control lead, who will undertake specialist training in the infection control field.

Our approach to longer term planning and recovery

The multifaceted and pervasive nature of COVID-19 has presented many challenges for our business operations. The shifting developments and Board engagement on this subject constitute a challenge in itself. We are regularly reporting to the Board digestible updates and balancing the preparation of planning alongside recovery and long-term strategy.

In the face of these extreme business challenges and the need to manage ongoing potential and real impacts of COVID-19, the resilience of our leadership teams has been key. The spirit and flexibility of the team to manage existing responsibilities, whilst incorporating further changes to day-to-day operations in response to the COVID-19 impacts is appreciated

Further Information

Need to talk to someone independently?

OPAN

The Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) has a range of resources avialable to support you and your loved ones through this pandemic

Advocare

Advocare provides free and confidential advocacy services to clients across WA over the phone on 1800 655 566 between the hours of 8:30 am and 4:30 pm Monday to Friday, and by email at rights@advocare.org.au

Helpful Resources

Contact us

  • Phone: 1800 669 189
  • Contact us online and we will get back to you shortly – email to covid@scrosswa.org.au

 

Residential Care

  • Contact your Facility Manager

 

Health & Wellness Centre

  • Email: hw@southernplus.org.au

Home Care

  • Contact your Wellness Partner

 

General Enquiries