Important Information about Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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

Last Updated: 12 February 2021

Here you will find information about the COVID-19 pandemic, what we’re doing to help protect the health of our clients, residents, families and staff, and what you need to do as a member of the Southern Cross Care WA community.

Return to pre-lockdown life from 12.01am Sunday, February 14

  • Transitional restrictions to end as planned, pending no new local cases
  • Perth and Peel to return to pre-lockdown life at 12.01am Sunday, February 14
  • Contact registers are mandatory for most businesses and venues
  • No requirement to continue wearing masks, no restriction on travel within WA
  • COVID safe principles to continue to help keep WA safe
  • Controlled Interstate Border to be updated for New South Wales and Victoria
  • Hard border re-instated with Victoria for 72 hours, pending a review

The Perth and Peel restrictions will end at 12.01am, Sunday, February 14.

This means the whole of Western Australia will return to the pre-lockdown conditions, as experienced prior to 6pm on Sunday, January 31. The Chief Health Officer has advised that the full 14-day incubation period is on track to run its course, with no indication of any community transmission.

As a result, from Sunday masks will no longer be required to be worn either inside or outside, there will be no travel restrictions in WA, except for remote Aboriginal communities and mandatory contact registration will continue, as was planned prior to the lockdown.

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, their families and our staff who provide care support services.

Western Australians should continue to practice physical distancing where possible, maintain good personal hygiene at all times and get tested when unwell.

WA's controlled interstate border and capacity restrictions which were in place prior to the snap five-day lockdown will be in place, pending ongoing health advice.
It is vital that all Western Australians ensure they are registering their contact details, at businesses and venues where contact registers are mandatory, to assist contact tracing if it is required.

Interstate and overseas restrictions

Victoria arrivals at Perth Airport today will be tested at the airport before going into their 14 days of self-quarantine. Beginning tonight, from 6pm, the 'medium risk' category will come into force until at least 12.01am, Tuesday, February 16, pending updated health advice.

NSW will move from 'low risk' to 'very low risk' at 12.01am, on Tuesday, February 16, pending no further outbreaks.

All other Australian jurisdictions will be classified in the 'very low risk' category, except Victoria.

Visit the Department of Health website for more information.

What to do

Stay home if you're unwell

Protect the vulnerable

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

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

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 stopping any virus.

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.

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Isolate

If there is a positive COVID case, don't panic, just isolate.

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;
  • Staff will no longer be required to wear a mask from 12.01am 14 February 2021
  • 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 14 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 14 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