Covid-19 media release 17/07/2020

Friday 7, August 2020

FROM: CEO – Graham Reed
DATE: 17th July 2020

It is very disconcerting to see the significant increase in the numbers of Victorians who have tested positive to COVID -19 this week with 428 new cases and three deaths in the last 24 hours.

I am sure many residents and family members will be particularly concerned to hear that 39 residential care homes have now been infected with COVID-19 across Victoria and as of yesterday, 108 staff and residents have tested positive to the virus.

Outbreaks of the virus are also occurring at an alarming rate in New South Wales; outbreaks that apparently started with a single transport worker from Victoria celebrating with work colleagues at the Crossroad Hotel. How easily the virus spreads often even before it is detected is particularly concerning.

Thankfully, in South Australia, we currently have no community transmission of the virus however the Victorian and New South Wales situation provides a timely reminder of what can happen if we fail to heed the advice of our health professionals.

Even though South Australia is in a good position, the current directions that apply to visitors of residents living in residential care homes remain in place. This includes the requirement that each resident can still only have one visit per day by one or two people visiting and every person visiting needs to be screened on entry.

What is interesting from the outbreaks that have occurred in residential care homes in Victoria is that the overwhelming majority of transmission of the virus appears to have come from staff not visitors.

We are reminding all of our staff and volunteers to stay at home if they have any symptoms and to be especially vigilant when circulating in the general community, at gatherings, shopping or when engaging in any other group activity outside of their own family group.

The message to all of us – staff, volunteers, residents (when attending activities outside of the residential care home) and visitors, is to at all times “Do the Three”:

For my part, I don’t want to be the person responsible for introducing the virus into our LHI community. The only way to mitigate this risk is for me and every member of the LHI community to do the right thing all of the time and not become complacent that the virus is not a problem in South Australia. We have all been advised that there will continue to be outbreaks of the virus until there is a vaccine and that could be 2 to 3 years away or maybe more.

Graham Reed