Update on St Ives Retirement Living COVID-19 Scenario Planning for Next of Kin / Emergency Contact
First and foremost, we hope that you and your loved ones are staying safe and well during the Coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic.
We understand that we don’t often contact you, however as a nominated next of kin and emergency contact to a resident within one of our villages we thought it was important to share with you information around COVID-19. This will hopefully help you understand the planning that we have undertaken and to give you advanced notification around how this may impact you, your loved one/s within our villages and other family and friends. We ask for your advanced support in relation to these matters.
Since the start of 2020, our focus has primarily been on maintaining the health, safety and wellbeing of your loved ones. While we are in a very fortunate position with COVID-19 in WA with no community transmission currently, we are mindful that things can change quickly given the uncertain and unpredictable nature of the virus. As a result, we have recently undertaken detailed scenario planning to ensure that we are as prepared as possible should we need to act promptly to protect the health of your loved ones who reside at St Ives.
Our approach to COVID-19 is overly cautious given the statistics relating to people over the age of 70 (or 65 with underlying health conditions). We have already implemented many changes to manage through the pandemic (including the shutdown of communal facilities and activities in Villages, which were reduced or removed since May 2020), and we have a strong COVID-19 response plan in place. Our staff have been trained (and continue to receive training) in hygiene and infection control, we have sought assurances from Home Care providers around how they are ensuring hygiene and infection control, and we are working closely with our cleaning providers to ensure they are meeting our cleaning and disinfecting standards.
Should there be three (3) days of community transmission (or cases from an unknown source, beyond hotel quarantine) across WA (similar to what NSW and Queensland are navigating currently), we will likely enact the following measures:
- Enhanced restrictions across the villages including the closure of all communal facilities and services, and cancellation of all events for at least 14 days (subject to regular and ongoing review) –we will consider the nature and location (metro or regional) prior to a final decision being made;
- All staff will be required to wear masks while at work, maintain social distancing (wherever possible), required to increase cleaning measures, and practice good hand/cough/sneeze hygiene;
- All staff and visitors or contractors who attend a village at the request of St Ives will be health screened (and where appropriate, temperature checked) prior to admittance;
- Revert to private by appointment sales tour with health and temperature checks;
- Re-introduction of resident wellbeing and welfare calls; and
- Enhanced cleaning protocols.
Should there be widespread community transmission across WA (similar to the situation that Victoria has been experiencing), it is likely that the WA government will mandate a community lockdown. In this case, we will comply with all directions of the WA government, like we did earlier in the year. We may however go beyond this, if it is deemed necessary. In this situation, our approach is to, in addition to measures from scenario 1:
- Only require essential staff to remain on site at Villages;
- Request (if not government mandated) all residents and visitors (including next of kins and emergency contacts) are to wear a mask when beyond the confines of their own residence;
- Limit, as far as practicable, access to villages with enhanced requirements around health screening, temperature checking and check-in/out procedures to assist with contact tracing – where required, we may seek to place staff or security at single entry/exit points to ensure adherence to the measures; and
- No sales tours or non-essential activities.
We have also planned for the unlikely event of a positive case of COVID-19 within our villages, both from a resident and staff perspective to ensure deep cleaning and this may also result in further lockdowns to impacted village/s. We are prepared to act swiftly in this situation to protect your loved ones health, however we certainly hope that we don’t have to put this into practice.
With all of this in mind, if you are visiting your loved ones, we ask that you continue to:
- Sanitise or wash your hands upon entry to the village and upon entry to communal areas;
- Stay away from the village if you are unwell, or have recently been unwell or have recently been in contact with someone who has been unwell – regardless of how minor the illness;
- Maintain physical distance of 1.5m between your loved ones;
- Limit your access to communal facilities – we have requested that residents entertain their loved ones within their own resident or an outdoor area near their home;
- Consider your own personal health situation, including recommendation to have a flu vaccination – note this is not mandated as is the case with residential care facilities, however we do recommend it; and
- Practice good hand and cough hygiene.
We know that these times are challenging for everyone and the leadership team and our Village teams are doing everything we can to provide the necessary support to your loved ones, as we take great pride in ensuring we provide a safe environment for your loved ones. However, if there is anything we can do to further assist or if you have any concerns or questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Village team or either of us via phone or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
While we will try not to contact you regularly, should we see community transmission within WA and villages are placed into lockdown (or if we are required to react to enhanced government restrictions), we will contact you again to keep you informed.
We thank you again for your understanding and support during these difficult times.
Chief Executive Officer
08 9287 8719
General Manager, Operations
08 9287 8744