23 April 2020 | View in Browser
Coronavirus (COVID-19) | Update for Residents and Families

Dear Resident or Family Member,

RE: Update on Visitation Restrictions in Residential Aged Care Facilities

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation in Australia continues to evolve. Fortunately, and directly aided by the valued cooperation of you, our residents and family members, during a period of significant uncertainty, we are beginning to see the first signs of the COVID-19 crisis easing.

On Tuesday, the Prime Minister announced that, given the stabilising COVID-19 situation, residential aged care facilities should be reassessing current restrictions on visitation.

On 27 March 2020, in response to the latest Commonwealth Department of Health advice, restrictions on general visitation were introduced by Calvary, at speed, in the interest of minimising the risk of a potential COVID-19 outbreak in one of our facilities at a time of heightened risk.

This decision was not taken lightly. These restrictions were decided at a time when the States and Territories were reporting growing instances of community transmission, and introduced to ensure the safest possible environment for the vulnerable people in our care.

We would like to thank you and your loved ones for your understanding. The cooperation of residents and family members in helping our staff manage the risk of infection to the people in our care has been excellent. Furthermore, we are thankful that, directly influenced by your cooperation, there remains no positive COVID-19 case in a Calvary Residential Aged Care Facility.

Update on Visitation Restrictions in Residential Aged Care

Consistent with the Prime Minister’s advice, Calvary is introducing an incremental lifting of restrictions on general visitation in our Residential Aged Care Facilities.

This lifting of restrictions will be conducted on a facility-by-facility basis, dependant on the status of community transmission rates in the relevant location. Some facilities are located in areas where there is a lower risk of community transmission of COVID-19, while in other locations, the risk of infection remains a significant concern.

From today, 23 April 2020, we have introduced eased visitation restrictions at Calvary Muswellbrook Retirement Community. This easing of restrictions is because there is currently a reduced risk of community transmission in the Muswellbrook Local Government Area. Restrictions on visitation will be reviewed on a 14 day basis.

Pending any change to the COVID-19 situation, Calvary may need to reintroduce restrictions, at speed, to protect the safety of residents, family members, and staff.

  • One visitor will be permitted to visit. Calvary will be permitting visitation for a resident’s single nominated person for no longer than two (2) hours per day.
  • Visiting will be limited to between the hours of 2pm and 6pm daily. We encourage visitors to please call the facility before their arrival. There may be special exceptions for residents at end of life, or where there is an instance of resident distress.
  • Visitors younger than 16 years are not permitted to visit. Consistent with the requirements of all States and Territories, this restriction will remain in place. There may be special exceptions for residents at end of life.
  • Screening and temperature checks. Introduced last month, screening questions and temperature checks for all visitors and staff will continue. If a visitor is found to have an elevated temperature of 37.5 degrees celcius or greater, entry will not be permitted. 
  • Influenza vaccination will be required. As required by the Commonwealth Department of Health from 1 May 2020, any visitor must have had this year’s seasonal Influenza vaccine. You will be asked to provide proof of vaccination before entering.
  • Visiting will be limited to the resident’s room. This restriction applies to external visitors only, and is in place to further reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection to other residents, family members, and staff. Social distancing of 1.5 metres separation will still be required.

While the rate of COVID-19 community transmission in Australia is stabilising, the situation continues to evolve. Calvary is continually monitoring the situation and will be carefully reassessing restrictions on visitation every 14 days.

We understand the need for social engagement, particularly in these uncertain times of COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to our WebEx video call services to help connect residents and their loved ones, we continue to develop new and creative ways to engage residents in a variety of small group and individual activities in the interest of protecting the health and wellbeing of the people in our care.

The cooperation of residents and family members in helping our staff manage the risk of infection to the people in our care has been excellent. We will continue to keep you updated as the COVID-19 situation evolves.

For up-to-date information for all residents and family members, please visit Calvary’s COVID-19 updates site regularly at: www.calvarycoronavirusupdates.org.au

Please don’t hesitate to contact the manager of your home should you have any questions or would like more information. Thank you for your continued cooperation and understanding in this difficult time.


Martin Bowles, National CEO

Luke Sams, Director of Operations - Aged Care