12 April 2022 | View in Browser
Coronavirus (COVID-19) | Update for Residents and Families

Dear Resident and Family Members,

COVID-19 Update for Residents and Families: Positive cases identified at Calvary Cessnock

I am writing to inform you that unfortunately nine (9) residents have tested positive for COVID-19 at Calvary Cessnock. The COVID positive residents who all reside in Neath Lodge are currently isolating and receiving care in their rooms. We have contacted the families of our COVID-positive residents and are keeping them informed directly.

Neath Lodge will be closed to visitors for the next three (3) days to enable the home to ensure all safety measures are in place for residents, visitors and staff.

We understand that this may be worrying for you and your loved one in our care. We want to assure you that we are doing everything possible to continue to look after the health and wellbeing of all our residents while keeping them safe during this difficult time.

What are we doing to keep resident's safe?

The home’s updated COVID-19 Outbreak Management Plan (OMP) has been enacted and we have taken immediate action to contain transmission and keep residents and staff safe. We have:

• Physically separated the affected persons, including any close contacts;
• Ensured all residents are being safely cared for in their rooms, including meals and activities;
• Notified and are working with the State and Commonwealth agencies;
• Continue our COVID-19 testing regime of residents and staff;
• Supplied full outbreak personal protective equipment (PPE - gloves, masks, face shields, gowns) to required areas.
In addition to these first actions, our care continuity plan ensures we have the clinical and non-clinical staff, as well as other support services necessary to meet the individual care needs of our residents during situations such as this.

Information for visitors during an outbreak

Calvary’s Position Statement on Visiting in Aged Care allows visits for residents in all circumstances, including when a home is experiencing an outbreak and is in lockdown. There are, however, specific requirements to help keep our residents, their visitors and our staff as safe as possible. 

• With the exception of Neath Lodge, there is no limit to the number of visitors allowed per resident, per day at Calvary Cessnock.
• All visits must be booked in advance. Please contact 4993 9000 during regular business hours (8.30am-5pm) to make your booking.
• There are two (2) periods for arriving visitors – 11am to 2pm; and from 3.15pm to 5pm. The set time periods relate to visitors’ arrival on site. Once inside, visitors may stay longer.
• Visitors will be required to complete screening requirements prior to entry and wear appropriate PPE (including surgical mask and shield) whilst visiting. PPE is provided by Calvary. Staff will assist you as needed.
• We ask that you view this short video prior to visiting the home, which explains what to expect when you visit during an outbreak including how to don (put on) and doff (take off) PPE. Staff will be able to assist you as required.
• Visitors will be required to have a rapid antigen test (RAT test) before entering the home. This takes time, and we ask for your patience as we manage this important screening process.
• Visitation exceptions may be made for residents receiving end of life care, residents who may be experiencing distress, or where a special care and support role is provided. Please speak with the home manager to discuss arrangements.

Visitation to Neath Lodge

• As noted, Neath Lodge will be closed to visitors for the next three days.
• Neath Lodge will re-open on Saturday 15 April 2022 to one fully vaccinated visitor per resident, per day.
• All visits must be booked in advance. Please contact 4993 9000 during regular business hours (8.30am-5pm) to make your booking.

We will continue to liaise closely with Public Health Unit officials, who will make the decision about whether and when it is safe to remove the current visitation restrictions. We will keep you updated as information becomes available, and anticipate our next communication to you will be before the end of the week.

We kindly request that you limit your contact with the home due to the increased workload and while staff are focused on caring for the residents. Please contact the home manager if you would like to book a video call with your loved one. Clearly labelled care packages may be left with the home, and we will ensure your loved one receives them

Please be assured that our staff have prepared for situations such as these and are trained in strict infection control procedures. They continue to focus all of their attention on the individual care needs of residents. You can help us to ease anxiety by sharing this information with other family and friends.

Thank you for your continued understanding and patience at this time.


Sandeep Kandel,

General Manager Aged Care