Precinct Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
CAUTIOUS optimism over the past week is creeping in as the figures show a slowing of the numbers of COVID-19 in Victoria and Australia. This has been a welcome relief from the previous weeks/months when a tsunami of cases seemed more likely and had all of us in Health Care preparing for the worst. The harsh social distancing measures, which have so hurt our businesses and economy, do seem at this point to be making the difference that our chief medical advisors predicted. However, winter and any relaxing of the restrictions, whenever that occurs, are variables that will come with risks of another increase in numbers and effects of the virus. For now the message remains the same: stay at home, be safe and practice physical separation when out for essential reasons…do your bit to help limit any spread of Coronarvirus.
Foster and Toora Medical Centres
FOR the first time in quite a while, this last week was one without major policy shifts or major new decisions to make. After weeks of fairly frenetic change, this was one more of consolidation and continuation of the processes previously outlined in the Mirror.
The Respiratory Clinic-end of the clinic is getting close to completion and soon we will be able to have a designated area completely separate from the rest of the clinic to assess and test patients who present with signs and symptoms suggestive of COVID. More to follow in coming weeks.
The rollout of the flu vaccination continues. We have been fortunate in being able to obtain as many flu vaccines as we have (thanks Nurse Nancy!), however each week we get far fewer than we order due to national supply issues. We realise many of you are still waiting and we urge patience. You will not miss out. The Drive-Through sessions have been a successful model to ensure social distancing and have proceeded smoothly…except for the atrocious weather each time!
We would like to highlight this week that there is a growing perception, not just here but nationally, that people may be ignoring their everyday health over concern about the COVID-19 crisis. We encourage you to continue seeing us, your doctors, in person or via telehealth, for existing conditions and for regular health maintenance. Putting this off or not having a test done or saying ‘I’ll wait until this COVID thing is all over’ could result in poorer medical outcomes. We do want to emphasise that we are very much still open for ‘normal’ business! We have strict infection control measures in place to keep you safe and we want to ensure that the overall medical health of our community does not suffer as a result of this pandemic.
South Gippsland Hospital
WE now know that the State of Emergency declared last month has been extended until midnight May 11 2020 to continue the measures designed to ‘flatten the curve’ of coronavirus and give our health system the best chance of managing the virus. The hospital is extremely grateful for the way in which the community has complied with the state-wide restrictions broadly, and responded to our new interim access and in house requirements more specifically. Thank you!
Whilst the curve appears to be flattening, we are still preparing for a surge in demand. To that end our interim acute care service design is now in operation. We have a medical zone (for non-respiratory conditions and transitional care), a maternity zone (which has expanded to welcome women from Bass Coast), a surgical zone (obstetrics only) and an expanded urgent care zone that has a new time critical clinical area. The hospital in the home model is close to being finalised and we should have this up and running in a couple of weeks. This acute care service will be overseen by two senior GPs, and delivered in the patients home by skilled nurses from our community nursing program. This interim service development will ensure that patients with low care needs can be cared for locally during the pandemic.
Just as a reminder, please note that our Urgent Care Centre is not a Coronavirus(COVID-19) Assessment Clinic. If you suspect you may have COVID-19, please call the hotline on 1800 675 398. If directed to access an assessment clinic please note that the Foster Medical Centre (FMC) has a testing station (Monday to Friday), as does the Bass Coast Health (open 10am – 6pm 7 days, 235 Graham St, Wonthaggi). Patients who have symptoms compatible with COVID-19 will need to call either clinic ahead first to arrange a time to be screened: FMC 5682 2088 or Bass Coast Health 5671 3333. Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only and for up to date information go to: www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus
Prom Country Aged Care
THANK-YOU to all our staff for their ongoing commitment during these heightened times, we really do appreciate all you are doing to continue to keep our residents safe and continuing to care for our residents during what is extremely stressful times that are having a huge impact on you and your families.
To our resident’s families thank you for your wonderful words of support and encouragement during this time. We appreciate the difficulty in not being able to visit your loved ones and encourage you to access our skype, zoom, facetime catchups which are providing much joy to the residents and families. We can offer these Monday to Friday during business hours. Please contact the Community Development Team or reception to book a time. The construction of a temporary visitor room is commencing Tuesday April 14 and we expect this to be complete within 2 – 3 weeks.
To our residents, we appreciate your patience and understanding as we work through these unprecedented times. Our number one goal during this time is to keep you safe and keep this virus out of Prom Country House. We understand the frustration this is causing for some and we thank you for working with us as we navigate through this new form of normal for what is likely to be several more months.
Prom Country Aged Care has made the decision to extend restricted movements until April 30 2020. We will continue to review the situation daily as more information becomes available.
Prom Country Aged Care continues to have no cases in the facility or amongst our staff or doctors. We continue to test all staff and contractors’ temperatures on entry to the facility and are hypervigilant around sanitation and hand washing.
Thank-you all for your ongoing understanding and help in making Prom Country House as safe as it can be during these unprecedented times.
If the circumstances arise, we will contact you and allow compassionate exemptions to visit under strict conditions
All residents in the facility have been provided with a flu vaccination on March 25, 2020 and staff are receiving vaccines on April 8 and April 14, 2020.
If you would like to talk, please do not hesitate to contact us, as we work together though these unprecedented times.