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Update 19 October

Preston Community

Following a staff member testing positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday 6 October, all residents and staff were tested for COVID-19 on Wednesday 7 October. As a result of that testing, one staff member unfortunately tested positive. They are asymptomatic and in home quarantine. The DHHS Public Health Unit is still unable to confirm a link between the first positive staff member case and the second staff member case and continue their investigation. You may see or hear news reports of three, four or five cases connected to Uniting AgeWell Preston. These additional cases are close contacts of one of the positive staff members and have no association with the facility.

Importantly, we can confirm that following third round testing held on Thursday 15 October, 100% of residents have again tested negative for COVID-19.

Aside from the two positive staff results previously reported, 100% of all other staff have also continued to test negative for COVID-19.

Round 4 testing has taken place today.
All residents and rostered staff remain well with none displaying symptoms consistent with COVID-19. This of course is a great relief.
All additional precautionary measures remain in place and residents are being very closely and regularly monitored.

We would like to thank residents and families for their ongoing support and understanding during this challenging time, and for the positive messages of support that families have sent; they are greatly appreciated by the Preston team who are working tirelessly to keep residents safe and well.

Visitor Restrictions

Despite the number of cases of community transmission decreasing in Victoria, any level of community transmission presents an extreme risk to residential aged care. It is important to keep the number of people entering facilities to a minimum. As a result, it remains our absolute preference that virtual visits and contact via electronic means continue as the safest form of connection between residents and families. However, we do understand the emotional strain this causes.

Where face-to-face visits are essential, pre-booked visits can be arranged on the following basis with effect from Thursday 1 October 2020:

  • Where it is deemed that connection via electronic or other “non-contact” means is not appropriate or suitable, residents may receive one visitor per day for care and support visits for a maximum duration of two hours (in line with the current Government Directions). That said, Uniting AgeWell encourages visits of a shorter duration. Shorter visits will assist with the ongoing need for restricting numbers present at any given time and will support the requirement for important measures such as social distancing.
  • Visiting hours will be from 10am to 12 noon and from 1pm to 3pm Monday to Friday, and from 10am to 12 noon on Saturday where this can be accommodated by the facility.
  • Additionally, compassionate visits for end-of-life care can be arranged for up to two visitors per visit, and these visits have no time limit.
  • We will offer flexibility for those family members who may have difficulty visiting during the scheduled visiting hours due to work or other challenging circumstances; please contact the Residential Services Manager should you have any issues or concerns and we will always aim to support individual circumstances.
  • Precautionary measures remain in place, including pre-screening requirements (temperature checks and the completion of a legally binding Declaration form) every time a visitor enters the facility. If you do not meet the entry criteria you will not be permitted to enter. This is to ensure everyone’s safety.
  • All visitors must wear a face mask and adhere to hand hygiene and social distancing requirements. We also ask that visitors follow and respect the guidance of staff.
  • In line with the current Government Directions, children under 16 years of age are only permitted for palliative care visits.

Read CEO Andrew Kinnersly's full message here.

Additional Precautionary Measures

Uniting AgeWell has in place additional precautionary measures and controls across all of its Victorian residential facilities.

Please note that additional precautionary measures are currently in place at Preston Community with no visitors allowed at this time. For details click here.

For previous communications read more in the Uniting AgeWell COVID-19 Communications Archive.