Still closed: BUPA Aged Care Echuca controls COVID-19 cases

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Still closed: Although visitor caps at aged care facilities will be removed on Friday, June 24, Bupa Aged Care Echuca will not be opening its doors yet due to a COVID-19 outbreak. Photo by riv

From 11:59pm on Friday, June 24, visitor caps to aged care facilities will be removed and only a negative rapid antigen test on the day of visitation will be required, but one aged care facility will not be opening its doors yet to the public due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

A Bupa Aged Care Echuca spokeperson said although they were looking forward to implementing the changes, they would be not be able to open as there were a number of residents who had tested positive to COVID-19.

“We look forward to welcoming more visitors into the home soon, but unfortunately we have had to temporarily close the home to anyone but essential visitors, after five residents recently tested positive to COVID-19,” the spokesperson said.

“This is the first time any resident of our Echuca home has tested positive, and fortunately, at this stage, they are presenting with minor or no symptoms.

“As part of our strict infection prevention and control measures, we’ve instigated a range of heightened processes to help minimise any possibility of transmission within the home.”

Staff at the facility have started twice daily observations to detect any changes to residents’ health as early as possible, and rostered dedicated team members to care exclusively for each resident.

Bupa team members will be wearing full personal protective equipment through all of their rounds, and thorough cleaning procedures will be followed.

A Bupa spokesperson said there were many strategies in place to assist and support residents with their physical and emotional health.

“Residents will only have to isolate in their rooms if they have tested positive or are symptomatic and awaiting test results,’’ the spokesperson said.

Families of the residents have been notified about the cases and the current visitation restrictions.

In the meantime, essential visitors are still permitted into the facility, and staff will be arranging regular virtual visits between loved ones and residents.

Essential visitors who are able to visit the facility are partners in care (support person for those in care), named visitor (if a resident does not have a partner in care) and end-of-life visitors (for residents who are approaching the end of life).

As per usual health and safety protocols, anyone who is symptomatic or otherwise feeling unwell has been asked not to enter the home, and staff at Bupa will be undergoing regular testing to help minimise the possibility of outbreaks.