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Clarification on cases and tomorrow’s testing

September 16, 2020

Dear Residents and Families,

Re: Clarification on cases and tomorrow’s testing.

We write today to keep you informed of our cases as it was brought to our attention that we have conflicting case numbers to what DHHS are publishing on their website.  It appears to us that they have merged data from our two Outbreaks, but even then, we cannot reconcile their numbers to match ours.  We absolutely and categorically refute their publication of 16 Active cases.  We can confirm as we did yesterday, we have 7 residents and 4 staff as active cases, which totals 11 active cases.  We have no idea where they are getting a further 5 additional cases and they have certainly not reported them to us.  We have escalated this matter to our Commonwealth Case Manager who is assisting us to get responses from Public Health Unit (PHU) and DHHS as they again today did not attend out Operations Meeting and we have multiple emails directly to Team One at DHHS still awaiting response.

When in lockdown with active resident cases, the process is expected to be testing every 72 hours, unfortunately as we informed you yesterday, we still hadn’t had confirmation for testing and today we had it confirmed for tomorrow (Thursday).  Management at the home decided to obtain swabs from all the remaining residents living with dementia in our Northerly household as some have developed mild symptoms and we did not want to wait until Thursday.  We can confirm we obtained swabs for all Northerly residents with zero refusals and all have been sent to Melbourne Pathology.  This way we should have results 24 hours ahead of the later testing, enabling us to act sooner and continue to try and reduce the risk of further spread.  We discussed our decision at our Operations meeting and the Commonwealth representatives were in support of our actions, but DHHS or PHU were absent to comment or provide advice or direction.  Testing for all staff and residents in all other households will take place tomorrow.

Active Cases:

TOTAL:  7 Residents

  • Resident 1 – Day 7
  • Resident 2, 3, 4 – Day 4
  • Resident 5, 6, 7 – Day 3

TOTAL: 4 Staff

As we advised you in one of our early letters relating to this second lockdown, our first positive staff case had 11 close contacts, and all were instructed by Embracia to isolate.  We have completed spreadsheets for tracing purposes and sent them to PHU the day after we went into lockdown.  As of today, only 9 of 11 staff have been contacted by DHHS.  As directed by DHHS, staff who are deemed to be close contacts of a positive case are to immediately isolate and then wait until their Day 11 and be tested.  Following a NEGATIVE test result from their day 11 test and without symptoms they will be deemed to be cleared to return to work and come out of isolation.  Due to some of our staff not yet being contacted by DHHS and now reaching their day 11, Embracia Management has contacted them to request they get tested and isolate again until they have their result.

We wish to advise you that we were contacted by a news reporter asking many questions, all of which we have responded to in writing.  One of their questions related to a photo we posted on our social media with our Reservoir staff doing a fund raiser to raise money for foster kids.  We wish to advise that Embracia Reservoir was not in lockdown, staff were wearing masks and face shields, which is in line with the current Health Officer’s directives. They came together for a brief minute to take a photo to capture their efforts.  We thank our Reservoir staff for the efforts in raising money for foster kids.

We really are working hard and doing our best to keep our residents and staff safe.  It is a shame to see our name posted in the media with negative implications and not in context. We are managing our outbreaks, and in daily consultation with the authorities, to ensure we comply with all processes. Put simply, it is a kick in the guts, but we won’t be defeated!  So, to our staff  and management team at both homes, we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the amazing, selfless and compassionate work you provide to our residents and to each other day and night.  To our residents, we are in awe of your patience and resilience during these challenging times and we thank you for keeping strong, smiling through tough times, and soldiering on.  To our families and our supportive Embracia community, we are truly grateful for your supportive messages, kind words, your patience and assistance in helping us, help our residents, your loved ones through this challenging time.

As we always encourage, please keep following our Facebook page, Instagram, and our website to keep up to date.  We encourage you to email lifestylemv@embraciavic.com.au to arrange a phone call, zoom call or a window visit.  All window visits MUST be pre-booked via the email above so we can coordinate them.  Please keep working with us so we all make sure our residents stay connected with you all.

Take care and stay safe.

Kind regards,

Sarah MacKenzie
Managing Director

Damien Lippiatt
General Manager


We provide exceptional aged care in an intimate community that feels like home.