We advised you yesterday that we had 4 residents, who are living with dementia, refuse testing when Melbourne Pathology attended. Fortunately, our Embracia nurses were able to reapproach and support these residents to allow us to safely take a swab. Please understand this is an invasive procedure that can be distressing, even more so for people living with dementia. Today we must report that three of the four of these Northerly residents have returned a positive result to COVID-19. They have been moved to Winx household as we work tirelessly to protect our residents in Northerly and the rest of the home who have returned negative results. Only one of the three residents have mild symptoms and two are asymptomatic. Although we wish all were negative, we are incredibly grateful to our Embracia nursing team for obtaining these swabs as when we know what we are dealing with it is easier to manage. As a result of Melbourne Pathology leaving and not managing these resident refusals, this delayed us having complete information. Now we will have one of our nurses accompany all tests in the Northerly household as this is considered one our higher risk areas and we want to do all that is possible to reduce any further spread.
Following our testing yesterday at Embracia Moonee Valley, we had 253 tests conducted for residents and staff and we have all results back already. We are saddened to report that we have five additional positive test results, which is three residents and two staff, and all are from our Northerly household which is our memory support (dementia) household. We also had four residents from Northerly refusing testing with Melbourne Pathology when they were on site, however, since then, our nurse was able to encourage these residents to be swabbed and sent the sample to pathology for urgent testing. The two staff are isolating at home and two of the three residents are asymptomatic. The other resident has developed a high temperature, but with paracetamol, the temperature came down and the resident is currently fine. All three of these residents have been moved to Winx household as part our cohorting process, as we try to keep all other residents and staff COVID free. All other residents in all other households have tested NEGATIVE. We also had a staff member who was already isolating at home due to being a close contact, has tested positive. They independently went and got tested and have returned a positive test. They continue their isolation at home.
We wish to inform you that yesterday 261 tests were conducted for residents and staff. All staff results came back NEGATIVE. We had one resident from our Northerly household test positive to COVID-19 and ALL other residents across all households have tested NEGATIVE. Given that our resident who has tested positive does have a tendency to wander, we have made the decision, in collaboration with the State and Commonwealth authorities, to move this resident to our Winx household, which currently is unoccupied following our previous outbreak. This resident is currently asymptomatic and has one staff member with them 24/7.
As we advised you yesterday evening, a staff member who worked in Northerly last weekend, has tested positive to COVID-19. They are unwell but are still managing at home. The staff member notified us as soon as they had been informed of their diagnosis. We sincerely thank them for their vigilance and consideration which enabled us to act swiftly and put the home into lockdown to minimise the potential for the spread of the virus. All residents are being asked to remain in their rooms and staff are now in full PPE again when working in the households. Unfortunately, we are not able to allow visitors, so we encourage you to make use of the alternative modes of visitation.
We are sad and frustrated to report tonight that we are placing Embracia Moonee Valley into full lockdown following one of our staff testing positive to COVID-19. Our staff member became symptomatic on Sunday whilst at work and immediately spoke with the nurse and went home. They went and got tested and have isolated at home. Tonight, they informed us that they have tested positive. They last worked on Sunday in Northerly household. All our staff work with face masks and face shields which we hope will result in reduced opportunities for any spread of infection.
After 55 days of lockdown, we have been advised today by DHHS that we can move into Enhanced Surveillance. This means residents can move more freely within their household and that full PPE is not required to be worn by staff. However, staff will still be required to wear face masks and face shields. Limited visits can commence from tomorrow! What a way to start the first day of Spring!
As we advised on the weekend, today our residents and staff underwent what we hope is our final round of testing. Mind you, we thought our final round of testing was last week, so we feel like this is becoming like John Farnham’s “The Last Time” concert, but less fun!
We hope to have residents’ results back tomorrow and then our staff on Wednesday. We hope that if all come back negative, DHHS will move us from our full lockdown position to enhanced/active surveillance some time this week. We want to share with you our expectation of what that might look like as try to plan our way forward.
We were pleased to share that our final 3 pending cases returned NEGATIVE results. This means from Wednesday’s testing this week, 100% of our staff and residents returned negative results for the second round in a row.
We were pleased to share on our social media pages on the weekend that our Round 8 testing for staff and residents returned 100% NEGATIVE results, this of course excludes our known positive resident cases, because DHHS have directed us to not re-test these residents.
We just wanted to write and formally consolidate the information we have received this week from round 7 of testing for both residents and staff. Our residents were tested (all besides our known positive cases) and all these results were NEGATIVE. Our staff all tested NEGATIVE too. Today our residents had round 8 of testing and tomorrow our staff will have their round 8 of testing.
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