Stay Safe at Christmas II

Hello to you all.

This will be my last update for the year (hopefully!). With Christmas almost upon us, I urge you all to remain vigilant regarding the COVID situation. If you are taking residents out for Christmas, please ensure COVID safe precautions are in place (masks to be worn, no unvaccinated guests, functions to be preferably held outside, maintain social distancing etc).

We have previously communicated that home Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) are now acceptable, given the difficulties in obtaining a PCR test. A PCR test is still the preference but we understand the problems with clinics being overrun due to the Christmas season. Any resident returning from an outing will be tested on site. Please note that home rapid antigen tests are not to be conducted on the ATV site.

2021 has been a year of many challenges, not least the COVID situation, which of course we all thought could not get any worse. We finish the year with the hope that 2022 will be better for us all. I take this opportunity to give grateful thanks to all the staff and management team of ATV. My role as Acting General Manager has certainly been a rollercoaster but the support from the team has been amazing. Whichever way you choose to spend the festive season, the Board, Management, and Staff of ATV wish you a very Merry Christmas and a safe and bright 2022. Thank you again.

Margaret Russell
Acting General Manager

Stay Safe at Christmas

Hello to you all,

The staff who have been isolating continue to test negative which is very good news indeed. If they still test negative on Thursday they can return to work from Sunday 19th December. Consequently, the decision has been made to postpone the Resident Christmas Party to Thursday 23rd December. This will enable the full kitchen team to be on deck and ready to create a wonderful Christmas lunch for everyone. Thank you for your understanding.

NSW Health has sent out an advice for arrangements over the Christmas period. Unfortunately, they have not relaxed any of the current restrictions so visiting numbers remain the same. Masks are also still a requirement for staff and visitors within the Village. The restrictions also mean that, sadly, we will be unable to accommodate visitors at the Resident Christmas Party. We do apologise that you won’t be able to attend.

In relation to resident outings over Christmas, the same framework will apply. We would ask all families who are considering taking residents to family functions, that they ensure COVID safe practices are in place – ie. Social distancing, no unvaccinated people etc. We would also strongly suggest that all family members at a function obtain a test prior to the function. Testing will be undertaken for any resident returning from a family gathering.

Lastly, thank you everyone for your patience and understanding over what has been a very challenging year. As the Acting General Manager, I have been heartened to receive many messages of support and encouragement.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas from the Board, Management and Staff of Abel Tasman Village.

Margaret Russell,
Acting General MAnager

Visiting Abel Tasman – November 2021

Hello to you all.

The news on vaccination rates in NSW has been excellent. This has enabled the Chief Health Officer and NSW Health to make some changes to visiting requirements for aged care facilities.

From 1st November, visitation restrictions will change to allow 2 fully vaccinated people aged 12 years and over plus 2 children aged under 12 to visit a resident in a 24-hour period.  Where visits include a child under 12 it is strongly recommended, where possible:

  • the visit is in an outdoor area
  • the child should wear a mask
  • arrange Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT)  or a PCR test prior to a visit (if the child is unable to obtain a test result, you will need to book your visit as an outing and the visit will need to take place outside the Village)

Visits should not be in any inside communal areas. All visitors must wear a surgical mask while visiting indoors. 

Up to two unvaccinated people may visit a resident for an end of life visit. They must always wear a surgical mask and the visit must be solely inside the resident’s room. 

  • Fully vaccinated staff and visitors are not permitted to enter an aged care facility if they have returned from overseas in the last 7 days. They must have had a negative COVID-19 test taken on or after day 7 following their arrival.  Any other person who has returned from overseas is not permitted to enter an aged care facility until 14 days have passed since their arrival. 

From 1 November 2021, visitors must not visit an aged care facility if they:

  • are a fully vaccinated person who has been overseas in the last 7 days. Additionally, they must show evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken on or after day 7 following their arrival. 
  • are any other person who has been overseas in the last 14 days. 

The booking page on our website and the check in QR code have both been amended in line with the new requirements.

Warm regards

Margaret Russell
General Manager

Opening News

Hello to you all.

We have been getting a number of enquiries regarding visiting. As communicated last week, we are currently waiting for the NSW Health detailed information regarding the requirements for visiting. We will be sending out an update by the end of the week to let you all know the framework for visiting from Monday 11th October.

We have received a small number of COVID vaccination certificates from people wanting to visit. However, please note that you will be unable to visit on Monday unless you have provided COVID vaccination proof (double dosed) by 5pm Friday 8th October. Please note there may be a requirement for you to have received your final dose over 14 days prior to visiting. However, we are waiting on clarification regarding this. There may also be a requirement for a negative COVID test result.

You may provide proof by submitting an immunization certificate from your doctor or by giving us a copy of the digital certificate available via Medicare. You can also contact the Australian Immunisation Register and request a copy of your COVID vaccination certificate (please note that this may take up to 10 business days to arrive). We will be ensuring all records are kept secure and in compliance with privacy legislation.

We will be in touch on Friday regarding the system for visiting.

Thank you for your cooperation and patience.

Margaret Russell
General Manager

October Freedom (kind of)

We’re all looking forward to meeting old and new friends, as the end of the Sydney lock-down is in sight. To celebrate we’re having a Barbie, as you can see in this month’s ATV newsletter!

In other news, the Rembrandt Club is also keen to resume its activities, as you can read in its September newsletter.

We’re currently finalising the details for visiting the Village and will update you as soon as the NSW government and practicalities allow…

Opening Soon!

Hello to you all.

What great news we heard yesterday when the Premier announced that visits to aged care facilities will be able to commence from 11th October 2021!

We are currently awaiting the Chief Health Officer official advice and we will then formalize our plan for what visiting will look like from 11th October 2021. At this stage, we are aware that 2 visitors per resident will be permitted. All visitors must be fully vaccinated. For this reason, NSW Health is still working on how under 12s will be able to visit in a COVID safe way. Until that time, under 12s will unfortunately not be able to visit. We will of course be using an abundance of caution in the way we open up for visiting.

If you are wishing to visit, you must send us your vaccination certificate indicating that you have been fully vaccinated with two doses. Please forward your certificate to office.mgr@abeltasman.com.au as soon as possible.

We will be in touch next week to advise the arrangements for visiting. We are looking forward to seeing you all.

Margaret Russell
General Manager

17th September – Lockdown update

Hello to everyone from all of us at ATV,

Great to get some warmer weather to enjoy being outside, even though we are in lockdown.

Just an update for you all regarding the delivery driver incident. Our staff member has continued to test negative and has now passed the 14 days isolation required. The staff member will return to work next week and will continue to be tested regularly as per our current protocols.

I do need to advise that a nursing home staff member has tested positive to COVID 19. However, we have had confirmation from the Public Health Unit that this person was not infectious at the time they worked in the facility and ATV is therefore in the clear. The staff member has been in isolation since 7th September and tested negative up until yesterday, 16th September, when she tested positive. We are thankful that our screening processes and COVID management plans are robust and are protecting our residents.

I am available to discuss anything you are concerned about so please do not hesitate to contact me. Please be assured we continue to place the health and safety of our residents as our number one priority.

Margaret Russell
General Manager

10th September – Lockdown update

Hello to you all.

Just a quick update on the situation I reported to you earlier this week, where a staff member was exposed to a delivery driver who subsequently tested positive to COVID 19. Our staff member continues to test negative, which is very good news. The isolation period will finish mid next week. This incident highlights just how easy it can be to be exposed to the virus, even when doing the most simple activities. We are truly thankful that on this occasion we seem to be in the clear. However, we must remain vigilant and keep to our robust processes which are serving us well.

The announcement by the Premier yesterday gives us some hope of considering arrangements for visiting once vaccination rates hit a certain level. The management team is working on a plan regarding a visiting schedule for when we hit the magic number. 

I can now report that 100% of staff have received a vaccination (95% have been fully vaccinated). This is a great result and well ahead of the deadline for residential aged care workers of 17th September. We must give a huge vote of thanks to the staff for rolling up their sleeves and getting vaccinated to not only protect themselves, but also their community and of course our precious residents.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like any further information or just to have a chat.
Stay safe everyone.

Best wishes,

Margaret Russell
General Manager