Booster Shots Update: 25th November

Hello to you all.

This morning we received notification that the in-house booster shot clinic for residents and staff who were vaccinated over 6 months ago, will be held on Thursday 25th November. Please make sure you return the consent form (download it here) for your loved one as soon as possible to make sure we are ready for the vaccination team.

Unfortunately, family members of residents will not be vaccinated at the in-house clinic. Booster shots are available for family members through your GP or local pharmacy. If your 2nd shot of vaccine was over 6 months ago, please contact your GP or local pharmacy to obtain advice on receiving your booster immunisation.

If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will do our best to assist you.

Kind Regards,
Margaret Russell

Booster Shots

Hello to you all.

We have had a few queries from family members regarding booster shots for our residents. Due to the age of residents, and because they were prioritised for early vaccination, many are now due for their booster dose. Residents who were vaccinated in our first vaccination clinic earlier in the year are now in the timeframe for a booster shot. We are waiting on advice from the provider of the in house clinic (which we anticipate shortly). In the meantime, it would be helpful for the consent forms for the shot to be completed and in place as we may not get lots of notice for the clinic. Please download a copy of the consent form and we request it be returned to us as soon as possible.

We would also suggest to family members who received their 2nd dose of vaccine over 6 months ago, to contact their GP or other provider to book in for their booster vaccination. It has been made very obvious that vaccination is the only way to combat COVID 19.

Thank you everyone for your patience and compliance over the last few weeks. We are hoping that, if numbers, continue to stabilise, we may be able to review some of our requirements in December. We are looking forward to having a joyous Christmas season with residents, staff and family members able to enjoy each other’s company.

Warm regards,
Margaret Russell

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

Resident Family Outings

Abel Tasman is happy to announce that in addition to opening up for visits to our residents recently, our system for residents attending small family gatherings and social outings is ready to go! We have added the link to our existing booking page here.

As per our last update there is a strong framework around social leave that will assist us to keep you and your loved ones safe. The booking system has the capacity for you to input important information about your gathering for us to assist you.

Please note:

Vaccinated residents in areas that are not under stay at home orders attending family gatherings must abide by the current Public Health (COVID-19 General) Order 2021 (the Order).

It is strongly recommended that all people attending any gathering are fully vaccinated.
You must ensure no one at the event:

  • has, in the past 14 days, been to any NSW, Interstate or New Zealand locations at the dates and times listed in the latest COVID-19 case locations
  • have been in a stay at home area in the last 14 days
  • has been a close contact of a person with confirmed COVID-19 in the last 14 days
  • lives in a household with a person who is currently self-isolating
  • is waiting for a COVID-19 test result.

Residents must not go into an area that is currently under a stay at home order.

Residents are advised to wear masks on the outing, practice hand hygiene and social distancing.

All residents (or their representatives) going on social leave or external appointments must advise Abel Tasman Village in plenty of time. Residents may be subject to monitoring, testing or quarantine upon return to the Village depending upon the length of absence and area visited.

If you are visiting a venue that requires evidence of COVID-19 vaccination, you will need to organise this for your loved one. We are unable to access residents’ Medicare records to produce this for you.

For all of our residents’ and staff safety, again, we ask you to be very cautious and assist is in this next step into further freedoms going forward. We are hoping that these structured arrangements will not have to last any longer than they need to.

We also wish you a wonderful, safe and happy time with your loved ones!

Regards

Margaret Russell
General Manager

Visiting and Outings

Hello to you all,

Well, it’s been over a week since we opened up and it’s been great to see visitors coming through the gates to visit their loved ones. Just a reminder of the requirements for visiting – you must have a booking, have been double vaccinated (with the 2nd dose being administered a minimum of 14 days prior), and provide a negative COVID result on entry (testing must be done maximum 72 hours before visiting). Please note that you will receive a confirming email of your booking day and time. If you need to change your appointment you can do so through that email. Please schedule your appointments carefully to avoid last minute changes and cancellations.

We have had a few questions regarding residents attending family gatherings. The NSW Health directions on this are quite clear. There are specific requirements for unvaccinated residents leaving the facility (please speak with the Care Manager or myself for further information).

Vaccinated residents are permitted to leave the facility and attend family gatherings but must abide by the current Public Health (COVID-19 General) Order 2021 (the Order). Abel Tasman Village has developed a framework in relation to the requirements for residents attending outside events.

Residents in areas that are not under stay at home orders, are permitted to leave Abel Tasman Village to attend external appointments and small family gatherings but must abide by the Public Health Orders.

It is strongly recommended that all people attending any gathering are fully vaccinated.
You must ensure no one at the event:

  • has, in the past 14 days, been to any NSW, Interstate or New Zealand locations at the dates and times listed in the latest COVID-19 case locations
  • have been in a stay at home area in the last 14 days
  • has been a close contact of a person with confirmed COVID-19 in the last 14 days
  • lives in a household with a person who is currently self-isolating
  • is waiting for a COVID-19 test result.

Residents must not go into an area that is currently under a stay at home order.

Residents must wear masks on the outing and practice hand hygiene and social distancing.

All residents (or their representatives) going on social leave or external appointments must advise Abel Tasman Village in plenty of time. There will be a system available from early next week for family members to communicate outings information. Residents may be subject to monitoring, testing or quarantine upon return to the Village depending upon the length of absence and area visited.

If you are visiting a venue that requires evidence of COVID-19 vaccination, you will need to organise this for your loved one. We are unable to access residents’ Medicare records to produce this for you.

We ask you to be very mindful when attending gatherings with residents. Families and staff have all worked very hard over the last 18 months to limit our residents’ and staff exposure to COVID-19. For the next few weeks there will be a lot of uncertainty with case numbers, lockdown requirements in aged care and hospital capacity. So, now the onus is on you to do the right thing when arranging gatherings with residents. For all our residents’ and staff safety, we ask you to be very cautious.

In relation to PCR COVID 19 testing, Abel Tasman Village will be continuing to require visitors to provide a negative COVID result upon entry to the Village. This requirement is also still in place for staff and contractors. This may be reviewed at some time in the future.

Thank you all for your patience and understanding regarding the visiting protocols. We have been heartened by some of the lovely comments and encouragement we have received.

Regards

Margaret Russell
General Manager

Visit a Resident!

Hello to you all. Well, the day is almost here! No doubt you are as relieved as we are to be seeing some opening up throughout NSW. The residents are thrilled to be able to see you very soon.

Thank you to everyone who has sent in their vaccination certificates. Unfortunately, if we have not received your vaccination certificate and you cannot provide evidence of double dose vaccination at the time of your visit, you will be unable to visit. Please note that you must have received your second dose at least 14 days prior to visiting. We would suggest that you carry with you either an electronic or paper copy of your vaccination certificate.

As I advised previously, we must take a cautious approach to the opening up for visiting. There is still COVID in the local community so we must be ever vigilant.

But on to more exciting matters. Visiting will recommence from 2pm on Monday 11th October 2021. There are clear directions from NSW Health in relation to visiting. As from Monday, 2 visitors per resident per day may visit. As we have done previously, there will be a booking system up on the website here to enable booking for visits and calls. If possible, please communicate with all family members to ensure fair and equitable allocation of visiting times.

There is a robust framework around the visiting instructions to ensure resident and staff safety:

  • You must be fully vaccinated (2nd dose at least 14 days prior to visiting) and have provided your vaccination certificate prior to visiting
  • 2 visitors per resident per day are permitted to visit (under 12s are not currently permitted to visit)
  • Visits are available 7 days per week from 10am to 5pm (visitors must leave the site by 5pm)
  • There is no time limit on how long you can visit but you must arrive at your allotted time and leave by 5pm
  • Masks must be worn by visitors at all times, unless eating and drinking
  • Visits must take place within the resident’s room or in the garden areas
  • Visitors must not enter any other communal area within the Village (this includes the coffee shop, the dining room, the physio room, the hairdressing salon and the nurse stations)
  • Visitors must check in on the QR codes at the entry gate and sign in via the electronic register by the front letterbox
  • Visitors must produce evidence of a COVID test within 72 hours of visiting and exhibit a negative result
  • We would appreciate visitors do not congregate at any place in the Village, particularly at the front gate
  • Visitors must demonstrate social distancing at all times

We have developed a Post Stay at Home Visiting Policy which is available on the website. Please ensure you read the policy carefully as it contains further information in relation to residents leaving the village and particularly arrangements for unvaccinated residents.

We appreciate how difficult the last few months have been and we thank you all for your patience. This is our first step into a ‘living with COVID’ world so please be mindful that staff are also trying to keep up with weekly changes to advice from NSW Health. Changes to our policy may occur as advice is amended by the Chief Health Officer and we will communicate any changes to you in a timely manner, just as we have done throughout the lockdown.

We are looking forward to seeing you all.

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…