Since my last statement was published on our website in late April, a lot has happened. Following our nationwide lockdown, we enjoyed a respite from COVID-19 with businesses reopening, children returning to school and a ‘new normal’ that saw us reunite with family and friends and enjoy activities like eating at restaurants or attending community sport.
For some of us, we are still able to enjoy the freedoms that come with eased restrictions, but for millions of our fellow Australians, particularly those in Melbourne, the situation is much more serious. Melburnians are currently enduring some of the strictest lockdown conditions in the world to try to get community transmission of the virus under control. It is extremely upsetting to hear the daily briefings, particularly confirmation of multiple deaths each day, the majority of whom are older Australians. Their passing is a great loss to not only their family and friends but to all of us.
The rest of Victoria is under Stage 3 restrictions again and the situation in NSW is escalating daily.
While masks are mandated in Victoria, they are now strongly encouraged in NSW, particularly in indoor spaces where physical distancing is difficult, like public transport and shopping centres. Physical distancing, good hand hygiene, staying at home if unwell and being tested if you display symptoms, along with wearing masks where its mandated and recommended, are all vital in protecting ourselves and others. We can all play our part in helping bring the latest outbreaks under control by following restrictions and health guidance.
The most important thing we can do is not dismiss symptoms as ‘just a cold’ but organise to get tested and remain at home until we receive our result. This is especially important if you live somewhere that is experiencing community transmission right now. The recent outbreaks have taught us that COVID-19 is highly contagious and easily spread. Our health authorities are doing all that they can to contain outbreaks but are reliant on the public to do the right thing. We can't afford to be complacent.
Here at integratedliving, we are enforcing strict policies and procedures based on the most current government and health recommendations, to safeguard both you, our valued clients, and our staff. Our goal, since COVID-19 arrived on our shores, has been to ensure that we can safely continue to deliver your services. We are grateful for your support and understanding. We are also extremely proud of our staff who are going above and beyond to ensure that they are following all procedures correctly, adapting to new ways of delivering services and providing you with not just the services you require but also the smiles and support that we all need right now.
Today is Aged Care Employee Day and the theme is ‘Thanks for Caring’. The theme is especially resonant in the current climate. Our frontline workers, including our hard-working integratedliving staff, are doing an amazing job of caring for older Australians in extremely stressful circumstances and I am sure you appreciate their dedication.
We have COVIDSafe plans in place at all our opened Centres and clinics and temperature checks are now compulsory. Staff and clients are wearing masks in Victoria, and in NSW staff are wearing masks and clients are encouraged to do the same. While most of our Activity and Wellness Centres have now reopened, we will monitor the situation locally for each of them to ensure that they can remain so. Thankfully, all is well for our Centres now and it is wonderful to hear how much our clients are enjoying being back.
Our staff delivering services to you in your home are provided with the appropriate PPE for all situations. They are also asking a series of screening questions when they arrive to provide services. It is extremely important that you answer all the screening questions and inform our staff if you have any symptoms, even if only mild, so that we can safeguard everyone’s health. It is also vital that you inform us if you are having a COVID-19 test or have had one recently so that we can ensure the safety of our staff. You can do this by calling our Customer Service Centre on 1300 782 896.
Please know that we are continuing to do everything we can to safeguard both you and our staff. It is an unsettling and difficult time, but it’s important that we try to remain positive. We had great success in Australia initially and with time, patience and community compliance, we will hopefully see the virus back under control in the coming months.
If you need any support or have any feedback, please reach out to us.
Stay safe and take care.
Chief Executive Officer
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