Information about coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

As of Wednesday the 18th of March 2020, the Federal Government released further recommendations and restrictions specifically for Residential Aged Care facilities that will come into effect from midnight tonight here at Cohuna District Hospital. 

In respect to visiting, anyone that has or experienced the following will not be allowed to enter the Residential Aged Care Facility:

  • Anyone who has returned from overseas in the last 14 days.
  • Anyone who has been overseas or in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 within a fortnight will be banned from visiting aged care homes.
  • Those with fever or symptoms of acute respiratory failure or infection
  • Those that have not been vaccinated against influenza after the 1st of May 2019.
  • Further in line with these instructions, the following restrictions will be put in place regarding visits if you are well to do so:

  • Limiting visits to a short duration. This is undefined, but transmission practices would suggest this should be limited to within 30 minutes.
  • No large group visits or gatherings including social activities or entertainment at this time.
  • No school groups of any size to visit residential aged care facilities.
  • Aged care residents will only be able to receive one external visit a day, with a maximum of two people visiting. This includes not only family and friends, but also a visiting health professional, with a recommendation that children under the age of 16 visiting only be exception due to capacity to be asymptomatic and compliance around hand washing regimes.
  • The visit should be conducted in the residents rooms, outdoors or a designated visitor room. At CDH, it has been determined this will be room 8 for now, however this may change.
  • Of note, it may be beneficial to ring and check the room is available prior to attending as it may already be in use, but shouldn’t be for a long period if you are asked to wait outside.
  • Staff will assist with cups of the and coffee, the communal kitchen is now off limits to everyone accept CDH staff.
  • In cases of end of life care, which at its core are emotional and sensitive at best, discussions will be undertaken by site management with the resident and their next of kin around visiting practices, and we will work to enable an identifiable process of room isolation and visitor access to support the resident and family if this were to eventuate.

    Now more than ever it is essential that we ask for your support and your patience in our efforts to protect our residents, our staff and the community against the impacts of this pandemic.

    As part of your support, we specifically ask that you help us in supporting the following initiatives, wash your hands or use the liquid sanitiser provided and please sign in and out of the facility if visiting.

     

    Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.

    If you suspect you may have the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), please call the dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398. Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

    What you need to do

    If you have been to mainland China (excluding Hong Kong SAR, Macau and Taiwan) or Iran in the past 14 days, you are advised to stay at home and avoid public settings for at least 14 days after returning from China or Iran (other than when seeking medical care).

    If you have been in close contact with someone who has coronavirus disease (COVID-19), stay at home and avoid public settings for 14 days after you last came into contact with them.

    The Victorian Government is recommending that people who have travelled to China, Iran, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Korea or Thailand and become unwell seek medical advice and be tested for coronavirus.

    There is no evidence of transmission in Victoria at this time as of March 4th 2020, however growing identification of travellers returning to Australian shores with a confirmed infection is beginning to occur.

    If concerned, contact your local GP clinic for further advice around treatment options.

    Symptoms of COVID-19

    Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, breathing difficulties, cough, sore throat, and fatigue or tiredness. You can learn more about the disease on the Better Health Channel website. ( link :https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/novel-coronavirus )

    If you are not in any of the risk groups above, you should go about your daily life as usual.

    For more information

    You can read more about the coronavirus disease, including advice on symptoms and precautions, on the Department of Health and Human Services website:

    https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/victorian-public-coronavirus-disease-covid-19

    Visiting Cohuna District Hospital and Residential Aged Care Facility

    We would like to reassure our patients and visitors that we have robust infection control measures in place, and it remains safe to attend our service. Our clinical teams and indeed all our employees follow infection control processes to protect themselves and others.

    The risk to patients attending any health service is extremely low as we have the ability to isolate patients to a certain degree within existing beds.

    Of note, Cohuna District Hospital does not have negative pressure isolation rooms, and therefore in all likelihood, an admission identified as requiring this level of isolation will be asked to attend a larger regional service that does, such as Bendigo Health.

    If you are concerned that you are at risk of carrying coronavirus due to recent travel, please contact the Department of Health and Human Services coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398 before attending CDH, another hospital emergency department or a doctor’s appointment.