As an update to the information Acting CEO Silvana Gugliandolo provided you with in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak in our accommodation setting, I am pleased to advise this has now been contained. Whilst this is good news, unfortunately eight clients across two sites were impacted by the outbreak and three of these clients are being cared for in hospital. Fortunately, all are in a stable condition and are expected to return home to us in the near future. The other five clients have been relocated to three sites where they are being cared for with full compassion while adhering to infection control precautions such as isolation and PPE. These clients are currently not experiencing any symptoms and are in good spirits.
To date five of our caregivers have contracted COVID-19 from working directly with the clients who are positive, with only one contracting the virus since the outbreak was identified and we moved to wearing full PPE. All of our positive caregivers are experiencing mild symptoms and have remained at home.
Our swift contact tracing process was pivotal in helping us contain the outbreak and help ensure the safety of our clients and caregivers. Many caregivers who were asked to self-isolate at home have begun returning to work now after being cleared by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and St John of God Health Care’s Infection Control team. All the homes that were put into full PPE as a precaution have been cleared and the homes that remain in full PPE are still caring for our five positive clients.
We continue to work closely with the DHHS, Victorian Public Health unit, Worksafe and our internal teams to ensure every measure is taken to prevent any further spread of this outbreak. Our preparedness for this has been highly commended by all authorities.
At all times throughout this outbreak Accord clients have shown incredible resilience and cooperation. Our caregivers have gone above and beyond to provide excellent care to all our clients, in what have been very challenging work environments.
We continue to screen caregivers before work and measures have been implemented to stop caregivers working across multiple sites at this time. Our cleaning processes have all been reviewed and are in line with DHHS recommendations and we have an adequate supply chain of PPE available for our caregivers.
All in all, I am confident in our ability to keep you and your loved ones safe from harm.
If you have any questions in regard to this outbreak please do not hesitate to contact me on Accord.CEO@sjog.org.au I can appreciate that learning of an outbreak in our accommodation setting is upsetting, but please be assured that the safety of clients and caregivers is always our highest priority.
Chief Executive Officer