Update 16th February 2021
Dear Residents Family and Friends,
As of 15th February NSW enjoyed 29 straight days of zero community transmission. In accordance with NSW Health directives – masks are still mandatory and must be worn by visitors and staff for the duration of your time in the facility.
Staff have recently reported some disturbing instances of aggression by visitors. Aggression is never OK and will not be tolerated. Staff have been instructed to call 000 and advise Police of the threat and have offenders removed from the premises immediately. Columbia’s priority is the welfare of the Residents and ALL staff who provide care and service.
News yesterday confirmed the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine in Australia. We have been informed by the Department of Health residential aged care workers and residents will be among the first people who can choose to receive the vaccine in the first roll-out phase. Reports state ‘workers will begin to receive the vaccine next Monday’ February 22nd 2021.
The Australian Government is responsible for leading the implementation of the COVID-19 Vaccination Program. Workers and residents in residential aged care facilities will be able to receive their vaccination in their RACF. Information will be provided to us ahead of vaccinators attending a Columbia facility. Each facility is getting ready much the same way we prepare for the delivery of the flu vaccine every year.
Appropriate consent will be obtained prior to vaccination. More information will be provided to us on consent for residents in RACFs and their family, representatives and carers. As we receive the updates from the Department of Health we will communicate to you.
A COVID-19 vaccine is just one part of keeping the community safe and healthy. COVID-19 vaccines will be safe, free and voluntary for everyone living in Australia. Residents and/or their representatives can talk to their GP or an independent health professional about the benefits of vaccination versus the risk and clinical impact of the COVID-19 vaccines.
For now it is important for everyone to continue COVIDSafe practises such hand hygiene, physical distancing and wearing masks when required, particularly in residential aged care facilities.