Bupa has announced it will enhance restrictions at its aged care facilities to protect aged care residents from the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The company has announced a raft of new rules, effective immediately, including limits on visits.
Visits will be restricted to 30 minutes between 2pm and 5pm. All visits must be pre-booked and limited to one resident per day.
We are introducing new rules to minimise visits to care homes to help protect the safety of our residents and employees. Visitors will also be required to wear gloves and mask and limit interactions with other residents. Visits confined to the resident's room. Visitors will also be subjected to temperature checks to ensure people with a fever do not enter.
These measures are in addition to the previous requirements the company announced, including the use of hand sanitiser.
"We’re asking everyone to consider whether their visit is essential and postpone it if possible. Minimising the number of visitors is the best way to reduce the risk of infection," it said in a statement.
It added, "There will be compassionate exceptions for visits to residents, such as for those who are receiving palliative care."
"We understand these restrictions will be difficult for some, and we will help to arrange phone or video calls for residents to keep in touch with their loved ones," said Suzanne Dvorak, the managing director of Bupa Villages and Aged Care.
"We’ve also put a call out to our residents’ family members, encouraging them to have their children or grandchildren record video messages for their relatives in our care homes, which can help our residents feel more connected while there is a limit on visitors.
"We continue to work with the government health authorities to ensure we are doing everything possible to prevent infections, and preparing for managing an outbreak if it should happen.
"Protecting our residents and employees is our highest priority and we all have a role to play in this.
"I want to thank all of our residents and their loved ones for their ongoing support and understanding during these difficult times."