Visitor, Staff and Contractor access guidelines – As at 16 November 2021

The SPC Infection Control Group met today to review our position following the lifting of the mask mandate in the 11 LGAs of south-east Queensland.

Considerations driving our decisions:

  • 20% of residents at SPC are not vaccinated
  • Between now and 17 December 2021 an unvaccinated person may enter an aged care facility to visit
  • Our judgement is that over next few weeks/months the risk to our residents is greater than at any point in time since the pandemic started
  • We have been advised that the booster shot will not be administered to our residents until February’22
  • The requirement to have flu vaccination has been lifted (expect it to be reinstated around March next year)

As a result some requirements to wear a mask will remain:

  • All staff will continue to wear masks in the care setting
  • Visitors must wear masks whilst moving through the facility
  • A fully vaccinated visitor visiting a resident who has been vaccinated may remove their masks in the confines of a residents room
  • We have been advised that the booster shot will not be administered to our residents until February’22Should either party not be fully vaccinated then masks must be worn at all times

All previous precautions remain in place. There is a mandated entry registration process for almost everything we do and places we go to in the community – entering an aged care facility is no different all be it a little more complicated. We are required to both register your entry via the Qld App and demonstrate that we have conducted a health check on each individual who enters the facility.

We have a four step process
1. Sign-in via the ‘Qld Check In App’ – either using your smartphone or at the clearly marked iPad for manual registration
2. Sanitise your hands
3. Have your temperature taken at the temperature scanner
4. Sign-In using Entrytrakr and complete your health declaration

Entrytrakr is the step that causes the most confusion and the biggest bottleneck in the entry/exit process but there are a few ways to speed up the process.

Firstly create your own user ID (trackerID) – this way you will only need to enter your personal information once meaning you only need to answer a handful of yes/no questions each time.

Secondly, use your phone to scan the QR code for entrytrakr. It will direct you to a web page containing the same information as the iPad; bookmark the home page and use your trakrID to jump the queue by completing the health declaration on your phone.

Entrytrakr also replaces the old sign in book which means it has become our fire list. We therefore request you sign out using this app when you are leaving the building so that in the event of an emergency we have an accurate record of who is in the building.

From 17 December 2021 everyone entering an aged care facility will need to be fully vaccinated

– i.e. two shots. This obviously affects visiting over Christmas. It means that you only have a little more than a week to get your first shot if you wish to meet the deadline. For those who have been vaccinated we will be asking you to supply a copy of your vaccination certificate which can be found in your Medicare account (once the requirement

A reminder:

• that visiting hours are 8:30am – 4:30pm seven days a week.
• that you must provide us proof that you have had your flu vaccination
• to practice social distancing
• limit your contact with other residents
• visits must be in the residents room (max of two visitors at time in the room) or outside in the gardens
• we still encourage you to ring before you visit. It will help in establishing that we have the right records in place e.g. vaccination records and help to ensure that others are not already visiting in the room given the two visitor limit within this space.

Visitors, staff or volunteers at a residential aged care facility should not be anyone who:
• is unwell
• has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or asked to quarantine
• has returned from overseas in the last 14 days
• has had contact with a person with COVID-19 in the last 14 days
• has visited a COVID-19 hotspot in the last 14 days or since the hotspot was declared (whichever is shorter)
• has visited an interstate exposure venue in the last 14 days unless an exemption has been granted for an end of life visit
• has been in an interstate area of concern in the last 14 days or since the identified start date (whichever is shorter), unless you fit into one of the categories of people who are allowed to enter a facility with a negative COVID-19 test
• has been tested for COVID-19 and is waiting for the result (except for tests due to surveillance testing obligations)
• has COVID-19 symptoms of fever (37.5 degrees or more), cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, loss of smell or taste, runny nose, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting or fatigue.

Finally, it has been a while since I have had to make this plea and once again it saddens me to do so.

St Paul’s is lucky in that it traditionally has many more visitors than an average aged care facility. It is something we encourage and appreciate. We also understand that some of you are jaded with the pandemic and measures that have been imposed on all of us BUT we will not tolerate you taking your frustrations out on staff or the Sisters (who volunteer their time on the weekends to ensure you can maintain as normal a relationship as possible with your loved ones).

Verbal attacks and failure to comply with simple instructions designed to keep everyone at SPC safe will not be tolerated. Such outbursts will not only place your ability to visit at risk but may result in greater restrictions to the facility.