The health and wellbeing of the elders in our care at Jeta Gardens, along with our staff and the community at large is, and continues to be, our priority during the COVID pandemic.
Aged care facilities across Queensland have been impacted by the COVID pandemic, and we at Jeta Gardens are no exception. We understand this is a very difficult time, and our heartfelt thoughts are with the residents and families across Australia who have suffered a loss due to COVID.
In recent weeks we have worked closely with the Federal Health Department, and for the week of 28 January to 4 February, the Department assisted with a Surge Workforce team that assists aged care providers to continue clinical care when staff numbers are depleted.
As of today, 5 February, no additional resources remain on site at Jeta Gardens, as most of our staff are recovered and available for shifts, and we have now had four days of no new cases of COVID among residents or staff.
It is important to note, that at no point has there been discussion with any authority of the prospect of the facility being closed and residents being evacuated.
This has never been raised in any meeting or discussion we have held with Aged Care, ACQSC, Qld Health, or the Public Health Unit.
Media reports to the contrary are without base.
In the aged care sector when there are cases of an outbreak, a daily meeting is held with the aged care provider, bringing together the Aged Care Quality Commission, Federal Health, and Public Health Unit for the relevant health region, in our case Metro South.
These meetings are scheduled to support the affected provider, to provide advice and daily updates, and identify what the Commonwealth can offer in terms of additional staffing and access to resources such as PPE. This support provided by the authorities to Jeta Gardens in recent weeks has assisted us in several ways, including help fast track emergency access to additional PPE appropriate for an outbreak, and providing a dedicated advisor to assist us internally.
We also provided a drive through RAT testing service on site for household members of staff, as many families were unable to access the tests but wanted to identify early, any risk they posed to the staff who work with vulnerable seniors. It was a service accessed and appreciated by many staff and their families.
We will continue to work with the Federal Government and other sector stakeholders to monitor and address any further issues.