Coronavirus - New guidelines for aged care visits

Stay informed with the latest COVID-19 and aged care updates.

Following last week’s announcement of restricted visits to aged care facilities, the Department of Health has issued new visitation guidelines for residents and their families and friends.

These guidelines include:

  • limiting visits to a short duration
  • a limit of two visitors per resident, per day
  • limiting the visit to the resident’s room, avoiding communal areas where the risk of virus transmission is higher
  • large groups or social events, entertainment or similar activities will not be permitted.

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Here's a look at the guideline's key talking points.

Children only allowed in exceptional circumstances

Because children can be asymptomatic carriers of the virus - that is, transmitting the virus without any obvious symptoms, those aged 16 and under are prohibited from residential aged care facilities.

They would only be allowed in ‘exceptional’ circumstances, such as compassionate grounds when the resident is in palliative care.

This will be judged on a case-by-case basis.

Professional services access granted

The following providers of “professional services” are permitted to enter aged care facilities:

  • GPs
  • Pharmacists
  • Clinical Care Teams
  • Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service (DBMAS)
  • Those carrying out cancer scanning, known as SBRT.

Exercise caution and common sense

If you are going to visit an aged care facility, the government reminds us all to practice hygiene measures such as:

  • washing your hands frequently with soap and water, including before and after eating, and after going to the toilet
  • covering your cough and sneeze, disposing of tissues, and washing your hands afterwards
  • avoiding contact with others (stay more than 1.5 metres from people whenever possible).

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