Minister writes letter to providers as Covid flares in Victoria

The aged care minister has written to providers warning against complacency amid a resurgence of Covid-19 in Victoria.

Aged care minister Richard Colbeck has written a letter to aged care providers thanking them for their response to Covid-19 but warning the battle isn’t over yet as Victoria recorded a spike in cases that led to the border with NSW being closed and put Melbourne back into a six-week lockdown.

As of Wednesday, there were 8,755 cases across Australia, including 2,824 in Victoria. That includes 33 cases among home aged care clients, of whom 28 have recovered and four have died.

“Australia’s aged care sector has responded incredibly well to the unprecedented challenges of Covid-19,” Senator Colbeck wrote in the letter to providers on Tuesday. “You have all played a role in that, and I want to thank you, once again, for your hard work and continued determination to protect those in your care.”

No room for complacency

But he adds that the virus presents a particular risk to older Australians and there is no room for complacency, even in communities without local transmission.

Without a vaccination, our best defence against Covid-19 is sustained and continued vigilance.

Senator Richard Colbeck

Senator Colbeck urges all providers to ensure they have up to date and ready-to-go outbreak management plans and reinforce the importance of good hand hygiene, coughing etiquette and social distancing with workers.

He also says staff need to be reminded to stay home if they are unwell and should be encouraged to complete the health department’s online infection control training.

“Without a vaccination, our best defence against Covid-19 is sustained and continued vigilance,” he says.

“This will be especially important as new waves of infection flare up across some postcodes.”

Meanwhile in a statement yesterday Senator Colbeck said  there remained a substantial increase in the risk of severe Covid-19 illness in people over 70 and vulnerable and older members of every community remained a priority as federal and state governments navigated the challenges of the pandemic.

 “We are not through the woods yet but support measures are in place to ensure senior Australians across the country get the support they need,” he said.

“We continue to monitor the situation in Victoria and will offer advice as both tiers of government work together to stop the spread and save lives.” 

You can read the minister’s letter to providers here

Resources for home care providers are available here , here and here.

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