Blue Care and COVID-19 Coronavirus
We would like to reassure all residents, clients, families and next-of-kin that Blue Care’s facilities and services remain open, with prudent measures implemented to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our Blue Care employees, volunteers, clients, and residents from COVID-19.
Blue Care has been undertaking significant preparedness and scenario planning activities to ensure we are as prepared as possible for any widespread community transmission of COVID-19 or transmission of the virus to any of our employees, volunteers, residents or clients.
UnitingCare (which operates Blue Care) has stood up a central COVID-19 Management Team in recent weeks, and we are following our COVID-19 Response Plan. Key clinical Blue Care and UnitingCare officers are in regular contact with Queensland Health and other public health officials to ensure our response preparedness and response strategies are aligned to Federal and State Government agency planning.
Steps Blue Care is taking right now
Blue Care has taken the following actions to minimise the potential current and future risk of COVID-19 spread:
- Enhancing infection control measures at all of our aged care sites and services in anticipation of the continued spread of COVID-19 across Queensland;
- Preparation and distribution of outbreak kits to all our residential aged care facilities. These will be used should any residents develop symptoms.
- Mandating social distancing with all employees and volunteers to reduce the risk of contamination by someone with the virus;
- Reinforcing good hand hygiene with all employees and volunteers;
- Restricting international and interstate business travel for our employees;
- Limiting employee travel within Queensland to essential clinical and care services only; and
- Reducing large gatherings and meetings across our entire organisation to only those that are clinically necessary.
Information for Blue Care residential aged care clients and their loved ones
We are further protecting the health and wellbeing of residents and staff at our facilities by implementing new conditions for visitors:
- Staff and visitors who have returned from overseas in the last 14 days will not be able to enter the facility, and must self-isolate at home for 14 days;
- Staff and visitors who have been in contact with a confirmed coronavirus case in the last 14 days will not be able to enter the facility;
- Visitors to Blue Care aged care facilities who have travelled interstate in the past 14 days are now being declined entry, as they have a higher risk of carrying the virus;
- Children under the age of 16 should only be visiting by exception;
- Visiting hours at our Blue Care aged care homes have now been limited to between the hours of 10am – 12pm, and 3pm to 6pm. People who need to visit loved ones outside of these hours are asked to seek approval from the manager of their respective Blue Care aged care home.
- Visits are limited to a maximum of two immediate social supports (family members, close friends, professional or advocacy support) for less than one hour at a time;
- Visits need to take place in the resident’s room, outdoors or in a specific area agreed by the service manager. This will reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission;
- Visitors need to adopt social distancing which means maintaining a distance of 1.5m from other staff, residents and visitors, and
- If you visiting someone very unwell, Blue Care has discretionary rights to allow visits to residents as long as the above conditions are met.
We may institute further restrictions (including lockdown of our aged are homes) should the developing situation across Queensland warrant it, or if we are requested to by the Federal Department of Health or Queensland Health.
Information for Blue Care community clients and their loved ones
We know you may be worried about COVID-19, however please rest assured Blue Care is taking all necessary steps as advised by Federal and State health agencies to protect your health and wellbeing.
Your connectedness to family, friends and community at this time is vital. If you are feeling lonely or concerned, please talk with your carer or call Blue Care on 1300 258 322.
Please make yourself familiar with the following things you can do right now in your home:
- Practice social distancing where possible (except when receiving care) and maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from others;
- Practice good hygiene measures:
- Clean your hands thoroughly with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rubs.
- Always cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or paper, or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching areas of your face including nose and mouth, and avoid shaking hands.
- Stay at home if you are unwell.
- Avoid having contact with anyone who is unwell and try to keep 1.5 metres away from anyone coughing or sneezing.
- If you are unsure about anything, please talk with your carer and continue referring to www.health.qld.gov.au for updates and other information on COVID-19.
If you have any questions about the precautionary measures Blue Care is taking in relation to COVID-19, please do not hesitate to call our Customer Service Centre on 1300 258 322.
Read the latest Federal Department of Health and Queensland Health information.