Date published: 
11 September 2020
Type: 
Subscriber announcement
Intended audience: 
Health sector

From 11 September, the Victorian Aged Care Response Centre will be publishing a new weekly COVID-19 data snapshot for Victoria.

This report will provide a high-level overview of the situation in aged care for COVID-19 in Victoria. It will also include statistics about specific outbreak sites for those facilities which have had more than 1 positive case. This will include a breakdown of resident and staff positive cases (including current active cases), as well as deaths.

This report will provide greater transparency for residents and their families around the current situation in aged care facilities.

While we are aware that you have been keeping families updated throughout the outbreak, you may consider notifying them via email or phone that the data will be made publicly available.

We encourage facilities to review their communications plans, ensure you are in regular contact with families, and test your processes for managing incoming and outgoing calls.

The Victorian Aged Care Response Centre has published guidelines to assist providers with their communications. Read the guidelines.

Facilities should be prepared to receive calls and emails from the media. If your facility is not currently able to manage media enquiries, support can be provided. Media enquiries can be referred to news [at] health.gov.au">news [at] health.gov.au.

Rest assured, considerable support can also be sourced for impacted facilities through your Department of Health case manager, so please contact them if you have concerns.

Staff, including contractors, should also be informed of the publication of this information and the attention this can bring to the facility, including media. Staff should be advised that they are under no obligation to speak to the media. If your facility has a media spokesperson you should remind staff who that is.

Families should be reminded they have access to advocacy support through the  Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN), by calling 1800 700 600. Senior Australians and their families can also contact the COVID-19 support line on 1800 171 866.

We want to thank you once again for the unwavering work you and your teams are doing to protect the older Australians in your care. We know it has been an extremely challenging time, however, good progress is being made and if you need further support continue to work with your case managers.