The Victorian Government announced changes to Victoria's restrictions which came into effect from 8:00pm on Thursday 5 August 2021.
As part of these changes, the Care Facilities Directions (No 40) have been updated and the key changes are as follows.
Visitors are only permitted into aged care facilities or other sensitive settings for the following reasons:
- to provide care and support for the resident's physical and emotional wellbeing (including mental health supports and support for people living with dementia). Note: this may include a person who is visiting to prevent harm to a person's mental or emotional health due to social isolation
- as a nominated person under the Mental Health Act
- as a nominated person providing support for a resident living with Dementia
- to provide interpreter or informal language support
- for learning to support the resident's care upon discharge
- to provide end of life support.
Requirements for visits
- Two visitors at one time (a group may exceed the "two visitors at a time" rule if dependents of a visitor are in the group and care for the dependents cannot be arranged).
- Do not have to be from the same household.
- No time limits.
- It is one of the permitted reasons.
- No more than two visitors per day except where providing end of life support.
There is no daily limit on the number of visitors for end of life care visits. End of life means where a resident's death is expected within 28 days or less.
Remote / electronic visits
Providers are required to take all reasonable steps to facilitate telephone, video, or other means of electronic communication with support persons and family members to support the wellbeing of residents.
This facilitated communication should be reasonable and appropriate in the circumstances (e.g. phone call support for someone with hearing difficulties would not be appropriate).
Visits from prospective residents are not permitted.
- Face shields are required in addition to surgical masks for all COVID Negative residents.
- Tier 3 PPE required for all residents Low Risk Suspected (plus HR SCOVID and Confirmed COVID).
- Tier 1 PPE to be used for: routine care of residents (COVID negative). Note: eye protection not required for routine care of COVID negative residents.
- Tier 2 PPE to be used for: routine care of low-risk suspected COVID.
- Tier 3 PPE to be used for providing care for low-risk suspected COVID residents where:
- There is a risk of aerosol generating behaviours
- An aerosol generating procedure needs to be performed
- All exposure/care/contact with high-risk SCOVIDs and confirmed COVIDs.
Please read the latest Victorian guidance for residential aged care facilities – current restrictions for further advice.
Please don't hesitate to contact SAC.COVID@dhhs.vic.gov.au if you have any questions and keep up to date with the latest information on the Victorian Health website.