Port Stephens Veterans & Citizens Aged Care – COVID-19 Response

Message from: General Manager

Update to our Port Stephens Community – Thursday 20 May 2021

Dear Resident, Family and Carers

RE:      Influenza Vaccination Requirements for 2021

Port Stephens Veterans and Citizens Aged Care continue to maintain and promote safe delivery of care and services provided to all residents within our homes.

We now wish to take this opportunity to communicate to you the updated legislation and guidance received by NSW Health.

As at the 5th of May 2021, NSW Health released the following restriction on Residential Aged Care Facilities.

From the 1st of June to 30th of September, all visitors and staff entering a residential aged care facility should be required to provide evidence that they received the dose of 2021 Influenza vaccination.

Further stating:

Staff and visitors MUST NOT enter an aged care facility from 1st of June to 30th of September if they cannot provide evidence.

We ask that you please provide evidence no later than 30th of May to response2020@harboursidehaven.com.au (please remember to include the name of the resident you visit) or alternatively drop it into our Administration office. Please bring your existing influenza verification card with you as we will mark on here the update. We are moving toward an  electronic system in the very near future, and we will provide you with information about this in due time.

Evidence of vaccination may include:
1) Medicare Printout through mygov
2) Ask your GP or immunisation provider to give you a copy of your certificate (including batch number)
3) Use the express plus Medicare mobile app

  • What if you cannot have the Influenza vaccine?

    If you are unable to receive the vaccine due to a medical reason, you will be required to provide written evidence of this. The Chief Medical Officer has confirmed only the following reasons will be accepted;
    1) A history of previous anaphylaxis following vaccination;
    2) Those who have had Gillian-Barre Syndrome following previous flu vaccination; or
    3) Those on check point inhibitor drugs for cancer treatment.
  • In this situation alternative arrangements will be required to be made and will need to be discussed with the Service Manager of the facility.
  • Finally, I wish to take the opportunity to thank you for your ongoing support and flexibility within our restrictions that we are directed to implement, at times, within short notice.
  • Please continue with the following to ensure the safety of our residents and staff:
  • Stay home if you are sick. Symptoms of COVID-19 include sore throat, fever, dry cough, fatigue and shortness of breath. If you have these symptoms or have recently travelled overseas or have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 please seek medical assistance.
  • Self-quarantine for a period of 14 days after returning from overseas travel or after being in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVD-19.
  • Use good hygiene while in our facility, by washing your hands with soap and water, or hand sanitiser, before you visit and as frequently as required during your visit. Please also wash your hands before  you  leave. If you sneeze or cough, please do so into your arm or if using a tissue, please dispose of it and wash your hands immediately afterwards
  • Abide by our infection control protocols. If you are asked to use personal protective equipment (such as masks, gloves and gowns) in designated areas, please follow this request.
  • Ensure visits are away from communal areas to avoid risk of potential virus spread. The Government guidance is that visits should occur in resident’s room or outdoors.
  • Practice social distancing. Please stay 1.5m apart and please avoid handshakes, hugs and kisses.
  • Inform us if you get sick after your visit. Please tell us straight away if you become unwell with any respiratory issues after your visit with your loved one.
  • Stay informed because the situation is changing rapidly. Please stay up-to-date by regularly visiting the Australian Government Department of Health website health.gov.au
  • If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to Kacey Snell (Quality Risk and Compliance Manager) at 49164239 or ksnell@harboursidehaven.com.au

Sheree Gemmell
General Manager

If you require assistance for:

          • For Community Service Clients hotline call 1800 620 356.
          • Emails directly to the Executive Management Team including the General Manager can be forwarded to email@harboursidehaven.com.au

Information can also be found on the following websites:

Department of Health www.health.gov.au
NSW Department of Health www.health.nsw.gov.au
Aged Care Quality & Safety Commission www.agedcarequality.gov.au