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Coronavirus (COVID-19) update for the Minda community

General News
29 Dec 2021

Information current as at 29 December 2021

As of 29 December 2021, Minda has a total of 38 staff and 6 clients that have tested positive to COVID. One of those clients is in hospital as a precaution.

In addition, about 196 staff are isolating and undergoing testing after being identified as high-risk casual or close contacts of someone who has tested positive for the virus. Clients who have been supported by these staff are being closely monitored for any signs of illness and temperature checked 3 x daily. Those who are approved for testing are doing so.

All clients who have tested positive live in community shared housing, and other clients identified as close contacts are now awaiting test results and being monitored. Those community houses are being treated as locked down, with no visitors permitted and clients discouraged from leaving as they could further transmit the virus to other unsuspecting people.

No client living at our Brighton site has yet tested positive or shown signs of being unwell. Several are being closely monitored as identified close or casual contacts of someone who, subsequent to supporting them, has tested positive.

The following locations have been impacted as a direct result of positive cases or close contacts:
• Repton Road houses
• Waterhouse – Crompton & Martin
• Bonython Way apartments
• Community homes in Plympton Park, Old Reynella, Pasadena, Blakeview, Smithfield Plains, Blackwood and Trott Park.

Brighton Campus lockdown
Some families have raised concerns about the decision to undertake a hard lockdown of our Brighton Campus. This was done as a precaution and supported by SA Health after staff working across multiple houses tested positive to the virus. Our first and foremost responsibility is to protect all clients and staff.

We have also had family feedback in response to our position that taking a client into the community may impact on their immediate return to Minda. While we would not restrict a client from leaving the Brighton Campus, that decision must consider the potential risk it may bring to others. We must consider the potential risk to the health and welfare of other clients who live or closely interact with your loved one and the staff who care for them.

As we see rapid spread of the virus in the community, some people show no obvious symptoms. That means a client may be unknowingly exposed to the virus by a stranger or direct family member when out on a visit. The advice to the entire community from health authorities is to limit movement in the community unless for essential purposes, and we must factor that in as part of our duty of care to all clients and staff.

While vaccination is considered the most important protection against hospitalisation and death from COVID-19, many clients who call the Brighton Campus home have highly complex health conditions, and even if vaccinated, may become very unwell. We know more than 90% of clients are fully vaccinated, some simply cannot be vaccinated, while others have families that (for a range of reasons) have opted not to have their loved one vaccinated.

We continue to try and strike a balance between those family who ask us to do all things possible to protect their loved one and those who believe it is inevitable that everyone in the community will become infected, including our clients. Our primary responsibility is to keep everyone as safe as we can.

Limiting the number of people coming into and out of the campus helps to make it safer for all clients as they enjoy our picturesque grounds and interact with each other when outside or in their homes. Clients are not locked inside their houses as some people have incorrectly interpreted this precaution.

The Omicron variant has brought with it profound challenges for the many organisations trusted to care for those who are amongst our most vulnerable. You have placed your trust in Minda to make decisions in the best interests of all our clients and staff, and we continue to take that responsibility very seriously.

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