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Coronavirus (COVID-19) update for the Minda community

General News
7 Jan 2022

This is the beginning of a New Year like no other and we wish our many families and loved ones supported by Minda a happy and safe one.

Despite the steady number of people in the community testing positive to coronavirus, mercifully the predominant Omicron strain is less virulent, resulting in fewer people being unwell. Very many people have no symptoms and unless tested, do not even know they have or have had it.

Galway care centre activated

We continue to adapt and respond to the spread of the virus in the community and within our own organisation. This has included opening of Galway as a ‘home away from home’ for clients who test positive and need to temporarily relocate while they recover.

To provide support in Galway we continue to roster staff who are prepared to work shifts to support Covid positive clients. We have an exemption from SA Health to roster staff who have also tested positive but have no symptoms to work specifically at Galway and support clients with the virus. They still need to wear full PPE and travel directly to and from home and continue to isolate.

It’s an innovative approach that is fast becoming the norm across service providers – particularly Aged Care and Disability sectors – in Australia and around the world. The mandated requirement for close contacts to isolate impacts all Australian organisations, so being able to draw on staff who have tested positive, are showing no symptoms, and want to return to work fills rostering gaps and brings lived experience when supporting clients going through the same recovery process. We advise families of this approach should their loved one need to relocate to Galway for a period because they have Covid.

Staff are regularly tested using on site Rapid Antigen Tests along with temperature checks.

A known Covid positive staff member will NOT provide support to a client who does not have the virus, nor will they provide support in a house where there are any negative clients.

If Minda opts to apply for any exemptions beyond Galway, a condition of an exemption is that ALL clients in the house must be positive and all staff being used to staff the house are also all positive.

Impact of Covid on our staff and clients

We continue to provide daily updates to SA Health about:

• The number of staff and clients that have tested positive to Covid, and

• The locations where a positive result or close contact has occurred.

These updates are part of the daily figures released by SA Health. We also have a continuous cycle of staff coming back into rostering after a negative test result and/or completing the required isolation period.

Where a client tests positive or is a close contact, we continue to deal directly with the family. That means if you are not contacted then you and your loved one can be assured that they are not affected and can continue living as normal. That approach may not be to the liking of everyone, but we continue to be fully transparent to authorities and those who are directly impacted and need to know.

Staff have been told to wear full PPE at all times and we have additional stock being delivered as we look to continue that approach for the time being.

Summing up

We continue to be regarded as setting the ‘gold standard’ by authorities and others in the sector for the way we respond to impacts of the virus across our workforce and clients. We have a team of contact tracers in place, a dedicated facility to monitor and support clients with the virus and committed staff who come to work in the best interests of the people we support.

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