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Frequently Asked Questions – Find out more about Minda's response to COVID-19.

General News
3 Jan 2022

Can I visit my loved one living in Minda accommodation?

You are able to enjoy an onsite or offsite visit with your loved one. To best protect our vulnerable clients we need to manage visits in a measured and scalable way and ask for your help.

By prior arrangement with the specific house, a maximum of two people per client at all Minda locations is required to comply with the maximum number of people as expected by State Government. Depending on the type of accommodation of your loved one, additional visitors will be considered on a case-by-case basis - and that must be discussed with the house prior to a visit.

Do I need to pre-arrange my visit?

If you want to have an on-site visit at any Minda accommodation, please contact the house in advance and let them know. Times will need to be scheduled to avoid multiple family visits at any given time and keep occupancy numbers within the requirements.

Can I go inside my loved one’s home?

You will need to complete a declaration that asks questions about where you have been and whether you have experienced any symptoms of the virus. Provided this declaration is completed and all questions asked are answered to a satisfactory level you will be allowed into Minda property.

Where possible, you are encouraged to enjoy outdoor catchups to significantly reduce the risk of virus transmission (weather permitting). Should you enter your loved one’s home, please do not make physical contact with other clients (eg no hugging and kissing).

If you go inside your loved one’s home, please spend time in their bedroom rather than a communal area shared with other clients. At all times during a visit, you must wear a surgical-grade facemask which fully covers your nose and mouth. This offers increased protection to clients and staff.

How do I arrange an off-site visit?

If you want to take your loved one away from a Minda property please contact the house in advance to discuss arrangements. When they return to Minda you will be asked details about the visit – such as where you went and who they may have met. This is for their protection and that of their housemates and staff. If they have not been exposed to a known virus carrier or been in a high-risk location then they can be returned home like normal. Rapid Antigen Testing of a client when they return will be considered on a case-by-case basis and will take into account any potential exposure risks while they were on a visit.

You are strongly encouraged to consider virus exposure risks when on an off-site visit, noting the State Government’s recommendation to limit non-essential travel. A walk along the beach, picnic in a park, home visit or drive in the car will generally offer a far lower infection risk than dining at a café or crowded location around strangers such as a shopping centre.

SA Health rules relating to wearing of masks in public locations must be followed. If your loved one cannot wear a mask, then visiting public locations is best avoided because of the increased health risk.

What if your loved one lives in a house impacted by the virus?

If your loved one lives in accommodation impacted by a positive COVID case or is identified as a close contact concern, you will be contacted by Minda and advised as a priority. Residents will immediately have to isolate as per SA Health requirements for all close contacts. This means onsite and offsite visits will be temporarily suspended due to quarantine requirements. We will work closely with SA Health and family members throughout that period.

What is Minda doing to monitor a client potentially exposed to the virus?

Clients will be monitored for any signs of being unwell and have 3 x daily temperature tests. In shared accommodation arrangements, consideration will be given to relocating a COVID-positive client to the Galway Building at Brighton as a temporary home to help prevent spread. We have also been able to swab clients for tests in a number of cases.

What happens if my loved one needs offsite medical care or treatment?

If your loved one requires an essential appointment offsite, we will arrange for that to occur, and they will be supported by staff wearing appropriate personal protective equipment. Where possible we will arrange on-site essential appointments in favour of taking a client offsite.

What is Minda doing to provide a safe living environment for clients?

Prior to State borders opening late November, Minda prepared an extensive COVID outbreak management plan which has been in place since that time to ensure the best possible safety for clients and staff alike.

Each accommodation location across Minda has a specific COVID-plan developed, which includes a specific QR code to assist with contact tracing and a COVID safe plan specific for that location.

We have significant stock of Personal Protective Equipment, with additional supplies recently provided by SA Health. We remain well supported by SA Health as we adapt to the changing conditions in the community.

All full-time staff are required to have Rapid Antigen Testing 3 x per week (where stocks are available).

What happens if a Minda client tests positive?

Should a client test positive for COVID, the medical treatment they receive will depend on the severity of their illness. We have fitted the Galway Building to become a living space for clients who have the virus but with only mild symptoms not requiring hospitalisation., Some clients will be temporarily relocated to that accommodation, depending on their living situation and our requirement to keep all clients safe, until they have recovered. Should a client become unwell and following assessment by SA Health doctors, they will be transferred to hospital for treatment. We will continue to work closely with SA Health during any positive case involving a client and consult with family members.

Does Minda have a COVID-19 management plan in place?

Our COVID outbreak management plan was in place well ahead of the arrival of Omicron to SA and we continue to implement each stage as necessary. The highly infectious nature of this latest strain continues to test national and international management plans with the speed of its onset We continue to work tirelessly to prepare for every contingency and manage each stage in a coordinated way.

Our plan continues to well support our adaptive approach and has become the gold-standard for the sector. It is important that we adapt in response to the changing conditions as the virus spreads in the community, and this will mean rapid decisions must be made from time to time on behalf of clients and staff. That may mean ‘rules’ that apply one day may differ the next day and we will do our best to support anyone impacted on those occasions.

What happens if a client is a close contact and needs to isolate?

In those circumstances a client will be isolated from others and will be monitored for any signs of becoming unwell. In addition, they undergo temperature testing 3 x daily. Where testing is approved by next of kin, this is arranged, and results provided.

Why is it important to think of other clients too?

Minda has a duty of care to all clients. While your loved one may be fully vaccinated and has had a booster, the people they live and associate with at Minda may not be vaccinated or could have high-risk health conditions. More than 90% of clients have been vaccinated – but that means many are not and remain at risk of serious illness or death.

As we watch infection numbers rise in the community, it is inevitable we will see increased cases of COVID in our clients and staff. We have been providing daily updates to SA Health and will continue to do so. Our team of internal contact tracers will continue to track exposures daily.

Does Minda have sufficient staff numbers to support clients?

We have sufficient staff to provide care to clients, despite the impact of staff who have tested positive or need to isolate f or a period of time because of a close contact potential exposure. We continue to monitor the impact on staffing levels. Staff have been instructed to wear full PPE at all times when supporting clients as a proven first line of defence against transmission of the virus. We are enormously grateful of our support staff commitment, with many of them working longer and additional shifts to ensure clients are well supported.

In line with advice from State Government, all non-client facing staff have been asked to work from home where possible to prevent inadvertently bringing the virus onto our site. This approach is likely to remain in place until the end of January.

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