Queensland Health is stepping up COVID-19 protections for our most vulnerable by requiring more residential aged care facilities to take extra precautions to protect their residents from the virus.
The expanded list of areas (from midday today, 2 August 2020) covers all aged care facilities in the Brisbane City, Ipswich City, Logan City, Redland City, Gold Coast City and Scenic Rim Regional Local Government Areas (LGAs).
Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said following the cluster of COVID-19 cases in Brisbane’s south, it was important to protect the community’s most vulnerable.
“COVID-19 is a serious illness for all age groups, however we do know the risks tend to increase among the elderly, particularly those with other serious health conditions,” explained Dr Young.
“These restrictions are an important step in helping Queensland respond effectively to this recent outbreak. We are focused on making these changes early on in our response and across a broad geographical area.
“I want to be very clear – these restrictions on aged care facilities are the most effective way of protecting Queensland’s most vulnerable people.”
Deputy Premier and Health Minister Steven Miles said today’s announcement follows significant outbreaks in aged care facilities in Victoria.
“Currently there are more than 1,000 active cases relating to outbreaks at aged care facilities in Victoria. This is a desperately sad situation, and one in which we must do everything in our power to stop from happening here in Queensland,” he said.
“This is the best way we can protect the lives of Queenslanders, including those who are most at risk of serious illness from COVID-19.”
The restrictions on facilities under the Aged Care Direction (No. 8) in listed LGAs include:
- No personal visitors (including care and support visitors).
- End of life visits will still be allowed.
- Anyone entering a facility must wear a single use surgical face mask.
- Cannot leave the residential aged care facility unless they are receiving health care, attending a funeral or for an emergency or for compassionate reasons.
- The residential aged care facility or the Chief Health Officer can provide an exemption for leave for compassionate reasons.
- Residential aged care facility operators must limit staff movements across multiple facilities as much as possible.