COVID-19 Update: 23 March 2020
By now you will have seen that as part of the national arrangements around management of the COVID19 response, the Premier of Victoria has announced a shutdown of non-essential services such as leisure centres, cinemas and restaurants starting from midday today. Essential services such as health care, food, pharmacies and petrol stations will remain open. This includes essential disability services.
This is designed to slow the spread of infection in the community.
Gateways believes that we need to contribute to assisting in this goal as well.
While we have no staff member or participant currently affected by the virus, we have from today made the decision to make a number of changes.
Many of our changes will be through until after Easter at this stage and then we will await further advice from governments.
Our residential services remain essential and at the core of the support that we will maintain.
- We ask that no-one visits houses. As Sean has advised, we will look to establish alternative forms of communication with your family member,
- We will look to provide additional staff to houses to undertake the additional things we are now doing to keep the houses compliant with the recommendations on infection control. It recognises – just as for aged care and health settings – that cleaning regimes and personal hand washing hygiene are critical,
- Staff will be re-deployed to provide day time support in houses and we will ensure that we look to develop a tailored program of support for each resident to minimise the impact of the loss of their day activities,
- Some individual arrangements will emerge and we will work with families to monitor these as well for future learnings.
We will endeavour to maintain and increase our offers of individual respite in a family home where the family are all well (or potentially at Getaway House for our Warrnambool families).
- New checklists have been developed to protect staff and families and assure all of the nature of the risk to exposure.,
- Again, the shut-down will further reduce this risk as our clients and their families will be less exposed.
We are offering alternative supports such on-line therapy, home therapy packs, phone-based Support Coordination and innovative programs of activities that we can deliver to a group of people online.
- We really encourage you to take up these offers.
- Your therapists and recreational coordinators will be in touch and are ready to support you in whatever practical way we can.
We have however, had to cancel all face to face visits, programs and activities as of Monday.
School holiday program was cancelled on Friday and now the Grenville program will also be cancelled.
Support Coordination: extra staff will be assigned to Support Coordination, so please don’t hesitate to contact us for assistance.
Plan Management: services will operate as usual.
All of our offices will be closed to the public until further notice.
Please phone us via your standard contact details or email us a question.
I know that this is a tough time.
Please accept my apologies for having to make these changes and thank you for the respect and politeness you have shared with our staff.
We absolutely commit to working closely with you over the coming weeks as information and requirements evolve and in our pursuit of workable other forms of support for you
We have set up a Parent Hotline to assist you with enquiries and we have lots of resources from reliable sites on our website as well.
If there is anything we can do to assist you further please ring your current contact and we will explore what we can do.