CEO News October 2021

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In CEO News

Dear friends

Victorian Regional Roadmap

The newly released Victorian Regional Roadmap sets Victoria on a hopeful path to opening. It will  also preserve our health system and ensure Victorians can still get the healthcare they need, when they need it most.

The Roadmap has been developed based on expert modelling from the Burnet Institute.  It is set against COVID-19 thresholds including hospitalisation rates, and the vaccination targets already set out in the National Plan to transition Australia’s National COVID-19 Response.

In addition to reaching the vaccination threshold at each point in the roadmap, easing restrictions will depend on public health advice as to the current epidemiology. In addition, easing at 70% and 80% fully vaccinated will be subject to health system capacity. The projection is that Regional Victoria will reach 80% of 16+ fully vaccinated by 5 November 2021.

I believe the next six weeks until we reach 80% fully vaccinated of 16+ is going to be critical for MACS. We have all (residents, families, volunteers, staff and directors) worked incredibly hard for so long to keep COVID out of our facilities. We certainly wouldn’t wish to jeopardise it now.

Our COVID Risk Team consisting of senior staff is currently working on plans for when visitor restrictions are eased.  We will communicate these when further developed.  The latest Care Facility Directions from the State Government are in force until 21 October.

MACS Survey

For your interest, we recently undertook a survey with our residents and their families.  We asked them if we should allow unvaccinated visitors into our facilities. The overwhelming responses were in support of a ‘no vax no entry’ with results as follows:

55% of family members responded with an overall response of 85% in favour of this policy.

Bella Chara – 60 % of family members responded with 91% in favour of this.

39/103 (37%) Residents surveyed with 74% in favour of this.

37/40 (93%) Bella Chara residents surveyed with 95% in favour of this.

Following is also a small sample of comments made by survey participants:

“My wife and I believe not only the vulnerable residents and the attending staff should be double vaccinated, but also visitors. Exposure by unvaccinated visitors is an unnecessary risk.”

“Except for end-of-life visits.”

“I still want to be able to visit my father. I am not getting the jab, my body, my choice.”

“Based on the current and ongoing risk of Covid transmission and the possible variants that will continue to emerge, then I believe that MACS should NOT allow non vaccinated visitors, employees, or staff into the facility. There would need to be allowances made for visitors or staff who are immune compromised and cannot be vaccinated.”

Geelong Seniors Festival

Geelong Seniors Festival runs throughout October and MACS has partnered with Gateways Support Services in a lovely project. Welcome to ‘A Taste of Culture’ a gastronomical experience! Our Bella Chara chefs from Italy, Spain, Australia, Ireland and Romania are sharing their tried and trusted favourite recipes with us, as well as secret tips to ensure an authentic flavour! The virtual recipe book and video can be found here https://www.macs.org.au/geelong-seniors-festival-a-taste-of-culture/ to bring you easy to follow recipes that will allow you to create these delicious meals in your own homes! For other activities on offer at the Geelong Seniors Festival, please visit https://www.geelongaustralia.com.au/seniorsfestival/ All activities for 2021 have been designed to take place at home in a COVIDSafe environment.

Annual Public Meeting

Our 2021 Annual Public Meeting and Staff and Volunteer Presentations will be a virtual COVIDSafe event to be held on Thursday 18 November at 5.30pm.  Further details to follow so please save the date.

Kind regards

Joy

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