COVID-19 update 19 August 2020

Dear friends,  

There seems to be nothing but negative news about aged care at the moment, no matter where you go – print, social media or television, the very sad stories are shared and it is rare that we hear the “good news” stories at all. 

I am pleased to say that to some extent MACS has contributed to the positive messaging with the implementation of our Visitor Pods.  The MACS pods have created quite a bit on interest around the world, and it has been lovely to share this “human connection” story.  I am also pleased to confirm to you all that we have no active cases of COVID-19 at MACS at this time.

Bookings for the pod for the next 12 days are as follows:

            Wednesday 19 August           Annie O’Malley House

            Thursday 20 August               Borrela House

            Friday 21 August                    Mary Costa House

            Saturday 22 August                Annie O’Malley House

            Sunday 23 August                  Borrela House

            Monday 24 August                  Mary Costa House

            Tuesday 25 August                 Annie O’Malley House

            Wednesday 26 August           Borrela House

            Thursday 27 August               Mary Costa House

            Friday 28 August                     Annie O’Malley House

            Saturday 29 August                Borrela House

            Sunday 30 August                  Mary Costa House

Epidemiological data provided from the Victorian Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) as of 18 August shows that there are 155 active cases in Greater Geelong of COVID-19, a decrease of 25 from last week.  Whilst this is pleasing to see, we are certainly not out of the woods by any means.  The Department continues to tell us that the number of deaths in aged care facilities will continue to climb over the coming weeks.  We need to remain very vigilant in our monitoring and control for the foreseeable future.

As you are all aware we held our “practice drill” on Thursday last week.  Thank you to the Residents of Mary Costa House for being part of the process and to you all for participating and providing us with support and positive comments about us undertaking this “practice drill.”  We had just over 100 questions asked and we are currently collating them all.  We are undertaking a similar “practice drill” in Bella Chara this week and will combine all questions into one document.

We certainly learnt a lot from the drill, a lot of small things, nothing major, but it is the small things that can make a difference should we have a positive case.  One of the things we will be looking at is the entrance of staff into our facility.  We commenced a COVID Roster two weeks ago which basically restricts staff movement within the facility. We now want to take that a step further and have staff with dedicated entrances and PPE stations for each House and we are working on the logistics of this.  

We intend to continue with these drills over the coming weeks but they will not be as extensive as the one held last week and they will be short individual House focussed “practice drills” that will be specifically focussed on the “donning” and “doffing” of PPE and general infection control matters.

Alternative to visiting:

At MACS, we can use face-time or other technology to help you stay in touch with your loved one. This is a great way to connect and maintain relationships, so please don’t hesitate to contact us on 1300 622 788 to find out how.

Please take a moment to read this information.


Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new virus that can cause infection in people, including severe respiratory illness.

If infected with COVID-19 most people get a mild infection, others get a severe infection causing hospitalisation. Elderly people and people with underlying health conditions such as diabetes, heart and respiratory conditions are more likely to develop a severe form of COVID-19.

PERSONAL HYGIENE IS THE KEY – We all know good hygiene is the best way to stay healthy. Here are some simple, but very important things you can do to reduce your risk of being infected:
• Wash your hands often, with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, DRY with paper or hand dryer
• Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth
• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze, if you don’t have a tissue cough and/or sneeze into your upper elbow
• Dispose of used tissues immediately to avoid leaving germs on your hands
• Clean hard surfaces in your kitchens and bathrooms regularly.
• Hand sanitiser should be used when out in community spaces.

If you have any questions or queries, please contact us:
• Bella Chara – Phone (03) 5202 5300
• Home Services – Phone 1300 622 778
• Residential – Phone (03) 5279 6800


If you suspect you may have the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) call the dedicated hotline 1800 675 398 open 24 hours, 7 days a week. Please keep triple zero (000) for emergencies only.

A trusted source of information is the dedicated page set up by the Australian Government’s Department of Health.

The Department of Health and Human Services has established a hotline where any member of the public can call to seek information on COVID-19 on 1800 675 398.

The DHHS website is:

For further health information the number for Victoria’s ‘Nurse on Call’ is 1300 60 60 24

Smartraveller is monitoring closely the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and its implications for overseas travel.

Take care everyone and please continue to wash your hands and wear a face mask.

Joy Leggo

Chief Executive Officer

19 August 2020


Recent Posts

Leave a Comment