COVID-19 update 5 August 2020

Dear friends,

With a State of Disaster now declared in Victoria, we all continue to be challenged in ways we never thought would happen. 

Bookings for the Visitor’s pod for the next 12 days are as follows:        

Wednesday 5 August Borrela House
Thursday 6 August Mary Costa House
Friday 7 AugustAnnie O’Malley House
Saturday 8 August Borrela House
Sunday 9 AugustMary Costa House
Monday 10 AugustAnnie O’Malley House
Tuesday 11 AugustBorrela House
Wednesday 12 AugustMary Costa House
Thursday 13 AugustAnnie O’Malley House
Friday 14 August Borrela House
Saturday 15 AugustMary Costa House
Sunday 16 August Annie O’Malley House

We will continue with our pod visits even in a State of Disaster as we consider these visits are for the purposes of “caring” and are vital to the emotional and psychological well-being of our Residents.  I would also like to thank family members with exceptional visitation rights for working with us in reducing the number of times you visit.  Minimising the movement around our facilities is a key factor in reducing the spread of infection.  Should we have a positive case the pod will be closed immediately.

I confirm that we have no active cases of COVID-19 at MACS at this time. 

Epidemiological data provided from the Victorian Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) as of 4 August shows that there are 106 active cases in Greater Geelong of COVID-19, an increase of 49 from last week’s communication. 

I also wanted to advise you that the government have introduced the Aged Care Legislation Amendment (Emergency Leave) Act 2020 which allows families to take their loved one home for care whilst still maintaining their place within a facility.  Under normal circumstances Residents can have up to 52 days of social leave.  Under this leave the Resident can have leave up until 30 September.  It is envisaged that this will most likely be extended, but I have no guarantee of this at this time.  The Resident would continue to pay their basic daily care fee, means tested care fee and/ or RAC/DAC fees, but any additional services fees would be suspended for the duration of the leave.  If this is something you may be interested in then please reply to this email and we will make contact.  In no way are we saying you should do this or undertake this role, but it is an option.  Our responsibility would be to ensure that you are equipped and able to fulfill the caring role at home in the safest manner possible.

This week I want to continue to outline our plan should we have an active case at MACS:

In preparation we introduced our COVID-19 roster on 3 August.  This in part has seen an increase in care hours, standardised start times and the introduction of a control hub which will be in the Chapel. 

The purpose of our control hub is;

  • a central communication area to hold meetings.  All staff report to this area (appropriate social distancing in place) to receive a briefing at the commencement of their shift
  • give updates of the current situation at MACS and in the broader community
  • ensure everyone in the facility knows what is happening during these times of rapid change and if anything new has been implemented
  • personal protective equipment will be available for collection from this hub
  • in case of  a positive case a dedicated meeting area for Department of Health & Human Services, Public Health Unit and Aged Care Quality & Safety Commission representatives to meet and plan with MACS staff

From our observations, talking with colleagues and reading, it is clear that one of the most effective ways of containing this virus is to minimise movement around the facility.  We have commenced this with restricting staff movement, but another option is to locate all active cases in the one area or wing of a House.  Where that would be would depend on where our first active case was located and the results of our contact tracing.  If we were to do this, we would need to act quickly and request your co-operation to re-locate your relative in or out of the “active” area.  We would take responsibility for professionally packing up, storing & reinstating a Residents Room, and undertaking a deep clean of all rooms impacted.  There would be no change in fees and or security of tenure.  We would certainly be speaking to the Resident about this, and you would naturally be contacted personally if this was to affect your loved one.  What I would like to ascertain now is that if anyone has a concern about this, please respond to me via the email below so we can discuss further.  The more planning we do at this stage, the easier it will be should we have an active case.

I also wanted to let you know that we will be conducting our own in-house contact tracing as soon as we are notified of an active case.  This will be led by senior staff members and will assist us to quickly make decisions in relation to isolation.

Can I just remind you about the quarantining of items coming into MACS. Anyone (residents or staff) receiving parcels at MACS will have to wait 24 hours after delivery to receive them whilst they are quarantined in accordance with recommended guidelines. The ONLY items this does not apply to are perishable food items which must be in containers that can be wiped down before they are delivered.  Any exceptions must be cleared by the Registered Nurse in Charge.


Mogu li vas samo podsjetiti na karantenciju predmeta koji ulaze u MACS. Svi (stanovnici ili osoblje) koji primaju pakete u MACS-u morat će čekati 24 sata nakon isporuke kako bi ih primili tijekom karantene u skladu s preporučenim smjernicama. SAMO predmeti na koje se ovo ne odnosi su pokvarljivi prehrambeni proizvodi koji moraju biti u posudama koje je moguće obrisati prije isporuke. Sve iznimke mora odobriti glavna registrirana medicinska sestra


Vogliamo ricordarvi della quarantena degli articoli che  entrano a MACS.  Chiunque (residente o personale) riceve  i pacchi presso MACS, dovrà attendere 24 ore dopo la consegna per riceverli, mentre sono in quarantena, secondo le linee guida raccomandate.  I soli articoli a cui non si applica la quarantena sono alimenti deperibili, che devono essere in contenitori che possono essere puliti prima di essere consegnati.  Eccezioni devono essere chiariti dall’infermiere registrato responsabile!!

Again if anyone has any concerns please do not hesitate to contact me on

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

5 August 2020




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