COVID-19 update and easing of residents’ visitation restrictions – 18 May 2020

The health and wellbeing of the entire MACS community is our highest priority. We are closely monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and are continuing to liaise with the relevant trusted global health authorities and the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services and are taking all necessary preventative action.

We are pleased to advise that from Thursday 21 May MACS is commencing relaxing resident visitation restrictions but with strict guidelines in place to ensure the ongoing protection of our vulnerable residents and staff, as the confirmed number of COVID-19 cases still continues to rise.

All visitors must provide evidence of having had a current flu vaccination and will also be required to have a temperature check every time they enter the building.  There will be a maximum of 6 external visitors allowed into MACS Commonwealth facilities through an appointment process between the hours of 10.00 am & 3.30 pm seven days a week and 6 visitors allowed into Bella Chara at any given time.

Resident’s rooms will be sanitised after each visit.

For MACS Commonwealth funded facilities this will be on a rolling basis as follows:

            Thursday 21 May        Annie O’Malley House

            Friday 22 May             Borrela House

            Saturday 23 May        Mary Costa House

            Sunday 24 May          Annie O’Malley House

            Monday 25 May          Borrela House

            Tuesday 26 May         Mary Costa House

            Wednesday 27 May    Annie O’Malley House

            Thursday 28 May        Borrela House

            Friday 29 May             Mary Costa House

            Saturday 30 May        Annie O’Malley House

            Sunday 31 May          Borrela House

In recognition of the specific needs of our Dementia Facility residents, Gerda’s House will be open every day to visitors.

General Information

Visiting Times: 10am to 3.30pm.

Duration of Visit: 30 minutes

Maximum number of visitors per visit: 2

Appointment Times: 10am, 11am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm & 3.30pm, 7 days a week. There will be 3 appointment times available for each hour.  An individual cannot book more than one appointment time on any given day.  Times are slightly different for Bella Chara given the length of their lunchtime meal.

Booking Appointments: In Gerda’s House there will be 1 appointment available for each hour.

Bella Chara has some slightly different easing of visitor restrictions given the more independent nature of the Residents we care for.                   

Visits permitted in: Resident’s room or outside area (weather permitting). Tables and chairs will be set up in outdoor spaces for each house to facilitate this. 

No meetings are permitted to take place in public or dining areas.

All appointments must be pre-booked by telephoning either Residential (03) 5279 6800 or Bella Chara on (03) 5202 5300.

MACS will monitor the easing of restrictions on a daily basis and continue to make changes as evidence presents itself.  However, should there be a cluster outbreak of COVID-19 in the Geelong area, or indeed a case within MACS, visits will only be permitted in MACS purpose-built visitor’s pod.

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 03 5279 6800 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.

How we respond to COVID-19 is a changing situation and there are restrictions in place regarding attending large gatherings to help protect your health, safety and wellbeing.

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 (sing Happy Birthday to yourself twice whilst you are doing it!!), 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

Joy Leggo

Chief Executive Officer


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.

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