COVID-19 update 26 August 2020

Dear friends,  

I can confirm with you that there are no positive cases of COVID-19 at MACS at this time.

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

            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

            Monday 31 August                  Annie O’Malley House

            Tuesday 1 September            Borrela House

            Wednesday 2 September       Mary Costa House

            Thursday 3 September           Annie O’Malley House

            Friday 4 September                Borrela House

            Saturday 5 September           Mary Costa House

            Sunday 6 September              Annie O’Malley House

Epidemiological data provided from the Victorian Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) as of 25 August shows that there are 74 active cases in Greater Geelong of COVID-19, a decrease of 81 from last week’s communication.  We are certainly heading in the right direction with these numbers; let’s hope we continue that way!

Some of you may be aware that we held a practice drill in Bella Chara last week similar to the one we held in Residential the week before.  This time our scenario was around the partner of a phantom staff member testing positive who had worked 2 days previously on a morning shift.  A Resident had also developed symptoms and the whole of Bella Chara was placed in lock-down.  As this happened early afternoon, our evening meal service delivery to Residents rooms was also tested.  Again, many learnings that can be applied across the organisation.  This scenario also required us to more vigorously test our contact tracing protocols as well. 

Our focus is now turning to establishing different entry and exit points for staff of each House.  This will further segregate the staff and prevent the possibility of cross-infection.

For your interest I have also participated in a number of forums this week of all aged care providers, one in particular was for Geelong providers only.  The Victorian Aged Care Response Centre (VACRC) has been established by the Federal & State Government in response to the large number of COVID-19 outbreaks in aged care facilities.  Victoria has 767 aged-care facilities, 129 of which have a COVID-19 outbreak, just under 17% in total.  If we take a glass half full approach that means 83% of aged care providers in Victoria are COVID free.  With the significant impact those 129 facilities have experienced, I hope you can appreciate all the steps we are taking to keep your loved ones safe.  It was also pleasing to hear from Barwon Health who are one of the nine health service hubs set up across Victoria through VACRC about the support they will be able to provide us should we have a positive case.

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

26 August 2020


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