“A massive learning experience”: Moran Aged Care tells how it dealt with a COVID-19 case in Sydney home

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Lessons from the frontline. 

Established in 1956, the family-run operator has four homes across Sydney and Victoria with a fifth being built on the University of Canberra’s Bruce campus at Belconnen. 

The 78-year-old resident at its Engadine home, 33km south of the Sydney CBD, had been diagnosed on Friday, 20 March, after complaining of a mild sore throat three days earlier. 

As a precaution, they had been placed in isolation and screened for a range of influenza and respiratory virus’ including COVID-19. 

When the positive result came through, Moran had already identified nineteen team members who had been in contact with the resident. 

All 19 staff members underwent a 14-day self-isolation as a precaution, while assessments were made of all residents with cold-like symptoms. 

Managing Director Peter Moran says this created immense pressure on the remaining team, but staff rose to the occasion, working extra hours and volunteering their own time to support the residents and their colleagues. 

However, the home’s General Manager – a former RN – led by example, moving into the home for two weeks with the other clinical manager to both support residents and staff and protect their own families. 

Moran’s Marketing Manager, Anne Samuel, credits their proactive testing of residents and the infection control measures already in place (Moran’s homes were also locked down since midnight 17 March) for preventing the spread of the virus, but concedes it could easily have gone the other way. 

“We were diligent but we were also really lucky,” she concluded. 

Moran also praises its local Public Health Unit who fast-tracked testing and the local Geriatric Flying Squad for helping to monitor the risk to other residents and staff. 

Six residents had precautionary screening for COVID-19 which all returned negative. 

Anne says it is now believed the resident may have become infected during a trip to a medical appointment outside of Moran Engadine on 13 March. 

“It was a massive learning experience,” she said. “We have dealt with the flu, but this was next level and unknown. It was really frightening for that team.” 

The resident has now recovered with all staff back at work and no further cases of COVID-19 identified. 

“Our hearts go out to every provider who has this situation because it is terrible,” Anne says, 


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