Evacuated aged care residents to return to homes as “acute phase” of VIC COVID-19 crisis ends

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The Victorian Aged Care Response Centre (VACRC) is focusing on returning residents to their homes, so it can divert resources to preventing future outbreaks.

The partnership between state and federal governments has seen active cases in aged care drop to 284 from a peak of 2,075 mid-August.

Joe Buffone, the executive officer heading the response, says this represents the “acute phase” of the VACRC’s involvement in the aged care response coming to an end.

“From day one the response centre has focused on the dignity and care of residents and the safety of staff, and this continues through the recovery phase,” Mr Buffone said.

The response centre is supporting 11 facilities to progressively transfer residents back from hospital.

A spokesperson for the VACRC told the Herald Sun that while most residents would return from hospital, some would move back in with friends and family.

“This in an ongoing process which began in early September,” they said.

“These aged care facilities have had additional checks and infection control and prevention training to ensure they are safe for residents to return.”

As we reported here, Mr Buffone is set to move on from his role at the VACRC to lead the Home Affairs Department’s crisis preparation for the summer bushfire season.