More Melbourne providers put visitor restrictions back in place as coronavirus cases in aged care increase – ACSA says tighter restrictions may be needed

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A number of other aged care providers have joined Estia and Benetas in ‘battening down the hatches’.

Japara has restricted visits at its metropolitan Melbourne homes to compassionate visits only for six weeks starting from Wednesday 8 July 2020 (visits to their regional Victorian homes remain in place in line with the AHPPC guidelines).

Bupa Aged Care closed the doors to its Melbourne homes at 5:30pm on 8 July 2020 apart from compassionate exceptions.

Regis tells us that they have limited visitors too (with visits under clinical, compassionate and extenuating circumstances in line with the Industry Code of Conduct) with the measure to remain in place until the community transmission in Melbourne reduces to a safer level.

McKenzie Aged Care also informed us that it has also restricted visitors to all of its Melbourne homes except for compassionate and palliative care arrangements.

TLC Healthcare has not shut their doors, but has asked families not to visit their homes unless “absolutely essential” with strict visitor protocols in place.

ACSA and LASA have also flagged the deteriorating COVID-19 situation in Victoria may require a return to tighter measures for aged care homes.

Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) CEO Pat Sparrow has warned that the community can’t afford to be blasé about aged care.

“Every situation will be unique but there are steps to be taken to reduce the chances of more outbreaks. Providers don’t make these decisions lightly,” she said.

Leading Aged Services Australia (LASA) CEO Sean Rooney also said the risk of more infections in aged care homes was “a matter of life and death”.

“Furthermore, older Australians in their family homes are also vulnerable to the risk of community transmission of the coronavirus,” he added.

“The entire community, especially across Melbourne and Victoria, must re-commit to absolute caution because this virus has proven deadly for far too many older people.”