Aged care operators across the Rockhampton area in Queensland are on high alert and are implementing additional precautions, after a staff member tested positive to COVID-19 at the North Rockhampton Nursing Centre.

Maintaining the safety of vulnerable older people and the dedicated staff who care for them is the top priority. This means every member of the community must take personal responsibility to minimise the spread of the coronavirus infection.

All aged care services and contractors in the Rockhampton area are evaluating and enacting escalated visitor restrictions based on their individual circumstances and in consultation with the local Primary Health Unit.

Age care services are also investigating any links between their staff, contractors and visitors and the Nursing Centre.

Services will adjust their responses as more information becomes available. Any people found with connections will be required to self-quarantine and undertake an immediate test for COVID-19.

This is an unfortunate situation and protecting people and saving lives are the top priorities – this is not the time for apportioning blame.

There are many lessons learned from the tragic coronavirus experiences in Sydney aged care homes and LASA has been communicating these to aged care services across Australia.

Aside from providing immediate support in terms of emergency plans, PPE and additional staff, what is critical is constant communication from health authorities and Rockhampton aged care services to the community, so everyone is aware of up-to-date circumstances.

The North Rockhampton Nursing Centre is a Queensland Government Health facility delivering Commonwealth Aged Care Services.

The Nursing Centre has been locked down while testing and contact tracing is completed, with all staff and residents now being tested.

Of the wing the staff member was working in, 38 out of 40 residents have tested negative, with two still being tested. Thirty staff have been isolated pending the outcome of testing.

About Leading Age Services Australia (LASA)
LASA is the national association for all providers of age services across residential care, home care and retirement living/seniors housing. Our purpose is to enable high performing, respected, and sustainable age services that support older Australians to age well by providing care, support and accommodation with quality, safety and compassion – always.

We represent providers of age services of all types and sizes located across Australia’s metropolitan, regional and rural areas. Consistent with the overall industry profile, 56% of our Members are not-for-profit providers, 36% are for-profit providers and 8% are government providers.

Our diverse and representative membership gives LASA the ability to speak with credibility and authority on issues of importance to older Australians and the age services industry.

Contact: Nick Way 0419 835 449 nickw@lasa.asn.au