Kirkbrae Update – COVID-19

 The COVID-19 outbreak at Kirkbrae Presbyterian Homes is a very significant and challenging event for everyone at our Aged Care Facility. We know it continues to be, a very difficult time for residents and their families. 

As of today, 23 of our aged care residents remain at St John of God Hospital in Berwick. We are very grateful for the care being provided to those residents by the staff at the hospital. We are starting to plan for their return to Kirkbrae. At this stage we do not have a definite date for that to occur, but we are hopeful that it will in the next 2 weeks. 

Currently 38 of our residents remain in the Aged Care Facility at Kirkbrae. As previously advised Eastern Health have taken over all operational aspects of our facility. Residents are receiving good care, including pastoral care. We continue to make every effort to keep the families of our residents at Kirkbrae updated regularly on the health and well-being of their loved ones. 

Over the past week a further 9 of our residents who contracted COVID-19 have died. We extend our deepest sympathies to their families and assure them of our ongoing support at this time of grief and loss. 

Many of those staff who had tested positive to COVID-19 or had been in close contact with a positive case are now in the process of returning to work at Kirkbrae following a period of isolation. Each returning staff member is required to provide evidence from the Department of Health and Human Services that they have been cleared to return to work. 

In partnership with Eastern Health we are providing training to all staff on the correct use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as well as the required infection control protocols to follow while they are at work. 

We are also providing access to the support of our appointed Employee Assistance Program provider to both staff and the families of residents to ensure that the mental health and well being of all involved at Kirkbrae is catered for. 

We continue to work closely with the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (ACQSC) the national regulator of aged care services and their representatives to implement the requirements to rectify the issues of non-compliance with the Aged Care Standards that were identified. 

We will continue to provide regular updates to our community as we work towards returning Kirkbrae’s Residential Aged Care facility to full compliance and to its full level of operations as a quality aged care provider. 

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