Kirkbrae Update – COVID-19

Kirkbrae Presbyterian Homes in partnership with Eastern Health continues to work diligently to manage the COVID-19 outbreak at the Residential Aged Care Facility on site. Progress is occurring however it will still be some time until activities at the facility return to normal. We understand how difficult it is for residents and their families at this time, especially given that we cannot allow visitors and we have had to isolate all residents in their rooms until further notice. 

Currently there are still 23 residents who remain in the care of the staff at St John of God Hospital in Berwick. While we are very keen to have them return to their home at Kirkbrae, we still do not have approval from the relevant authorities to do so. We are actively planning for their return so that we are ready when we gain the approval to bring them back. Two residents remain in Eastern Health facilities 

Currently 35 of our residents remain in the Aged Care Facility at Kirkbrae. Residents are receiving good care, including pastoral care. During this week our physiotherapy service was able to recommence. We hope to have our Lifestyle staff return to work in the next week. 

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. The nominated family representative is contacted every day with an update regarding their loved one unless the representative has requested less frequent contact. 

Sadly since the last update a further 3 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. 

Our Kirkbrae staff continue to return to work and at present 39 of the 99 staff who were required to isolate after the outbreak have returned to duty. As part of the Government’s pandemic response, from Monday 27 July to Sunday 27 September, aged care workers are required to work at only one residential facility. These guidelines apply to a number of our staff who currently hold positions at two sites. Some of the staff affected have chosen to work at another facility instead of Kirkbrae during this period. Their existing roles at Kirkbrae remain open and we look forward to welcoming them once this period expires. 

Kind Regards, 

John Fogarty
Acting CEO

Grant Lawry
Convener
Social Services Committee 

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