Pinaroo is prepared for possible lockdowns when COVID-19 reaches Roma.
Pinaroo is prepared for possible lockdowns when COVID-19 reaches Roma.

Lockdowns considered in bid to keep Roma elderly safe

ROMA nursing homes are prepared for a potential COVID-19 outbreak in the southwest, with facility lockdowns ready to be implemented.

Pinaroo Roma Inc. Aged Care told The Western Star they are working closely with the Department of Health, local GPs and the Roma Hospital in an effort to prevent the novel coronavirus from spreading in the facility.

CEO and Facility Manager Melanie Calvert said stricter measures are on standby with the situation being closely monitored.

“We are prepared as we will ever be. It is our responsibility to minimise the spread and our community needs to work together to protect our elderly, inside and outside,” she said.

“We have to prepare for a probable outbreak.

“We are closely following the Communicable Disease Network Australia’s guidelines for Outbreaks in Residential Aged Care Facilities in Australia and we also receive daily updates from the World Health Organisation and the Australian Government: Department of Health.”

Ms Calvert said they had held a family and representative meeting on Monday to provide some education around the virus, and what outbreak procedures were in place.

“We have asked the families to limit their visits to Pinaroo, and not to bring children,” she said.

“We have discussed with them the possibility of a voluntary lockdown when COVID-19 comes to Roma, which everyone was supportive of.

“We also provided information on handwashing and PPE, and asked that everyone visiting adheres to our stringent infection control procedures.”

Ms Calvert said working in an aged care facility meant constantly interacting with unknown viruses, and more training had been provided to staff.

‘Our staff come to work every day not knowing what viruses they may come in contact with, so infection control and standard precautions are part of their daily practice,” she said.

“Saying that, we have provided more training and will repeatedly continue the next few months, leaving no room for complacency.”


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