Australia is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (2019-nCoV) first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. They cause illnesses that can range from the common cold to more severe diseases. This virus originating in Hubei Province, China, is called ‘novel’ because it is new. It had not been detected before this outbreak.
Health authorities are continuing to update advice.
At the time of writing this bulletin, 22 cases had been found in Australia, 15 of these cases are reported to have recovered. The remaining cases are in a stable condition. Seven cases are the passengers who were on the Diamond Princess repatriation flight from Japan.
Outside of mainland China, 2423 cases have been reported – with the majority of new cases (225 on 24 February 2020) from Italy, South Korea and Iran.
Lutheran Services, as a department of the Lutheran Church Queensland District, is cooperating with evolving health advice from the Australian Government.
Our commitment is to remain vigilant to government directions, support the government’s containment strategies and practice prevention procedures.
The Australian Government updated its advice for residents of residential aged care services, their family members and visitors on 17 February 2020.
The government advises that if any family members or visitors have travelled through mainland China in the past 14 days, or been in contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus,, residents will not be able to have these visitors. These visitors will need to be isolated in their own homes.
Residential aged care facilities have been advised to have appropriate precautions in place to ensure residents continue to remain safe from coronavirus.
Accordingly, at Lutheran Services, each staff member has been directed to review their online training regarding infection control to ensure they are up to date and practicing our safe hygiene procedures.
All of our Aged Care and Community Services sites are adding to their Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) stocks in the event they should be needed.
At this stage, there is a low likelihood that residential aged care facilities will be affected by coronavirus and these measures are purely precautionary.
You can access the latest advice and fact sheets from the Australian Government here:
The latest world-wide information is available at the World Health Organisation website here:
The health and safety of our residents, clients and their families and our staff is, of course, paramount and we thank you in advance for your cooperation and support as we navigate this situation.
If you would like to request further information on Lutheran Services’ response to the novel coronavirus please contact your local service manager or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CEO Lutheran Services