Residential Aged Care Services are currently a high-risk area for COVID-19, with increasing cases in both patients and employees being recognised daily. For the safety of all, the following precautions must be followed.
Mandatory precautions for all residents
Any aged care resident coming into Monash Health must be managed in droplet and contact precautions.
They will be managed as if they are a CLOSE CONTACT – which means that these precautions must continue for 14 days since the last contact with the aged care service.
Residents being admitted
For patients being admitted, an initial swab on admission should be performed to gain an understanding if they are currently infected.
An initial negative swab does not affect their placement in precautions – regardless of the initial swab result – the resident should remain in droplet and contact precautions for 14 days.
Ward placement will depend on the site – but in general, patients coming from residential aged care can be managed in droplet and contact precautions in the ward of the home unit.
Further swabs should be taken if any respiratory symptoms, or unexplained fever develops during their stay.
A swab should be performed at Day 11 to 13, and if negative and the resident remains in Monash Health, they can come out of precautions on Day 14.
Admitted residents with COVID, or who develop COVID, will be managed at Monash Health until deemed non-infectious and able to be transferred back to the facility after discussion with the facility, Infection Prevention and DHHS.
Residents attending Emergency Department
Residents seen in the Emergency Department should be managed in droplet and contact precautions. Those who are able to return to their residence do not need to go into precautions at the residence if COVID is unlikely.
Residents having dialysis
Residents from any aged care facility, coming into the Monash Health for dialysis, should be dialysed in droplet and contact precautions every time they have dialysis and if possible, are to also wear a surgical mask. A swab should be taken if they are unwell or if the aged care facility is known to have any COVID cases.
Residents having diagnostic or other procedures
Residents requiring diagnostic imaging or other procedures should be managed in droplet and contact precautions for 14 days from the time they last had contact with their aged care facility.
Residents having aerosol generating procedures
Residents having aerosol generating procedures (including ECT and endoscopy) should be managed in Tier 3 precautions for 14 days from the time they last had contact with their aged care facility.
Residents returning to their place of residence
Residents medically ready to go back to their place of residence can do so. There is generally no need for ongoing precautions in the nursing facility if they remain COVID negative and without symptoms.
If an aged care facility has been closed by the Public Health Unit of DHHS because of a COVID outbreak in that facility, a discussion with DHHS and the aged care facility should occur before residents are transferred back into these facilities.
For residents not able to return to their home facilities, this will be managed on a case-by-case basis with the treating unit.
Approved by Rhonda Stuart