News State SA News New virus measures for South Australian nursing homes

New virus measures for South Australian nursing homes

Aged Care
South Australia will impose new restrictions on nursing homes to prevent COVID-19 infections. Photo: AAP
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The South Australian government will ban aged-care workers from working in multiple facilities to prevent a COVID-19 outbreak among vulnerable residents.

As of August 27, carers in nursing homes will not be permitted to work at more than one facility and all staff, including doctors and nurses, will be required to wear masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) when coming into close contact with residents.

Premier Steven Marshall said the decision was based on the “devastating” infection rates and fatality rates experienced in aged care in other jurisdictions.

“We don’t do these things lightly,” Mr Marshall said.

“We don’t put additional restrictions in place without very good reason and we do have very good reason.”

“We’re very proud we haven’t had a fatality in an aged-care facility and we want to keep it that way.”

Health Minister Stephen Wade said the government wanted to minimise the disruption to facilities and workers and hoped arrangements could be put in place to maintain services and retain jobs.

He said the two-week phase-in period would give the industry time to put measures in place.

South Australia has recorded no new cases of coronavirus since yesterday, while no coronavirus cases have been reported in aged-care facilities in SA since the start of the pandemic.

Mr Marshall said the restrictions could be hard for some aged-care businesses.

“We understand this but they are far better than the alternative that we are seeing in other parts of the country.”