Churches of Christ in Queensland coronavirus update

On 30 January 2020, WHO declared COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. The Australian Government has issued a health alert as a precaution, based on the latest and best medical advice.

We are committed to the health and wellbeing of those in our care—from seniors in our residential aged care, community aged care and retirement living services, to residents in our housing services and children, young people and families accessing our support— and our staff and volunteers. We are implementing strategies to prevent the spread of the virus and workplace contingencies in response to the developing situation.

We are constantly monitoring the situation, and at this time there are no confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 across any of our services or offices.

What we are doing

Churches of Christ in Queensland is closely monitoring the growing COVID-19 (coronavirus) emergency and a taskforce has been established to manage our response to the impacts and threats of the virus across the organisation. The taskforce is developing plans to manage business continuity (including human resources and procurement), clinical response and communication.

We are following the official advice of the Australian Government regarding staff self-quarantine requirements if they have travelled to a country with a current moderate or higher alert and/or if they have come in contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19.

We are rolling out additional education in infection control and hygiene, with staff completing additional refresher training. A good hygiene campaign is also being distributed throughout services and offices. We are providing the latest information to staff to ensure that they are aware of the current situation and what we are doing and will be communicating to our clients, residents and families regularly. We are assessing our supplies of personal protective equipment (including masks, hand sanitiser, gloves, toilet paper and so on), ensuring our stock is stored securely and our services can access them promptly when required. We are also working closely with relevant government departments and official agencies in providing a coordinated response and appreciate their direction and action at this time.

Business continuity

Our agility at this time is crucial and we are putting in place contingency plans for the scenarios that may play out in the coming days, weeks and months, including in the case of an outbreak. We are undertaking planning to ensure our vulnerable clients and residents continue to receive the highest quality of care and are not put at any undue risk.

Visiting our services

We request that any visitors to our services, particularly aged care services, follow the advice from the government and do not visit the service if they have travelled to a country identified as higher risk or if they have been in contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 (in which case they should be in a 14-day self-quarantine). We also request that if you are displaying any cold or flu like symptoms to please not visit.

The latest information regarding self-quarantine can be found here: https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/novel- coronavirus-2019-ncov. This website provides the latest official health warnings and updates and is the source we are guided by. At this time we do ask that you remain calm and follow the advice from the Department of Health.

Stop the spread

One of the main things that we would like to communicate is the need for everyone to observe good hygiene to prevent not only the possible spread of coronavirus, but also colds and flu as we enter into the cooler months. We want everyone across our communities to remain healthy and stop the spread of illness. The Department of Health has issued the following advice in relation to preventing the spread of viruses:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 15 seconds
  • use a tissue and cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
  • avoid close contact with others, such as touching.

The health and wellbeing of our residents, clients and staff is at the centre of everything we do and we are taking the risk posed by COVID-19 extremely seriously. We will provide regular updates regarding the ongoing and developing issue and how it is impacting Churches of Christ in Queensland.

Health officials are doing a thorough job at delivering the latest information and managing the situation, and we will continue to follow their advice.

If you have any questions and concerns relating to COVID-19 and Churches of Christ in Queensland, please contact communications@cofcqld.com.au.

Kind regards

Gary Edwards

Chief Executive Officer

Churches of Christ in Queensland

Posted March 11, 2020 in News