As you know we have been in a carefully managed 'lockdown' since the impact of the pandemic became more significant. This has allowed Fitzgerald to do what is most important to us - to keep our residents safe and well. Residents and their families have been understanding and supportive of our approach and we have really appreciated the collective commitment to protecting our residents from the COVID-19 virus outbreak. We have done very well and endeavoured to ensure our residents remained well and happy. It has been good to see the residents continuing to do well in these difficult times.
We have the opportunity to take some of the residents on a very closely managed outing - a bus trip around the Hawkesbury tomorrow, Thursday 4th June. Based on health experts advice we are treating our residents as 'one household' in which regular close contact is normal and where the only other contact is with staff, health professionals and recently the hairdresser (with strict personal protective measures in place). As such the Board has endorsed the residents (in two groups of about 15-17 residents) going on a small bus for a drive to recharge their wellbeing and allow them to have some time out of the building. Importantly, we will:
1. have the bus thoroughly cleaned to the recommended hygiene standards (today);
2. use a care staff member as the driver and with another care staff member to accompany the residents. Each of these staff members understand well infection control and will require appropriate protective measures to be used for residents at all times on the bus;
3. not take the residents off the bus unless there is a safe and clean place where there are no other people present. The residents will not come into contact with any equipment or seating that might have been used by other people at any time.
We can assure you that our priority is the health and safety of our residents. The idea of the bus trip is to enhance wellbeing and brighten spirits in what has been a long period of unusual and constrained times for the residents.
Board Chair, on behalf of the Board.