Laurina Lodge aged care lockdown

File photo.

Stefan Bradley

Laurina Lodge nursing home in Heyfield was placed into lockdown for a few days after a COVID outbreak was declared on May 2.

Central Gippsland Health chief executive officer Mark Dykgraaf said the outbreak was declared as per guidance from the Gippsland Regional Public Health Unit (GRPHU).

“With the declaration of an outbreak, it was advised that the facility was placed in lockdown in the wing where positive cases were detected,” Mr Dykgraaf told the Gippsland Times.

“The residents who test positive are required to isolate in their room for seven days. Close contacts (residents who live in the same wing) were required to isolate in their wing.”

Mr Dykgraaf confirmed that the COVID cases affected both staff and residents and that GRPHU declared the outbreak over on Thursday, May 5.

He also said that the other aged care facilities that Central Gippsland Health is responsible for were not battling COVID outbreaks at this time.

“COVID has presented many challenges over the past two years, including staffing. Fortunately, Heyfield Hospital/Laurina Lodge is part of the Central Gippsland Health Network which ensures that all our services have access to additional support,” he said.

Under the guidance of the GRPHU, and the Department of Health, Mr Dykgraaf said the facility implemented the following strategies to stop the virus spreading:

  • Residents who tested positive were isolated.
  • Close contacts were tested via RAT or PCR on day zero, day three and day six, and isolated in their wing
  • Residents with symptoms were isolated until a negative RAT / PCR was obtained
  • Staff wore full PPE (Gown, N95 mask and face shield)
  • Staff were required to complete a RAT prior to attending work
  • Staff who were symptomatic did not attend work
  • Visitors are required to complete a RAT prior to attending the site and must wear a face mask and visit in the resident’s room or outdoors