Shepparton Retirement Villages has closed its facilities to visitors in light of recent outbreaks in New South Wales and Victoria.
Exemptions to the visitor closures, as directed by the Department of Health and Human Services were communicated to residents and families on January 1, 2021.
However, Shepparton Villages CEO Veronica Jamison has emphasized that residents are not in complete lockdown and many visitors do meet the exemption criteria and are able to book times to visit their loved ones through the Shepparton Villages booking line.
Additionally, there are no restrictions on residents leaving the facilities for any reason, providing residents adhere to restrictions applying to all Victorians at that time.
“For all intents and purposes, it is business as usual here at Shepparton Villages. While there are outbreaks in New South Wales and Victoria, there are no current cases in Shepparton. We have enacted the restrictions mandated by the Department of Health and Human Services which are designed to limit the numbers of people moving through our facilities and ultimately to protect the health and wellbeing of our residents, our staff and their families.
“This doesn’t mean residents are locked in their rooms or restricted in their movements - they are still able to leave the facilities for any purpose and continue to live their lives,” Ms Jamison said.
“We have been living with COVID-19 for some time now and will adapt as necessary to ensure the safety of all,” she said.
“Our staff have been incredibly responsive over this public holiday period after what has been a difficult year and I am forever grateful to them for their passion and commitment to our residents. It’s actually really heartwarming to see the level of care above and beyond that our staff will give at a moment’s notice when the external situation dictates that we must change and adapt,” Ms Jamison said.
Shepparton Villages sent communications to families and residents today (Monday January 4, 2021) updating the situation and providing the booking number for visitors who meet exemption criteria.
“If loved ones meet the exemption criteria, bookings have to be made to ensure the system is fair for all and that we can control the numbers and ensure our residents can continue to live as normal a life as possible. We are however limited with resources to support the rapid changes that sometimes come about, but we are doing our very best and are incredibly grateful to our residents and their families for their understanding and patience.”
Ms Jamison said all restrictions and screening processes put in place, while restrictive in nature, were carefully discussed, planned and assessed to ensure that residents can live their lives while adhering to directives that protect us all.