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A message from Melba’s CEO and COO re COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) – Update 23 June 2020

A message from Melba’s CEO and COO re COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) – Update 23 June 2020

There is a pandemic hotline to respond to questions and queries from our Melba community. The hotline number is 1300 MYMELBA (1300 696352). For all other community members, if needed please contact the DHHS Coronavirus 24-hour Hotline number: 1800 675 398.

Dear friends,

We want to continue to keep you informed and share some of the very recent news with you via this update. Unfortunately, COVID-19 case numbers in Victoria have hit the highest they have been in more than two months. Therefore, as was contemplated and as you have probably heard, there have been changes to the easing of State Government restrictions.

Recent Government announcements

The Victorian Chief Health Officer, Brett Sutton, has recently advised that the increased infections are largely being driven by families and transmissions occurring inside family homes. Professor Sutton urged Victorians not to take this disease lightly.

As a result of the increase in infections, several decisions made by the Victorian Government came into effect at midnight Sunday 21 June:

  • The State of Emergency has been extended until 19 July.
  • The number of visitors you can have at your home has been reduced to a maximum of five.
  • Outside the home, people can meet in groups of up to ten.
  • The limits to be observed by businesses and in community facilities will all remain at a maximum of 20 people (not 50 as planned) in any one space. 
  • Businesses that were set to open yesterday like gyms, cinemas and theatres can do so – but only with a maximum of 20 people at a time.
  • Those who can work from home should continue to do so at least until 31 July.

Following other government advice (the so-called Care Facilities Directions) residents of care facilities, which include many people that we support who live in group homes, may still have up to two support visits each day. Residents can have a total of two visitors for a total of two hours, although we continue to encourage visits only when necessary (see our Frequently Asked Question on this subject on our website).

Melba’s cautious recovery steps 
The cautious implementation of our recovery plan and resumption of services continues taking into consideration the different rates of infection in the community in different geographic locations.

Our recent steps in this recovery include: 

  • Slowly increasing individual services in accordance with the State Government’s Restricted Activity Directions, with a strong emphasis on infection control and hand hygiene to help keep everyone safe. 
  • The cautious resumption of respite services has commenced in advance of the school holidays. We are closely monitoring the different rates of infection in the community in different geographic locations, including Melbourne’s southern areas such as Casey and Cardinia and, if necessary, we will follow any State Government advice and any local ‘lockdowns’ that may be implemented.
  • We have also recommenced our Arthur Creative programs in Central Highlands, with capped numbers to allow for physical distancing and strict infection controls.
  • Preparations for the staggered resumption of our Community Connections centre-based services in Lilydale and Mt Evelyn are also continuing with a view to supporting very small groups in accordance with State Government directions.

We continue to review and monitor the progress and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our recovery plans must remain flexible. It is also critical we continue to meet the needs of the most vulnerable people we support – something we have sought to do since the pandemic was first declared.

Questions or concerns
If you have any questions or concerns at this stage, please do not hesitate to contact your regional general manager by email:

· Aaron Fry – East: aaron.fry@melbasupport.com.au

· Angela Quero – South: angela.quero@melbasupport.com.au

· Kerrie White – Gippsland: kerrie.white@melbasupport.com.au

· Rachael Jones – Central Highlands & Wimmera: rachael.jones@melbasupport.com.au

Or, if you prefer, you can call Melba’s coronavirus hotline number on 1300 MYMELBA (1300 696352).

Please stay safe.

Previous CEO and COO COVID-19 (Coronavirus) updates:

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