Aged care home rapid test orders 'commandeered'
Orders of rapid antigen tests for a local aged care home have been " commandeered by the Commonwealth for the National Stockpile", according to its chief executive.
"I have been extremely disappointed by the Commonwealth in their lack of support to us, and to the aged care sector as a whole, through this Omicron outbreak," said BlueWave Living chief executive Mr Matt Downie.
"We have not received any assistance to provide testing for our residents.
"We still cannot access PCR testing.
"We have not received any rapid tests from the Commonwealth Government, and have been reliant on our own supply.
"And we have now been advised that some of our forward orders of additional rapid tests have been commandeered by the Commonwealth for the National Stockpile.
"We are having to find alternative stock from a variety of suppliers," Mr Downie said.
"While we continue to work through these challenges, it would have been appreciated if the Commonwealth was actually supportive and appropriately resourced and prepared for this current outbreak.
"They have had over two years to prepare."
Mr Downie said the Woy Woy facility needed to continue in lockdown.
This required high levels of personal protective equipment, material changes in processes to minimise risk and a reliance on rapid screen testing.
"It is not pleasant working in N95 masks and face shields for long periods, and I thank all staff for their continued diligence in helping reduce risk to all at BlueWave," he said.
Mr Downie said: "We are having additional staff test positive every week.
"It seems as we have some staff clear their isolation, another tests positive.
"With the extremely high numbers of cases in the community, it is almost unavoidable that a small percentage of our workforce at any given time will have Covid.
"We continue to have zero cases amongst residents, and we continue to have additional infection control measures in place to limit the risk to our elder in care here.
"We continue to maintain high stock levels of personal protective equipment to accommodate these requirements."
Mr Downie reminded family and friends of residents: "You may certainly call to talk to your loved one in care".
"Please be patient, as we expect a high volume of calls coming through our main reception during this time as we manage this current outbreak.
"Also, we also encourage the use of video links via our tablets with Zoom.
"For any Covid-specific inquiries, you can email us at; email@example.com."
Social media, 19 Jan 2022
Matt Downie, Blue Wave Living