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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Ray of hope for Embracia Aged Care cluster

Management of Victoria’s Embracia Mooney Valley Aged Care home have today written to residents and their families to reveal the latest COVID-19 test results of residents and staff.

In June, the aged care home was linked to the state’s disastrous quarantine hotel program, with authorities believing an infection from the Rydges on Swanson quarantine hotel had been transmitted to Embracia Aged Care – possibly through a staff member who lived with a hotel security guard.

Tragically, five Embracia Mooney Valley aged care residents died with COVID-19 as a result of the transmission.

In addition to the five deaths, 32 residents and staff, along with 14 other people connected to the centre all contracted COVID-19.

In a letter to families that was published publicly today, Embracia Mooney Valley’s management team – Managing Director, Sarah MacKenzie, Chief Operating Officer, Damien Lippiatt and General Manager, Camille Gordon – said the facility was “slowly receiving negative results”.

“We apologise for the break in our group notification, but we have been keeping individual families updated of results as they have come through,” management said in the letter.

“We are sorry for any frustration, we feel it too, as these are the longest testing times, we have experienced since the beginning of the pandemic.

“Last night we received the last of the testing results from the 7th October and we are pleased to share that all results from residents and staff are negative.”

The negative results, it said, includes all (Manikato) residents and staff who were deemed close contacts of the staff member who tested positive.

“At this stage we are pleased that it appears, this will hopefully be an isolated case, but we have further test results still to go.”

Management said the facility had not been able to secure any assistance from government contractors for testing at the home.

“Therefore, Embracia staff and management have worked through the weekend, performing more than 200 tests a day across the entire home.”

“We have staggered test results still coming in and many still pending from our testing on the 7th, 8th, and 10th of October. We can confirm to date that all results received so far are negative, but many are still pending, and we will report more over the coming days.”

The negative results obtained so far, it said, can provide residents and families with an “optimistic timeline”.

“Our staff member tested positive on Monday 4th October, but their last time at work was Saturday 2nd October, which the government define this as our day zero.”

“Sunday 3rd October is day one, therefore, our day 13 for close contacts and whole home testing will be Friday 15th October.  Once all results are back and if all are negative, our home should be cleared from this outbreak. 

“Please keep hoping and praying for our results to continue to be negative and we can reunite very soon. We thank all our Embracia community for their patience and ongoing support.”

The management team said staff had been working hard to keep resident busy, social, and mentally active.

“We have continued with goodie bags and happy hour deliveries to resident rooms, hallway bingo, arts, and puzzles plus more. We strongly encourage all friends and families to support us in supporting your loved one by contacting them by phone or our lifestyle team and booking a skype or facetime session to keep our residents connected.”

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