Frequently asked questions
HOW IS MELBA KEEPING PEOPLE SUPPORTED SAFE?
Melba Support Services is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the people we support, our staff, and others who visit our sites and services. We are closely monitoring information and advice, about the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, provided from various authoritative sources, including the World Health Organisation, the Australian and Victorian state health authorities, and have taken several steps to ensure that everyone at Melba remains safe and experiences the best possible health.
Melba has established a Pandemic Operational Unit to oversee implementation of our pandemic plan. We have well established occupational health and safety policies and procedures that we use to protect the people we support from infection, particularly illnesses like COVID-19. Melba also has strong infection control mechanisms and staff are specifically trained in infection control and will be supported to ensure adherence to all infection control directions. Any enquiries from staff about infection control or personal hygiene can be directed to our Practice Support Line, which operates on a 24/7 basis.
As you may be aware, Melba employs two health outcome specialists who are already playing a very helpful role. Advice prepared by our health outcome specialists has been distributed to staff reinforcing key infection control messages, including:
• The importance of following and supporting all people to practice good personal hygiene and coughing/sneezing etiquette, such as frequently washing hands with soap
• Increased focus on regularly cleaning and disinfecting surfaces in each home.
• Practicing social distancing, such as supporting people to stay at home and self-isolate if they are unwell, avoiding non-essential visits and meetings at service locations wherever possible, and keeping 1.5 metre distance between people, whenever possible.
In providing support to people, there is often a need for support which involves person to person contact, for example, support with meals and drinks or to get dressed. In these circumstances, our staff have been trained to use gloves and ensure that they follow good hand washing practices before and after supporting people that require person to person contact. Staff will limit other person to person contact with supported people, for example, they will not shake hands. Melba staff will guide and encourage people supported as much as possible to minimise touching other people during this period.
As well as all the above, we always ensure that people are supported at the earliest opportunity to access their treating general practitioner (GP) if they are unwell and staff follow the treating GP’s medical advice to ensure best possible health for each person supported in Melba’s SIL services.
WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON SYMPTOMS OF CORONAVIRUS?
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough.
Some people may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhoea.
These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually.
Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment.
Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing.
WHO IS MOST AT RISK OF CORONAVIRUS?
Older people, and those with underlying medical problems, like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness.
People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.
WHAT CAN I DO TO REDUCE MY RISK OF CORONAVIRUS?
• Wash hands often with soap and running water, for at least 20 seconds. Dry with paper towel or hand dryer.
• Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow.
• Stay at home if you feel sick.
• Phone your doctor or the hotline – 1800 675 398 – if you need medical attention. They will tell you what to do.
• Continue healthy habits: exercise, drink water, get plenty of sleep.
• Wearing a face mask is not necessary if you are well.
• Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with over 60 per cent alcohol
WHO CAN I CALL IF I AM WORRIED AND I THINK I HAVE SYMPTOMS?
• DHHS Coronavirus 24-hour Hotline number: 1800 675 398
• National Coronavirus Helpline 1800 020 080
• Nurse On-Call: 1300-606-024