A MESSAGE FROM MELBA’S CEO AND COO RE COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) – UPDATE 8 JULY 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,


Following yesterday’s announcement by Premier Daniel Andrews, about increasing COVID-19 infection rates and a reintroduction in Melbourne of Stage 3 ‘lock down’ (Stay at Home Directions) at midnight tonight, we are writing to update you regarding Melba’s services.


We know going back to lock down is regrettable, but people’s safety comes first. Managing this pandemic remains a serious issue for us all and we will continue to be suitably cautious in our approach, as Melba has been since the State of Emergency was first declared.


We again want to assure you that we have comprehensive infection control measures and protocols in place which align with current public health advice, to help protect everyone at Melba. Staff have had additional infection control training and have access to Personal Protective Equipment for use as necessary. Our Medical Adviser, Dr Sandars, continues to provide very helpful guidance and to this point, thankfully, no person we support or staff member has contracted COVID-19. We are doing our utmost to ensure everyone remains well, but increasing community infection rates challenge us all.


Just like the State Government, our approach to managing the pandemic varies in different geographic areas given different levels of COVID-19 in different communities.


Group homes


The Government’s ‘Stay at Home’ directions relate to people living in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire for a period of at least six weeks. These directions apply to people living in Melba’s group homes in the east and along the Mornington Peninsula. The Stay at Home directions state that people may only leave home for one of four reasons:

  • shopping for food and supplies;

  • medical care and caregiving;

  • study or work – if you can’t do it from home; and

  • exercise.

More details can be found via this link:

  • https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/updated-restrictions-1159pm-wednesday-8-july

For Melba’s group homes in Gippsland and in Central Highlands and Wimmera, the Government’s ‘Stay Safe’ directions continue to apply.


Visits to all Melba’s group homes for the purpose of caregiving are permitted for up to two hours (under the current Care Facilities Directions) but, like the government, we urge people to use common sense when it comes to visiting friends and family, especially those who are more vulnerable. That means seeing only those you need to – if you need to.


Other services


We will continue our recovery plans in Central Highlands and Wimmera and in Gippsland. Individual supports, respite services and Arthur Creative programs will all continue to cautiously increase, with a strong emphasis on maintaining physical distancing, and a continued focus on practicing excellent personal hygiene and infection control.


As we have no service sites in the designated Melbourne ‘hot spots’ (restricted postcodes) we will also continue to provide individual supports and respite services to people living in Melbourne based on the conversations we have had with individuals and their families and our stringent infection control protocols. We will not, however, resume group-based services in the Melbourne metropolitan area as we had hoped to for at least the period of the Stay at Home directions. As we have done from the outset, we will continue to discuss with families what we may be able to do to provide support in the absence of our normal Community Connections services.


We all have an important role to play to help stop the spread


To help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), stay safe by regularly washing your hands, keeping at least 1.5 metres from other people where possible, and staying home if you feel unwell. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, which include fever, chills or sweats, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, and loss of smell?or taste – no matter how mild the symptoms – please get tested.


For more information on where testing is available please view the following link: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/getting-tested-coronavirus-covid-19


For further information about Melba’s services, please contact your regional general manager:

  • 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

You can also call Melba’s coronavirus hotline on 1300 MYMELBA (1300 696352).


Thank you for your continued support during these challenging times and please stay safe.


Yours sincerely,


Glenn Foard Hayley Dean



Chief Executive Officer Chief Outcome Officer



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

Contact Us

PO Box 554, Lilydale, VIC 3140

Phone: (03) 9212 0100

Fax: (03) 9739 5188

Email: melba@melbasupport.com.au

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