Since the Prime Minister announced the easing of the pandemic restrictions I have been contacted by a significant number of operators and managers to discuss the ‘right thing to do’ in opening up community centres and village facilities.
The whole the sector is taking a fairly cautious approach as they navigate these waters.
Each state has slightly different phases of restriction easing; some states provide guidance for Retirement Village operators and other states don’t. Some resident communities are cautious and while others are not, it has been a minefield for operators to navigate.
Overwhelming many managers regardless of their approach are being met with challenges from individuals in their communities who do not agree with their approach.
In broad ranging discussions with operators around the country it does seem the best way to move forward is in consultation with Resident Committees. Here are some topics that may help guide your discussions and decisions moving forward.
Consideration should be given to:
- the current information on health.gov.au older persons advice
- Relevant state based Retirement Village Fact sheets, where applicable
- Access the COVID Safe Plan requirements for your state
- Understand how the sqm rule requirements will work in communal areas
- Identify how physical distancing requirements will be signposted and monitored
- How record keeping of access to community areas will be managed
- How these requirements be met in the event the manager is not present on site to monitor
- Understand how the cleaning protocol and hygiene requirements will be managed
- Identify the likely extra cost of any decisions i.e. additional staff to monitor, clean or manage the activities. Additional costs for cleaning products, sanitiser, signage and other resources/tools required.
Importantly agree on a plan should there be an outbreak in the future in the local community or your immediate village community.