Community Update

10th April 2020                   

Service Closure due to Coronavirus

 

 

 

After extensive discussion with the Board of Management, it has been decided that BDS will remain closed until 30 June 2020.  It has been an extremely challenging time for us all and this has been a very difficult decision to make. We believe this extended closure is necessary to ensure that BDS complies with the mandatory social distancing rules and other directions that are in place for all Victorians to contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and reduce risk to the health of our employees and the individuals we support.

I can assure you that normal operations will resume at the earliest practicable opportunity, once government approval is given and it is deemded safe for services to recommence.

Thank you for your understanding and ongoing support in this matter. Please stay safe.

Kind regards,

Barb van den Vlekkert, on behalf of BDS Support Services Board of Management

 

 

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24th March 2020

 

Service Closures due to Coronavirus

Further to my recent update on 18/3/2020, I provide information about the current management strategies that BDS will adopt moving forward as a result of the recent Government sanctions and business closures in place across Victoria.

The Board and the CEO have been in regular contact over the past few days to determine the best way forward. As a result of these discussions, the Board has determined that BDS will enact the following service closures.

Day Service - will cease operating after Thursday 26th March. No services will be provided from Friday 27th March 2020 until Friday 17th April inclusive. This period includes the one-week planned service closure for Easter.

Escapade - will cease immediately with school holiday programs and the scheduled activities for 17th, 18th and 19th of April cancelled. We will reassess and provide further advice prior to the next services scheduled in early May.

Individual Support - will cease effective Friday 27th March.  Supports planned for Thursday 26th March will be provided. We will be in contact with individuals over the coming days where your services are deemed to be essential and make future plans regarding how your supports may continue. Please be aware that our capacity to provide additional services is extremely limited.

The Board and management will be meeting on 14th April to review the current status of health alerts and advice regarding continuation of supports. Any further disruptions to our services will be communicated in a timely manner upon completion of these discussions.

We want to assure you that this decision has been a very difficult one to make and appreciate that this will cause considerable disruption and inconvenience for the people we support and their families and carers. These decisions have been made in consideration of the unprecedented situation we are currently facing and in the best interests of the health and wellbeing of both our Participants and our Employees.  

We remind everyone that if you or your family member are feeling unwell, follow the general guidelines, contact your GP and follow their advice and stay home until you are free of any symptoms for a minimum of 24 hours. Please use the links below to access the latest update from DHHS and NDIS regarding the current situation:

https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus

https://www.ndis.gov.au/understanding/ndis-and-other-government-services/ndis-and-disaster-response

We will endeavor to maintain updates via our website as we move forward. Please contact our designated contact people, Simon McDowell or Geraldine Long during business hours on 03 9309 7448 to discuss any concerns you may have.

Please stay safe and keep yourselves informed of any health alerts and advice when it is provided. We thank you for your understanding and ongoing support in this matter.

Kind regards,

Barb van den Vlekkert CEO – of behalf of BDS Support Services Board of Management

 

 

 

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18th March 2020

 

Health Alert for current Coronavirus outbreak    

BDS is committed to the health and wellbeing of our Participants and Employees, we have been constantly monitoring this rapidly evolving situation. I am writing to provide information in relation to the current health alerts due to the risk of infection by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). BDS is not aware of any person who has been affected at this time.

As at 9.30am on 17 March 2020, there have been 94 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Victoria.

People of all ages have been diagnosed with COVID-19, but those most at risk of severe illness are elderly people and those with pre-existing medical conditions. 

To date, we have taken the following actions to minimize the spread of the infection:

  • Monitoring of information and guidelines from the Health Department and relevant authorities
  • Communicating regularly with our employees and families
  • Enhancing hygiene practices in our facilities such including increased frequency of disinfecting surfaces
  • Encouraging infection control procedures
  • Requesting staff and Participants to remain at home if they are unwell and only return when they are completely free of any symptoms
  • Displaying relevant information around our facility
  • Reviewing activities and venues to minimize the risk of exposure to large groups
  • Enforcing mandatory quarantine for people who have travelled overseas

The Victorian State Government’s recent declaration of a State of Emergency is guiding our response as we continue to provide supports and services and manage the risks to our community. Our Board of Management met recently to endorse our Business Continuity Plan which aims to manage the effects of the current situation.

In response to the emerging situation we will be:

  • Providing regular updates on our website for both families and employees to keep informed of any changes (www.bds.org.au)
  • Cancelling face to face meetings and rescheduling as either phone or video conferencing
  • Suspending attendance at any external meetings or forums for staff
  • Limiting access to our facility to essential visitors and contractors only. Essential visitors will be required to meet required criteria including disclosure of illness or overseas travel prior to entering.
  • Suspending all new referrals for service and requests for amended supports from existing Participants.
  • Amending community based activities and suspending access to community facilities
  • Offering the Flu Vaccination for all employees in early April
  • Continuing to meet regularly to review strategies and respond to updates as further information is provided.

What can you do to reduce your risk of coronavirus infection?

  • Wash hands often with soap and running water, for at least 60 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. If you take medication make sure you have enough.
  • 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.
  • Buy an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with over 60 per cent alcohol.

If you are concerned about you or your family member attending any services or activities, you are encouraged to make your own choices.

We remind everyone that if you or your family member are feeling unwell, follow the general guidelines, contact your GP and follow their advice and stay home until you are free of any symptoms for a minimum of 24 hours. Please use the links below to access the latest update from DHHS and NDIS regarding the current situation:

https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus

https://www.ndis.gov.au/understanding/ndis-and-other-government-services/ndis-and-disaster-response

Thank you for your understanding and continued support.

Barb van den Vlekkert CEO – of behalf of BDS Support Services Board of Management