The Lilliane Brady Village (LBV) aged care facility has this week been shut down to visitors in response to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases being reported in NSW.
The Australian Government Department of Health issued a directive on Monday to all NSW residential aged care facilities that they were to exclude visitors until further notice.
Visits, unless they are essential for medical or personal care issues, are currently suspended.
This may mean that family members may not be able to visit their loved ones, or take LBV residents out for a few hours, on Christmas day.
Maree Wheeler, assistant director of nursing at the LBV, said while the restrictions are to be reviewed on Wednesday night, she does not expect it will change.
“We’re now doing what Sydney has been doing for a while,” Mrs Wheeler told The Cobar Weekly.
“Up until now our isolation has really been of benefit to us. I feel sorry for those who have made plans for Christmas,” she said.
“It will be very sad for residents as a lot of families do come home at Christmas to visit their parents.”
Mrs Wheeler said the lockdown precautions are for the benefit of the residents who are among the high risk group in our community.
She said the tightened restrictions will put additional stress on staff who are all working hard to keep everyone safe.
As per the Department of Health directive all staff (and exempted visitors) now must wear a surgical mask while in the facility.
“We’re doing our best, we hope people will understand and won’t be too hard on us,” she said.
Mrs Wheeler said in lieu of not visiting their relatives, families may like to phone or make a Skype call at Christmas.
She said a Skype call can be organised if family members contact the LBV prior to Christmas day to arrange it.
Mrs Wheeler said where there are exceptional circumstances (for example, a dying relative), visitors may be granted access.