AGED care centre Bill Crawford Lodge is set to return to operations later this week as the quarantine period for a detected COVID-19 case ends.
The staff member who first tested positive for the deadly virus has been self-isolating since Tuesday a fortnight ago when they first felt symptoms.
In a statement on Tuesday afternoon, BHS affected residents and staff who had been in close contact of positive cases had been regularly monitored and tested for the virus and continually return negative results. This meant Bill Crawford was preparing to return to normal operations under lockdown "in coming days".
BHS said all people who contracted the virus through Bill Crawford Lodge, a dementia care facility, had been unknowingly exposed to the virus before the first case was identified. But, since the first case was identified no further transmission has occurred.
Five cases, including the worker, were identified at the Ballarat Health Services Bill Crawford Lodge between July 17-20.
There were two residents who tested positive for the virus who were move to BHS Base Hospital for further care and in a bid to better contain the virus. The other three cases have been recovering in home isolation.
LATEST CORONAVIRUS NEWS
BHS chief executive officer Dale Fraser said managing the outbreak had been a whole-of-health-service response and he commended all BHS staff in their dedication and professionalism in this time.
Mr Fraser has said Ballarat Aged Care, an arm of BHS, benefits from easier access to clinical and infection control in managing the outbreak and, with higher staff-to-patient ratios, this helped prevent a cluster as seen in some Melbourne aged care facilities.
BHS is caring for four active COVID-19 cases in the Base Hospital. Of these infected persons, three are in a stable condition and one patient is in intensive care. The health services is also caring for eight active cases, who are self-isolating at home.
This care is not limited to City of Ballarat boundaries, in which there were 10 active cases as of Monday afternoon.
"Ensuring all residents and patients receive the best and safest care in the most appropriate setting remains our number one priority. Our catchment area crosses many local government areas and we continue to provide care to whoever needs it, regardless of their home postcode," Mr Fraser said.
"We need to ensure that we provide the utmost respect and protect the privacy of people and their families during this time. Being diagnosed with COVID19 or asked to isolate because you have encountered a positive case is distressing.
"We have a team of people checking in with our staff who are isolating to support their well-being and our Hospital in the Home program supports community members who have the virus with daily check-ins."
IN OTHER NEWS
Mr Fraser made clear to assume COVID-19 was present in all communities across western Victoria and this meant it was vital to take preacautions: wear a mask, social distance and have good hand hygiene.
Anyone with any cold or flu-like symptoms must self-isolate at home, leaving only for a test and isolating until a result.
For the Lucas testing clinic, book online at ufs.com.au/test or phone 4311 1571.
For the central Ballarat clinic, phone 1800 054 172.
Have you signed up to The Courier's variety of news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.