COVID-19 – Latest News

Irabina and COVID-19

If you have visited our Bundoora site from 9am on the 10th of August to 6pm on 12th August you must immediately isolate, get a COVID-19 test, and quarantine for 14 days from the date of exposure. You should also contact the Department of Health on 1300 651 160

Latest News

13th August 2021

Unfortunately, yesterday we have received news that our Bundoora hub has been declared COVID-19 Tier 1 site, as an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 was on site on the 11 of August, 2021. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) notified us that Bayswater Road and Stud Road sites are not classified as Tier 2 sites. Provided the advice does not change over the weekend, tele-health services will be able to resume as normal and where this is not clinically appropriate we will be able to provide essential services onsite in line with DHHS guidelines.

We will always put the health of our community and staff at the forefront of everything we do. Consequently, Irabina Autism Services took a proactive approach by closing all three sites on the 13th of August, 2021 for deep cleaning and to allow staff to get a COVID-19 test.

As our Bundoora staff will have to isolate for 14 days, they will continue to provide services via tele-health if suitable or we will cancel the appointments if tele-health consultation is not appropriate. You will be notified via email and a phone call.

Bayswater Road and Stud Road hubs will open again on Monday after the deep clean is completed. Should we be advised on a different course of action by the Department of Health, you will be notified promptly via email and a phone call. Our Cardinia site is operating as normal.

Thank you to everyone for your support of Irabina and the process involved and to those whom have already undertaken a test.

We continue to work with DHHS and our regulators and will continue to provide any updates that come to hand as they come to hand.

17th February 2021

All Irabina services have returned to our centres following the latest announcement that the 5-day lockdown has ended.

From Thursday 18 February all of our services have returned to centres, following the latest easing in restrictions from the Victorian Government.

Everyone here at Irabina is extremely glad we will be able to see our families in person once again, and are so thankfully for the flexibility of both you and our hard-working staff through this tricky period. The degree of patience, understanding and kindness shown is heart warming.

Our telehealth platform will remain online, and we remind you that if you, or anyone in your family are feeling unwell then please remain at home. Simply notify your clinician and we will arrange to provide telehealth services instead, ensuring you can still receive supports from the safety of your own home.

We also want to remind everyone that we are following very strict COVIDSafe protocols at Irabina to protect our families and staff. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your clinician or our team at reception on 03 9720 1118.

Thank you again for your support.

Deb Goldfinch
CEO, Irabina Autism Services

Previous News

12th February 2021

Following today’s announcement from the Victorian Government, the majority of Irabina’s services will return to Telehealth for the duration of the lockdown. All families impacted will receive a ​​​call from our staff.

While this is unwelcome news for all of us, we want to assure you that we will make this transition to telehealth as smooth as possible. Our staff are all experienced in the platform, and will be able to support you and your children to connect and fully engage during sessions, exactly as you would in-person.

If you have sessions scheduled during the upcoming lockdown period we will reach out to you, via phone and email, with instructions on how to connect using telehealth. Session times will remain unchanged, with you and/or your child simply logging in from home rather than coming into the centre.

Once the lockdown has ceased and sessions are able to return to centres we will send out another announcement. You may also follow our Facebook page.

We hope this lockdown will be brief, and that we will see all of you again soon at our centres. If you or your family are in need of assistance, for any reason, please call our team at reception on 03 9720 1118. We’re here for you.

Look after each other, and be kind.

Deb Goldfinch
CEO, Irabina Autism Services

5th October 2020

Hi Everyone,

After months of lockdown, working from home and Telehealth here in Melbourne due to the restrictions caused by COVID-19, we’re thrilled to announce that all services will return to centres starting 12 October 2020.

Whilst we welcome getting back onsite, we have to remain agile in a fluid situation. We will continue to follow the up-to-date recommendations from the NDIS and State Government. Our telehealth platform will remain in use and continue to be available should you or your child require it. We strongly recommend that if anyone in your family feels unwell please inform your clinician prior to coming to Irabina and, if possible, attend the session via telehealth instead.

Kindest regards,
Deb Goldfinch – CEO, Irabina Autism Services

7th July 2020

Hi Everyone,

If you haven’t heard already, Melbourne is returning to lockdown, with all metropolitan suburbs going into Stage 3 restrictions for 6 weeks, commencing Thursday 9th of July. This means that all of our centres will have to close. We will return to delivering all of our services via Telehealth as of tomorrow Wednesday 8 July. This will enable all of our families to continue to receive their sessions from the safety and comfort of their home.

We know how hard this is for all of you, and want to remind you that we are here to help however we can. If you’re struggling and need someone to talk to, please reach out to your clinician or call our reception number. We will continue to be here for each of you, and ready to support you any way we can.

Since moving to Telehealth during the previous lockdown, we have continued to expand our capabilities. Our clinicians are ready and prepared to confront this new lockdown. We will continue to provide the same high level of care that we pride ourselves in. If you have any concerns about Telehealth, or need assistance at all in using it, please feel free to reach out to your clinician.

If you have a session scheduled for this week we will be in touch with you shortly to provide further information about attending via Telehealth.

Even while we are all kept apart by this pandemic, we hope that everyone will stay close and connected here online. If you need any support throughout this period please reach out to us at Irabina. We will continue to be here for each of you.

We hope that the next six weeks will go quickly, and that we can see you all of you again in centres from 19 August 2020.

Kindest regards,
Deb Goldfinch – CEO, Irabina Autism Services

30th June 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

Following the announcement earlier today by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, we are shifting those families living in coronavirus-hotspots to Telehealth. For more information please speak with your clinician.

The Irabina Team.

13th May 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

Thank you for all your support during these past 5 weeks of Irabina’s remote and flexible services. Following advice from the Chief Health Officer, the Victorian Government has advised that schools can begin a phased return to on-site schooling. We’re delighted to say this is the trigger for Irabina to re-start delivering services in our centres. All services for all ages will begin onsite from Tuesday 26th May.

While the Chief Health Officer has advised that students will not be required to maintain physical distancing at schools, there will be a number of important changes at Irabina to ensure that we are consistent with health advice which will apply until further notice. We will provide more detail about what these changes look like, but it is important to note that changes will include:

  • Arrangements for drop off and pick up, including using varying entry points to Irabina sites. Individual information will follow on this so you know which entrance to use.
  • Restrictions on access to Irabina sites for anyone other than children attending sessions and one parent or carer. Perhaps consider not bringing other children where possible.
  • Temperature checks on arrival for all children and parents remaining on site.
  • The recommendation that parents or carers have downloaded the COVIDSafe App and have had the flu vaccination.
  • Food and drink to be brought from home.
  • The avoidance of people congregating in communal areas. No waiting on site will be available apart from drop off and pick up.
  • Each clinician will be allocated a specific room for sessions and rooms will be cleaned and disinfected after each session.
  • No physical payment occurring onsite.

We’ve developed our telehealth platforms and will maintain this going forward. If you or your child feels unwell on the day of your appointment, we ask you to stay home and we can provide your session via telehealth.

Whilst we welcome getting back onsite, we have to remain agile in a fluid situation. We will continue to follow the up-to-date recommendations from the NDIS and State Government.

We’ve been so proud of our staff and all our families during this difficult time and we’re rejoicing at the fact we can start seeing all those little faces onsite again.

Thankyou, and see you all from the 26th of May,

The Irabina Team.

24th March 2020

We are now operating all services on our eHealth platform. If you require any support at this time please contact your clinician or call reception on 03 9720-1118. We are here for you and ready to help in every way possible.

Check out our article, ‘Ten tips for coping with COVID-19‘ for ideas on how you and your family can stay positive during this difficult time.

22nd March 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

The situation relating to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is constantly evolving. We are in daily contact with all the relevant bodies and are monitoring all updates as they come through. We are absolutely committed to continuing to provide services to our families throughout this process. This afternoon, the Government announced that schools will shut down on Tuesday 24 March. We had identified a number of scenarios that would trigger a voluntary shut down of our sites and this was one of the identified scenarios.

For the previous two weeks, we have been preparing contingencies for this eventuality. We’ve already moved all our programs on to our eHealth platform and over the previous week have provided all programs either at our centres – or for families that felt more comfortable in their home setting – through the eHealth platform.

We are preparing for an imminent closure of our sites on Tuesday and want our families to be ready as well. As of Tuesday all programs and therapies would continue as normal solely through the eHealth platform via Zoom meetings, Facetime, or over the phone. The announcement today that has triggered our shut down won’t affect the services and programs we can deliver for our families.

We haven’t made the decision to close our centres lightly, but we are doing this to protect our families, staff and contributing to the wider containment measures in our state. We will never turn our back on you and being able to continue to provide the services and therapies to you is our utmost priority. We will continue to provide the supports you need for as long as these isolating measures are in place.

The move to eHealth on Tuesday is across all programs. School holiday programs have also been affected and for families that have enrolled in those programs, they will be contacted directly. These holiday programs are not cancelled, but will run in a different format.

In addition to this email, we will be contacting you directly and advising of the movement of your appointment to the eHealth platform.

We are one big family at Irabina and we’ll get through this together. We’re always here for you and if you have any questions at all, please feel free to give us a call on 03 9720-1118.

Thank you,
Debra Goldfinch
CEO, Irabina Autism Services

12th March 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We continue to monitor the situation in relation to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) with the health and wellbeing of our clients and staff always taking precedence. As is always the case, our advice to all clients who are feeling unwell or feverish is to stay at home until symptoms resolve. Being part of the health and early childhood intervention sectors, we must abide by government guidelines and recommendations.

Currently all areas of Irabina’s business are operating as normal, and government guidelines are to watch and act. If things progress to what is described as a ‘Tier 3’ scenario, health sectors will be forced into a shutdown mode. In this instance we will inform everyone affected directly via email and/or phone.

It is our highest priority to continue to provide supports and therapies to our families and we want you to know we have detailed contingencies in place should Irabina be required to close for a period of time. All services currently being provided to families will continue through our eHealth platform. Your appointments will continue as normal through the online platform and we will continue to support all of our Irabina families within your home environment.

During online therapy sessions, the client and therapist can see, hear, and interact with one another in real time, using webcams in a live, synchronous online learning environment. The actual therapy is the same as the one that the clinician would deliver face-to-face.

We encourage you to bring your laptop or tablet to your next session and we can guide you through the process. Alternatively, we can guide you through the process on the phone. It’s very simple!

Irabina will always support families as much as we can and we won’t let an enforced closure of our centres affect the level of care we provide.
We’re always here for you and if you have any questions at all, please feel free to give us a call on 03 9720-1118.

Thank you
Deb Goldfinch – CEO
Irabina Autism Services

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