Everything you need to know about latest developments and restrictions affecting elders
Following the national address from our presidency on Sunday night, it is imperative that I communicate with the people at the heart of Tafta – our dear elders and your family members. For the last 15 months, we have all adjusted to different ways of living, and new ways of keeping in touch. I must thank you for your ongoing patience and openness to the necessary changes we have had to make in line with the national regulations to safeguard your health and wellbeing.
With the arrival of the third wave of Covid-19 and the implementation of alert level 4 of the Risk-Adjusted strategy, it was immediately clear that the time for adjustment is upon us once again. In the midst of flu season, many of us will experience the onset of flu-like symptoms that are also indicators of Coronavirus. For this reason, I must ask you to be extra vigilant and self-aware, keeping in mind that even mild symptoms should be monitored closely.
Should you feel unwell or experience any symptoms of Covid-19, please practice a safe period of self-isolation for 7 days until you feel better. If your symptoms seem to be worsening or you suspect you have been exposed to the Coronavirus, please speak to your building manager, social worker or staff on duty. High-risk exposure to Covid-19 will require a quarantine period of 10 days and symptom monitoring to avoid possible transmission to your neighbours and friends.
Because the third wave is more contagious and there is a possibility of re-infection, we will be implementing the following precautionary measures at all Tafta buildings, to prevent the spread of the disease:
- All gatherings planned for the next 14 days will be postponed pending further advice from the National Coronavirus Command Council
- Any planned events should be postponed or cancelled
- Intake interviews and new admissions are currently on hold until further notice
- There will be no visitation allowed at any Tafta homes
- Contractors and Service Providers will be permitted to enter and conduct urgent work only in a situation of emergency. Hairdressing services will be suspended until further notice.
- Domestic workers will be screened and monitored very closely as they continue to be allowed into all buildings. Please report to your building supervisor should your helper experience any Covid-19 symptoms
- Dining halls will maintain social distancing protocols and multiple meal sittings, with no more than 2 people seated at a single table. If an infection of Covid-19 is confirmed, this process will be revised
- A detailed procedure of account queries and pension payouts will be communicated to you in due course.
With the peak of this wave predicted to be higher than that of the last two, we must all practice social distancing, limit close contact and wear masks in public. In the words of our President, “Let us call on every bit of strength we have, let us summon our reserves of courage, and hold firm until this wave, too, passes over us.”
Yours in service,
[June 29, 2021]
As of yesterday evening, we now sadly report a total of 173 Covid-19 cases in Tafta homes since 15 June last year. Of these, we have sadly lost 21 elders and one staff member, and we remain grateful for the recovery of 94 elders and 42 staff. There are currently 13 active elder and 2 active staff cases in:
John Conradie House/Langeler Towers: 4 residents and 2 staff members
Kings Hall: 1 elder
Tafta on Ridge: 4 elders
Tafta Park: 4 elders
This continues to be a very difficult and stressful period for all involved. The resource constraints we have experienced since the start of the pandemic have created a taxing environment for all those working in this field; we are extremely hopeful that we can anticipate the vaccine rollout in the near future.
We are cognizant of the perceptions and misinformation around the vaccine, and the fears and anxieties around being vaccinated. Our elders are often passive recipients of communication from the younger generation, who are much more tech-savvy. When these myths are forwarded on at an exponential rate, they become fact and feed levels of anxiety older people already feel as a vulnerable population. Let us all make a simple commitment to only share information from credible, verified sources, so that we can make informed choices regarding our health.
If you have any queries regarding friends or family members residing at the affected facilities, please contact the management team of the home or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yours in service,
[January 22, 2021]
Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic has entered a new Tafta home – this time Tafta on Ridge in the Overport area.
An 80 year old man in the Independent Living section began displaying flu-like symptoms last week. He was transferred to a private health care facility, where he tested positive for the virus. The home’s care team has made contact with the Department of Health (DoH) and our social work team have begun the screening process in preparation for DoH testing.
This patient is not doing well and we ask that you please keep him in your prayers. Elders who have tested positive in two other Tafta homes are in good health, and we await results of the continued testing at Tafta Park.
If you have any queries regarding friends or family members residing at the facility, please contact the management team of the home or email email@example.com.
UPDATE: 13 July 2020
Four more Tafta Covid-19 cases have come to light in Tafta facilities, bringing our total number of infections to date to fifteen. A Tafta staff member was found to be positive last week. This was followed by more cases of elders testing positive in our homes Tafta on Ridge, Tafta Lodge on South Beach and our Tafta Kings Hall in the Durban CBD.
We will continue, together with our dedicated care teams on each site, to monitor these elders and work with the Department of Health (DOH) to screen and test those elders identified as high risk.
UPDATE: 20 July 2020
On Friday last week, 17 July 2020, we received news from the Department of Health that three more Tafta Langeler Towers residents, who were tested on 1 July 2020, are Covid-19 positive. These elders were already in self-isolation due to the screening process the social work team had already initiated and we believe the risk of these residents infecting others are minimal. The residents remain in isolation and the staff are monitoring them for symptoms until their isolation ends.
These recent cases bring the total number of our infections to date to eighteen with two of our first cases having fully recovered from the virus.
We continue to monitor those elders who are positive and work with the Department of Health (DOH) to screen and test those elders identified as high risk.
If you have any queries regarding friends or family members residing at the impacted facilities, please contact the management team of the home or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
[July 13, 2020]
A third Tafta elder, a resident at Tafta Park Care Cottage in the south of Durban, has been found to be Covid-19 positive following admission to a private hospital in Durban yesterday.
As part of the hospital’s pre-admission procedure, the elder, in her 80’s, was tested and results today confirmed her positive status. She will remain in the hospital.
Three care staff, two kitchen staff and the home’s sister, together with the eight frail elders in the Care cottage have been put into immediate isolation whilst they await results of Covid-19 tests. Full scale screening will begin immediately throughout Tafta Park.
The home will also immediately go into lockdown and the Department of Health have been contacted for further assistance.
These recent developments are devastating to Tafta and we appeal for the support of the community through thoughts and prayer as we navigate this difficult time.
If you have any queries regarding friends or family members residing at the facility, please contact the management team of the home or email email@example.com
[June 24, 2020]
On 22 June, Tafta Managment received news of a second elder testing positive for the Coronavirus. This elder has joined the first patient at the state quarantine facility in Clairwood. We await the results of four remaining elders who were tested and placed in isolation last week. To date, all staff have tested negative, but those who had contact with the infected elders have been asked to self-isolate with a new staff complement being rotated into the building to care for the remaining residents.
After much consideration and careful consultation with relevant health departments, we have made the decision to lockdown the John Conradie House/Langeler Towers complex from 25 June 2020. No one will be allowed out of the building complex for any reason, including work and scheduled appointments. No one, other than essential care services personnel, Tafta staff or members of health authorities supporting us in the management of the outbreak, will be allowed into the building.
These restrictions are necessary to contain and manage the spread and impact of the virus. Those who are unable to comply have been asked to seek alternate temporary accommodation until the Lockdown is lifted (at a date yet to be determined).
Elders opting to leave the building must leave their contact details for the track and trace process, should this be required. They will only be allowed back into the building complex when the lockdown has been lifted and will be required to self-isolate for 14-days on their return.
Be assured that the management team is doing everything in their power to ensure residents’ well-being. Please do not hesitate to contact building management or firstname.lastname@example.org should you have questions about family or friends.
We are in this fight together, and together, we shall overcome.
[June 24, 2020]