2. Engaging in clear communication for an organised and fast response
When Estate Managers were notified that they had had a positive case of COVID-19 on the property, the team knew what to do and which policies to engage, thanks to their proactive facilities management approach and the COVID-19 plan they already had in place.
“In July 2020, we were alerted that there had been a positive case of COVID-19 from a visitor to one of the buildings in the community. So, it was a matter of following the steps we had. We found out which staff member had entered the building during that time and sent them off-site for testing and isolation straight away.
“We then notified all building residents of the situation and recommended they get testing and isolate should they feel any symptoms. We also clearly communicated to them the steps we were taking to manage the situation. It was only a matter of minutes, and we had contacted professional contractors who specialise in deep cleaning via our repairs and maintenance service, Assured Building Maintenance (ABM).
“ABM undertook a professional clean of both the buildings at risk and our on-site offices that day. Then, we erected signage in all necessary buildings that alerted residents and visitors, and we contacted NSW Health to confirm we had followed best practice processes and whether they required us to do anything more.
For Paul and the team, it’s the speed, level of detail, and proficiency they can deliver to their communities in important situations that help them make a difference.
“We can react quickly because we have a plan, and we have been trained in what to do. When you live in community living settings, there’s a major benefit to having an exterior third party dealing with such situations. It takes the emotional element out of it and allows for a more practical way of dealing with the issue. Every action that is taken is logical and already thought out. That way, we are calm, and the people in the community or building feel calm too.
“That was the most pleasing piece of feedback we had from our committees and resident is that they felt comfortable because we dealt with a serious situation and took the panic factor out of it. We had a lot of residents call us just to let us know they felt reassured because they knew we had the situation under control. We had a lot of feedback from our residents, and they all said something like, ‘We felt comfortable after hearing about the COVID scare because we knew something was happening, and we were being looked after.’ Providing that peace of mind to residents is a great feeling,” said Paul.