UPDATE 19 OCTOBER: Statement on positive Covid cases at Melbourne Alternative Place of Detention

The following information will be updated daily as the situation evolves.

The Australian Border Force (ABF) can confirm that 12 detainees at a Melbourne Alternative Place of Detention have tested positive for COVID-19 as of 10:30am, 19 October 2021.

The offer of vaccinations for consenting detainees is ongoing and delivered in accordance with state and federal government health requirements.

Detainees who are unwell or show symptoms that include (but are not limited to) fever, cough, fatigue, sore throat, headaches and/or shortness of breath are closely monitored by the detention health service provider staff and are tested, quarantined and provided appropriate medical care.

Detainees are free to make personal decisions regarding their vaccination status. This means that detainees can take the time they need, or change their mind, as they consider their options.

Decisions around the containment of COVID-19, including limitations on movement to reduce the spread, are guided by state government health advice and directions.

In accordance with health and Victorian Public Health Unit (PHU) advice, all detainees within the facility have been advised to quarantine in their accommodation rooms to reduce the risk of transmission. Each detainee is accommodated in their own room with ensuite facilities. All detainees at the facility are being tested for COVID-19.

  • As of 19 October 2021:
    • 12 detainees have tested positive
    • 21 detainees have tested negative
    • 13 detainees are awaiting test results.

As in the community, not all COVID-19 positive patients will require hospital admission. The 12 detainees are currently being treated in their accommodation. Hospital admission will be based on clinical advice.

To date in the Immigration Detention Network (IDN), 61 percent of detainees consented to receiving COVID-19 vaccinations. Of these:

  • 61 percent received their first dose; and
  • 51 percent are fully vaccinated.

The ABF and contracted service providers will continue to educate detainees and offer COVID-19 vaccinations to any detainees wishing to participate.

The ABF and its service providers are working closely with Victorian health authorities to manage contact tracing, quarantining, testing, and cleaning.

General Statement on COVID-19 in the Immigration Detention Network:

All detainees in immigration detention facilities have been offered COVID-19 vaccinations. The roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccination program to consenting detainees commenced in early August 2021, and has taken place at all immigration detention facilities (IDF) across the immigration detention network.

Standard departmental protocols are followed in relation to a positive diagnosis – including contact tracing, quarantining, testing and cleaning – in conjunction with the Victorian public health unit.

The ABF and its service providers have implemented infection control measures and Outbreak Management Plans at all IDFs.

These measures are informed by the Communicable Diseases Network Australia’s National Guidelines for the Prevention, Control and Public Health Management of COVID-19 Outbreaks in Correctional and Detention Facilities in Australia, public Health advice and applicable Health orders.

All detainees continue to have ongoing access to the medical professionals located within facilities.

The health care and range of services provided to detainees in immigration detention is commensurate with health care available to the Australian community through the public health system.

/Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization/author(s)and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).View in full here.

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