ALL CLEAR: Ningana Retirement Village has reopened its doors after being in lockdown following an influenza outbreak.
ALL CLEAR: Ningana Retirement Village has reopened its doors after being in lockdown following an influenza outbreak. Sam Flanagan

Influenza scare puts retirement village in lockdown

NINGANA Retirement Village was in lockdown for nearly two weeks following a breakout of influenza at the facility recently.

Residents of the village had to stay in their rooms throughout the 12-day quarantine and staff were restricted to certain areas.

Facility manager Carol McDowell said the lockdown was put in place because "a number of residents caught influenza".

"We went down on the sixth of July ... that means we couldn't have visitors coming in and our residents couldn't leave," Ms McDowell said.

"We had to limit the exposure of residents to staff, so we keep the same staff in certain areas to minimise the spread of any influenza or viral infection."

The lockdown was ceased this morning, following advice from specialists.

"We liaised with the public health unit every day and they advised us when the lockdown could be lifted," Ms McDowell said.

"The main thing was protecting the residents and staff and we didn't want to spread it to the wider community."

Ms McDowell said it was a straining period for all involved but she was proud of the way everyone handled themselves.

"It's very stressful for residents because they can't leave their room and it's very stressful for family because they can't visit their relatives," she said.

"It's also stressful for the staff because we worry about our residents and how they're coping."

Having not had a lockdown for sometime, MsMcDowell hoped there would be no more for some time to come.

"We've never been in lockdown since I've been here in the last eight years ... we're hoping we never have to do it again," she said.


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