An update from inside St John of God Halswell

An update from our Regional Manager Virginia Spoors on life at St John of God Halswell and Community Homes during the Covid-19 lockdown.

26 March 2020

Hello everyone,

This is a brief update on how things have been going since we commenced lockdown on Monday. I appreciate this is a difficult time for all of you, and I want to assure you that our staff are passionate and committed to providing the safest care for residents here.

We are keeping a close eye on resident and staff health, taking a cautious approach to any symptoms. Everyone is well.

Staff have also been urged to ensure the absolute safety of their own home self-isolation precautions – taking additional steps to ensure that their home is appropriately isolated, and getting other family members to do any essential shopping. Staying within their personal bubble when at home. We urge you to look after your own isolation bubble as well.

Residents are keeping in good spirits, and the activities team are seeking out multiple opportunities to provide stimulating activities in small groups (allowing 2 metre separation). I have a funny feeling we are going to see some very creative activities coming out of this scenario. Today there is some sort of a dance competition in the courtyard around hand washing.

We have separated dining areas so that there are less people in the dining room at meal times and we are asking residents to have turns eating in their rooms. This is to allow some extra physical distancing at meal times. This is a precaution, which would reduce risk of any sort of transmission as meal times are one main area where such transmission could occur.

We are running the Halswell facility as two individual wings avoiding any cross over. The community homes are being run as individual houses as much as possible.

In the next day or so we intend to establish a Skype station, so families can book a video chat with the resident. If you are interested in making a time for this, please email We will also be posting some videos routinely on our Facebook page to keep you connected

We are not accepting any food or personal items being dropped at the door now that the Government has restricted travel and raised the Alert to Level 4 and asking us not to make any trips other than essentials.

I am very proud of the way staff and residents are facing the challenge and we look forward to getting through this chapter and onto the next. I am always contactable by phone.
Keep safe inside your bubble.

Virginia Spoors
Regional Manager (Southern)
Health and Ability Services


Dancing at a socially appropriate distance

Dancing at a socially appropriate distance at St John of God Halswell