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Springhaven Lodge resumes normal operations after ADF deployment to aged-care facility during COVID outbreak

Kojonup’s only aged-care facility is resuming normal operations after military personnel were called in to hold the fort.

Members of the Australian Defence Force have now left Springhaven Lodge on Barracks Place after being deployed earlier this month to support the facility through COVID-induced staff shortages.

The facility was in Tier 2 lockdown settings after an outbreak of COVID-19 among carers and patients in recent weeks.

The Shire of Kojonup runs the 22-bed facility, with chief executive Grant Thompson noting it was the first time ADF personnel had been required at the facility.

“With COVID, our ability to have sufficient staff for the facility has been impacted over the last two to three weeks,” Mr Thompson said.

“The turnaround time for staff is 14 days, so we have had to substitute staff.”

Mr Thompson said it was great to have the servicemen and women at the facility.

“The residents responded well because they knew they were there for a good reason,” he said.

“They were there for their own benefit, particularly given some of the residents also had COVID.”

Up to nine ADF members were working at Springhaven Lodge for 7-10 days.

Mr Thompson said he wanted to acknowledge the staff at Springhaven for their work during a difficult period.

“(They) have done a fantastic job in light of the situation,” he said.

“It has been very stressful, particularly with some of our most vulnerable residents having COVID, and I want to give them a big thank you.”

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