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Monday, November 29, 2021

Detailed COVID-19 update for aged care providers across the nation

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The department of health has issued a detailed new update for aged care providers for each state.

Victoria

The Victorian DHHS advise that restrictions on visitors to aged care facilities still apply and permitted workers in aged care facilities across Victoria must wear a face mask indoors and outdoors where a distance of 1.5 metres cannot be maintained, unless an exception applies, and comply with the Department’s PPE requirements.

The DHHS has sent advice to RACFs in Metro Melbourne and RACFs in Regional Victoria and there’s an advice table for RACFs in Metro Melbourne and an advice table RACFs in Regional Victoria.

New South Wales

For NSW the screening advice for residential aged care providers and home care provider has been updated on June 19.

The key messages for this update are:

  • Until further notice facilities in Greater Sydney (including Nepean Blue Mountains, but excluding Central Coast and Illawarra) should follow the advice that:
  • All staff and visitors must wear a surgical mask
  • Only two visitors should be allowed each day
  • Visits should be in the resident’s room.
  • Until further notice home care provider staff working in Greater Sydney (including Nepean Blue Mountains, but excluding Central Coast and Illawarra) must wear a surgical mask.
  • There are new close and casual contact locations in the Sydney region and there are still regional NSW sites current. Please note the advice for regional NSW will be removed at 11.59 pm on Saturday 19 June 2021.
  • There are new COVID-19 exposure locations in ACT.

This information can change rapidly so please check the NSW Health at least daily for updates.

Qld

Queensland has current contact tracing alerts and related public health advice for people who have been in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

Visitors, staff or volunteers are not permitted to enter a residential aged care facility if they:

  • are unwell
  • have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or asked to quarantine
  • have returned from overseas in the last 14 days (excluding safe travel zone countries)
  • are a close contact, unless their quarantine period has ended
  • have visited a COVID-19 hotspot in the last 14 days or since the hotspot was declared (whichever is shorter)
  • have visited an interstate exposure venue in the last 14 days unless an exemption has been granted for an end of life visit
  • have been in an interstate area of concern in the last 14 days or since the identified start date (whichever is shorter), unless you fit into one of the categories of people who are allowed to enter a facility with a negative COVID-19 test
  • have been tested for COVID-19 and is waiting for the result (except for tests due to surveillance testing obligations)
  • have COVID-19 symptoms of fever (37.5 degrees or more), cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, loss of smell or taste, runny nose, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting or fatigue
  • have not had the 2021 flu vaccine, from 30 May 2021, if it is available to them.

You may enter a residential aged care facility if you do not fit into any of the above categories, visitors should:

  • wash their hands before entering and leaving the facility
  • stay 1.5 metres away from others where possible
  • stay in the resident’s room, outside or in a specific area (avoiding communal spaces)
  • stay away when unwell
  • follow requests from the facility to help keep staff and residents safe.

For full details read the Aged Care Direction (No. 29) and stay up to date with the latest information for aged care providers on the Qld Department of Health website.

ACT

The ACT Chief Health Officer has issued an updated alert (as of June 20) regarding the COVID-19 situation in other Australian states and territories.

The main change to the CHO advice:

  • Eastern Sydney LGAs (from June 11) have been added as geographical areas of risk:
  • Waverley
  • Sydney
  • Bayside
  • City of Ryde
  • Woollahra

There are a number of COVID-19 exposure locations in ACT, NSW, QLD and VIC. COVID-19 Areas of Concern are regularly updated with exposure locations.

ACT aged care providers can find out more information from ACT Government.

State and territory aged care COVID-19 information

Aged care providers can stay up to date on visitor restrictions, PPE requirements and other measures relating to COVID-19 in aged care, from their relevant state or territory website below:

Australian Capital Territory

New South Wales

Northern Territory

Queensland

South Australia

Tasmania

Victoria

Western Australia

Further information and advice

Vsit the Department of Health’s website for information and resources to assist in preparing and managing a COVID-19 outbreak, including what to do in the first 24 hours of an outbreak in a residential aged care facility.

PPE

Aged care providers are asked to ensure they have a sufficient supply of PPE, to use their own supply of PPE first and to request extra supply for emergency purposes as and when needed.

The Commonwealth is prioritising requests for PPE from the National Medical Stockpile to aged care services that are most in need. The deployment of PPE is only where commercial supply is unavailable, and where there is a government direction regarding COVID-19 PPE requirements or demonstrated clinical need.

If your facility urgently needs PPE and you cannot source it, please submit an online application before 3pm (AEST) each business day. The application will need to be completed for your request to be considered.

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