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Thursday, December 7, 2023

NT’s Chief Health Officer updates govt’s COVID direction

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As there are a number of Northern Territory regions in lockdown, CHO Dr Hugh Heggie has announced the activation of the Territory’s Outbreak Management Plans (OMP) and implementation of facilities’ continuity of service plans.

The most important step in keeping clients safe, Heggie said, is ensuring the safety of staff through awareness, appropriate resources, policy and practices, knowledge and skills.

Some key considerations are in relation to:

  • Situational awareness including knowledge of the most up-to-date CHO Directions (no.41) for aged care facilities.
  • COVID screening for all staff and clients before providing services – be aware of the actions required if staff or clients have been in a exposure site – stay-safe/case-location-alerts-and-public-exposure-sites including definitions of close and casual contacts.
  • Service providers in lockdown areas to only provide essential and critical services during this time with the aim to reduce the number of physical contacts, reducing the time spent in a client’s home and the number of locations where services are delivered.
  • All centre based services and social group services in a lockdown area must cease.  Supervision type services for people in the care of essential workers may continue as a last resort.  A transition to in home support in these situations is preferred.
  • Implement Welfare checks – review options for telehealth or virtual service delivery.
  • Conduct PPE- audits – order supplies early.
  • Provide staff with refresher training for Donning and Doffing PPE and Infection Prevention Control.

If any staff have symptoms, regardless of where they are living, they are urged to get tested and stay isolated until they’ve received a negative result.

This information can change rapidly so please check the NT Health website regularly for updates.

A 24-hour hotline has been established by NT Health to provide information about the lockdown arrangements call 1800 193 111.

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