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Advice is available on the NSW Government Health website regarding disability support, aged care and home care providers and was updated as of 15 August.

People who receive disability, home care or other personal care support services may be more vulnerable to serious complications if they do become infected with COVID-19, depending on the nature of their disability or other medical histories. 

People who receive such services are also vulnerable should their usual care be interrupted. Therefore, the transmission must be minimised through enhanced infection prevention and control procedures.


 
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Temporary suspension of disability day programs

In the Greater Sydney region, the temporary suspension of disability day programs is extended to 28 August 2021.

In regional NSW, disability day programs are suspended from 14 August 2021 until 12:01 am 22 August 2021.

Disability day programs should cease all activities in group settings unless non-attendance at a day program would result in a risk of harm to the person with disability or others.

If activities are continued for this reason, day program providers should:

  • provide individual activities and avoid group interactions unless the participants are from the same household
  • maintain COVID-19 infection prevention protocols.

Where a day program has been suspended providers should consider online service delivery. Where a participant requires changes to their plan to ensure continuity of care, contact the NDIA on 1800 800 110.

Additional advice will be provided before 10 August 2021 if there is a need to extend these arrangements.

Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs) should ensure that they keep up to date with the latest Public Health Orders, including rules applying to movement of workers, as the information may change at short notice.

If you require advice, please contact:

  • your local Public Health Unit on 1300 066 055
  • Service NSW 24 hours, 7 days a week on 13 77 88
  • the national coronavirus and COVID-19 vaccine helpline on 1800 020 080 (24/7)
  • the Coronavirus Disability Information Helpline on 1800 643 787

If you require advice on anything related to Vaccine Rollout contact Commonwealth COVID- 19 Taskforce - Disability on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Information sourced from - Temporary Suspension of Disability Day Programs.


Advice for Residential Disability Care providers and Home Care service providers as of 15 August 2021

The advice by NSW Health Public Health Response Branch for residential disability care providers and home care service providers was Updated on 15 August 2021 on the NSW Health Disability Support Providers website.


Advice to residential disability care facilities (RDCF)

As of 15 August 2021

All areas of NSW are under stay at home orders:

  • Greater Sydney
  • Regional NSW (from 14 August 2021 until 12:01am 22 August 2021)

There are new close and casual contact locations in Greater Sydney and also in regional NSW areas. To view locations please see Latest COVID-19 case locations and alerts in NSW.

Victoria, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory are considered affected areas and there are close and casual contact places of high concern. To view locations please see Latest COVID-19 case locations and alerts in NSW.

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

Visitors

All facilities must:

  • exclude all visitors, except those providing essential caring functions.
  • ensure that all essential care visitors wear a surgical mask. For reasons when masks can be removed please see Additional Advice.
  • ensure all essential visits must be in the resident's room.

Essential visitors must not enter the facility at all if they:

Please read Exceptional circumstances for visiting an RDCF.

Residents

  • Residents should not leave the facility except for essential reasons (eg medical appointments) (e.g. medical appointments, transfer to planned or emergency respite).
  • Facilities must ensure that residents are provided with appropriate PPE and infection control advice if they need to leave the facility for essential purposes. If a person cannot wear a face mask because of a disability, physical or mental health illness or condition, they must carry either
    • a medical certificate or letter signed by a registered health practitioner (such as a doctor) or a registered NDIS provider or
    • a statutory declaration.

Staff

​All facilities located in NSW must ensure that all staff wear a surgical mask. For reasons when masks can be removed please see Additional Advice.

No non-essential staff are not permitted in facilities. Non-essential staff that are considered necessary for operational purposes must be assessed for risk of exposure in determining their suitability for work in the facility.

Staff must not enter the facility at all if they:

  • have been to any close or casual contact locations at the time listed on the NSW Health website in the last 14 days, excluding the monitor for symptoms list
  • live in the City of Fairfield (Fairfield LGA), Canterbury-Bankstown LGA or Cumberland City (Cumberland LGA) and have not had a COVID test within the last 72 hours. Staff who work and live in the same LGA do not need to be tested. For example, if a worker lives in Fairfield and the facility is located in Fairfield they do not need to be tested. However, if they live in Fairfield and work in Cumberland City they will require testing.
  • have been to Victoria or the Australian Capital Territory since 5 August 2021 and have not had a negative COVID test result
  • have been to any close and casual contact places of high concern in Victoria, Queensland or the Australian Capital Territory
  • have COVID-19 symptoms - fever (37. 5°C or higher) or symptoms of COVID-19
  • are a close contact of a person with confirmed COVID-19 and are within their self-isolation period
  • live in a household with a person who is currently self-isolating
  • are waiting for a COVID-19 test result

For advice on essential staff who are necessary for operational purposes please see the advice on Exceptional circumstances for visiting a RDCF and call the local public health unit on 1300 066 055 for a risk assessment and further advice.

Please read Additional information for residential disability care facilities (RDCF) for guidance on:

  • new and returning residents
  • exceptional circumstances
  • additional COVID-19 measures for staff and facilities
  • masks
  • assistance
  • further advice
  • additional resources
 
 
Current as at Sunday 15 August 2021
Information Sourced From Health Protection NSW

This information can change rapidly, so; please check the web at least daily for updates.


Disability Service Providers

The response to the COVID-19 pandemic in NSW has disrupted our ability to move around and gather together at different times. It has meant a significant change in the way we live and how we engage with each other. It has also meant that services have been disrupted at times - including services to people with disabilities, such as:

  • disability residential accommodation
  • respite accommodation services
  • employment - including Australian Disability Enterprises (ADE)
  • education and training
  • day programs
  • public transport and disability-specific travel services
  • disability supports at home
  • other disability services such as disability-related or other health supports, access to the community, attendance at medical and other appointments etc.

Because of the nature of their disability and other medical histories, some people with disabilities are more vulnerable to serious complications if they become ill with COVID-19. Therefore, the transmission of the SARS-Cov-2 virus must be minimised to prevent illness in the general community, including people with disabilities.  The strategies to reduce transmission include enhanced infection prevention and control procedures.NSW Health wishes to acknowledge the significant efforts of disability support providers to reduce the risk of COVID-19 for their residents/clients.


Advice to home care service providers

As of 15 August 2021

In Greater Sydney the temporary suspension of disability day programs is extended to 28 August 2021. For other Local Government Areas with stay at home orders, disability day programs are suspended for the duration of the stay at home period (please see below).

Disability day programs should cease all activities in group settings unless non-attendance at a day program would result in a risk of harm to the person with disability or others.

Further information is available on Disability service providers.

All areas of NSW are under stay at home orders:

    • Greater Sydney
    • Regional NSW (from 14 August 2021 until 12:01am 22 August 2021)

All staff working in NSW must wear a surgical mask.

  • Until further notice all people receiving home care service in NSW are urged to wear a surgical mask during provision of home care service.
  • For reasons when masks can be removed please see Mandatory mask wearing.
  • Only essential staff should be permitted to work

There are new close and casual contact locations in Greater Sydney and in regional NSW.

Victoria, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory are considered affected areas and there are close and casual contact places of high concern. To view locations please see Latest COVID-19 case locations and alerts in NSW.

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

Staff

  • Providers must exclude non-essential staff.
  • Staff that are considered necessary for operational purposes must be assessed for risk of exposure in determining their suitability for work in the facility. What is considered an essential service, however, will involve a discussion between the provider and the client and an assessment of risk to the individual and the home care worker. In some instances, certain activities can wait, but in others the service may still go ahead to ensure that the client is in a safe environment.

Exclude staff who:

  • have been to any close or casual contact locations at the time listed on the NSW Health website in the last 14 days, excluding the monitor for symptoms list
  • live in the City of Fairfield (Fairfield LGA), Canterbury-Bankstown LGA or Cumberland City (Cumberland LGA) and have not had a COVID test within the last 72 hours. Staff who work and live in the same LGA do not need to be tested. For example, if a worker lives in Fairfield and the facility is located in Fairfield they do not need to be tested. However, if they live in Fairfield and work in Cumberland City they will require testing.
  • have been to Victoria or the Australian Capital Territory since 5 August 2021 and have not had a negative COVID test result.
  • have been to any close and casual contact places of high concern in Victoria, Queensland or the Australian Capital Territory.
  • have COVID-19 symptoms - fever (37. 5°C or higher) or symptoms of COVID-19.
  • are a close contact of a person with confirmed COVID-19 and are within their self-isolation period.
  • live in a household with a person who is currently self-isolating.
  • are waiting for a COVID-19 test result.

All home care service providers must maintain vigilance to prevent the introduction of COVID-19. Until further notice all staff in NSW must wear a surgical mask .

Residents

All residents living in Greater Sydney (including Central Coast, Nepean Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour) or the Local Government Areas listed above are urged to wear a mask whist a home care worker is in attendance where possible.

COVID-19 safety measures for home care service providers

  • Staff who have been overseas must agree to be tested for COVID-19 two days after leaving hotel quarantine (this does not apply to New Zealand). They must receive a negative test result prior to working. This is an additional measure to protect the community. Please read Passengers leaving hotels who have completed 14 days of mandatory quarantine for more information.
  • Minimise staff working across multiple settings (such as in home and residential care). Where ceasing staff movement across settings is not practical, additional measures should be put in place, such as maintaining records of staff and work locations and increasing use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
  • Ensure staff actively ask clients about symptoms on arrival. If staff become aware of a client with symptoms, that client should be isolated from others and arrangements made for COVID-19 testing.

Mandatory mask-wearing

  • Under the Public Health (COVID-19 Additional Restrictions for Delta Outbreak) Order 2021 masks are mandatory for everyone in NSW while in an indoor location. This includes waiting for or using public transport.
  • A staff member or resident may remove their mask:
    • while communicating with another person who is deaf or hard of hearing
    • if wearing a mask creates a risk to health and safety
    • where clear enunciation or visibility of your mouth is essential
  • Anyone removing a mask for one of these reasons should maintain 1.5m distance from others wherever possible.
  • If leaving the home with a home care worker, anyone with a physical or mental health illness or condition, or disability, that makes wearing a mask unsuitable is not required to wear a mask. For example, someone with a skin condition, an intellectual disability, autism or trauma, you are not required to wear a mask.
  • If a person cannot wear a face mask because of a disability, physical or mental health illness or condition, they must carry either
    • a medical certificate or letter signed by a registered health practitioner (such as a doctor) or a registered NDIS provider or
    • a statutory declaration.

Additional advice for all home care service providers

  • The Commonwealth Department of Health has issued a Guide for Home Care Providers to assist staff in reducing the risk of COVID-19.
  • More detailed advice for services who provide care in the home is at Guidance for risk screening and assessment for home visiting health services.
  • Please seek the advice of your local NSW Health Public Health Unit if you are in doubt about how to appropriately mitigate risk when providing home care services on 1300 066 055.
  • For more information about NDIS-related issues, including any funding issues relating to compliance with these measures for NDIS participants, contact:
    • NDIA on 1800 800 110 or via NDIA
    • NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission on 180 035 544 or via NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission
    • Ministry of Health on 9391 9858 or via email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
 
 
Current as at: Sunday 15 August 2021
Information Sourced From Health Protection NSW

Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP)

Due to the ongoing lockdown in New South Wales, the Department of Health has amended its service delivery advice to providers operating in the Greater Sydney region.

The Commonwealth Department of Health expects all aged care services to continue for the duration of the lockdown where it is safe to do so. For the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP), essential services include:

  • Meals (delivered to the home only);
  • Transport (trips to essential medical appointments only);
  • Domestic Assistance (general house cleaning, delivery of groceries and other essential shopping only);
  • Nursing;
  • Personal Care;
  • Home Maintenance (e.g. gardening and repairs to ensure health, safety and security of the premises or clients)
  • Home Modifications (to ensure the health and safety of clients)
  • Goods, Equipment and Assistive Technology (to ensure the health and safety of clients)
  • Allied Health and Therapy Services (e.g. physiotherapy, podiatry, occupational therapy etc.);
  • Social Support (phone and online-based services only).

Please notify your Community Grants Hub Funding Arrangement Manager (FAM) if you have to suspend the delivery of essential services as soon as possible.

The Department of Health has also been made aware of some concerns about the public health guidance released by the NSW State Government regarding who qualifies as an authorised worker. Under the NSW public health guidance published on 18 July 2021, authorised workers include a person employed or engaged in providing services to persons with disability or vulnerable persons. For this program, a frail and aged person requiring CHSP or Home Care Package support qualifies as a vulnerable person. 

All service providers are reminded that flexibility provisions have been relaxed to enable providers to re-allocate up to 100 per cent of their grant funding between their funded activities and aged care planning regions to help meet targeted demand for essential services, retain and expand key workforce and cover the cost of personal protective equipment (PPE). During this period, service providers that require additional financial support are encouraged to apply for additional funding through the CHSP Emergency Support for COVID-19 Ad Hoc Funding Round. A copy of the Grant Opportunity Guidelines for this funding round can be found on GrantConnect. Note flexibility provisions must be fully utilised before applying for additional funding through the CHSP Emergency Support for COVID-19 funding round.

Information and advice on the correct use of PPE in an aged care context can be found on the Department’s website, including:

  • General resources for the health workforce on the correct use of PPE;
  • COVID-19 guidelines for infection prevention and control in residential aged care homes; and
  • Online COVID-19 infection control training.

Additional training modules specifically designed for an aged care context (including advice on identifying a COVID-19 outbreak, using PPE and implementing infection control and appropriate cleaning and waste disposal measures) are also available. Note you will need to register before accessing this training if you have not already done so.

CHSP service providers must use their own supply of masks and other PPE first and may then contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to request extra supplies as needed. All requests for PPE, including masks, will be assessed on a case by case basis. If your request is successful, your State Government will issue you with additional PPE.

For more information about emergency provisions and support available to CHSP providers during the COVID-19 pandemic, please carefully review the fact sheets published on the Department’s website, including:

For more information about the NSW Lockdown and COVID-19 response, please review the NSW State Government COVID-19 response website. 


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