ADVICE TO AGED CARE PROVIDERS IN VICTORIA, NSW AND ACT

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Press Release: Tuesday 25 May 2021

VICTORIA

The following advice has been provided by the Victorian Department of Health:

For all Victorian residential aged care facilities the following requirements apply from 6pm, Tuesday 25 May 2021:

Enhanced visitor restrictions

End of life care visits
  • Two visitors at a time
  • Do not have to be from the same household
  • No time limits
  • No specified purpose required
  • No daily limit
  • A group may exceed the “two visitors at a time” rule if dependents of a visitor are in the group and care for the dependents cannot be arranged.
All other visits
  • Two visitors at one time
  • Do not have to be from the same household
  • No time limits
  • No specified purpose required
  • No more than five visitors per day, including dependents
  • A group may exceed the “two visitors at a time” rule if dependents of a visitor (or patient in hospital) are in the group and care for the dependents cannot be arranged.

Prospective residents

  • Visits from prospective residents are permitted with no more than one person accompanying the prospective resident.

Enhanced face mask requirements

  • All visitors are required to wear face masks when in an indoor space or in any outdoor space when a visitor cannot maintain 1.5m distance from all other persons (except those with whom their ordinarily reside or an intimate partner).
  • All workers (including non-essential staff and contractors) are required to wear face masks when in any indoor space (regardless of whether accessible to visitors or residents) and in any outdoor space where the worker is engaged in face-to-face contact with a resident or visitor.

Other measures

  • Enhanced screening and testing on admission or return to facility from leave residents found to have visited listed exposure sites – linked here – to be tested and managed as at risk COVID-19 until results known.
  • Enhanced focus on screening visitors and staff (including non-essential staff and contractors) and continuing daily workforce attestations.
  • Restricting visitors and staff (including non-essential staff and contractors) found to have visited exposure sites until they have returned a negative test result.
  • Tier 2 and 3 PPE for low risk suspected COVID-19 (tier 2) and high-risk suspected COVID-19 residents (tier 3) as per PPE guidance Coronavirus (COVID-19) PPE guidance for RACF Factsheet.
  • Where practicable, care facility workers should be limited to working at one facility.
  • Student clinical placements permitted in all settings but restricted from providing care/being exposed to high-risk COVID and confirmed COVID-19 patients.

It is anticipated geographic locations and exposure sites will be updated in coming days. Please monitor the Victorian Department of Health’s website for the latest information.

NEW SOUTH WALES

The screening advice for residential aged and home care services has been updated for 24 May 2021. Key updates include:

  • Staff and visitors who have been in the Whittlesea Local Government Area in the previous 14 days should be excluded from working or visiting.
  • Staff and visitors who have been to new places of high concern in Greater Melbourne should be excluded from working or visiting.

NSW aged care providers can find out more information on the NSW Health website.

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY

On 25 May 2021, the ACT Chief Health Officer updated ACT COVID-19 advice.

  • Anyone who has travelled to or returned from a places of concern at the dates and times specified, must not enter a residential aged care facility.
  • All overseas countries remain as geographical areas of risk. Anyone who has been in a geographical area of risk should not visit or work in residential aged care facilities, for 14 days since leaving these areas.

ACT aged care providers can find out more information on the ACT Government website.

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 as and when needed. If you urgently need PPE and cannot source it, please submit an online application. The application will need to be completed for your request to be considered. The Commonwealth is prioritising requests for PPE from the National Medical Stockpile to aged care services that are most in need.

Further information and advice

Please visit the Australian Government Department of Health 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.

Department of Health

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