Advice to Western Australia Aged Care Providers
It's ok to continue to receive home care in WA
The recent announcement by the Western Australian (WA) Government, related to the COVID 19 Stay at Home orders across Perth, Peel and the South West, classify those who care for people with care needs due to age and infirmity as essential workers. This means that essential in‑home care services should continue. The Department of Health, along with WA Health, encourage providers to discuss individual care plans with their clients to consider what services are essential to be delivered face to face, are safe to be rescheduled or could be delivered in an alternative way.
If a client is concerned about exposure to COVID-19, providers should advise they are taking all necessary measures to ensure they stay safe. Please note that all aged care workers are required to wear a mask when delivering services as per the WA Government’s directions.
Clients who decide they do not want to receive care, can suspend or ‘take leave’ from their package. This qualifies as ‘social leave’ and is subject to the usual provisions.
Senior Australians who would like information and support are encouraged to contact the Older Persons COVID-19 Support Line on 1800 171 866, Monday to Friday between 8:30am to 6pm AEDT (excluding public holidays).
Providers may continue to admit new and returning residents
The Western Australian Government’s Visitors to Residential Aged Care Facilities Directions No.5 (Perth, Peel and South West) and No.4 (rest of Western Australia) do not prohibit aged care providers from admitting new residents, nor do they stop residents from returning to the service from hospital. In addition when a resident does return to a service following a hospital stay there is no requirement for a COVID-19 test to be conducted or be requested to self-isolate. The Western Australia Testing Directions state that a person is only to be tested if they meet one of the following:
- presenting with a fever (≥37.5°C) OR a recent history of a fever (e.g. night sweats, chills) without a known source
- an acute respiratory infection (e.g. shortness of breath, cough, sore throat, runny nose)
- acute (sudden or unexplained) loss of smell or taste OR
- they have been given a Direction to be tested
- they fit into a category where asymptomatic testing is permitted
Residents returning from hospital without the meeting any of the above are not to be tested for COVID-19, nor be requested to self-isolate for a period of time.
For further information on requirements around testing see Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions.