Date published: 
16 November 2020
Type: 
Subscriber announcement
Intended audience: 
Health sector

Over recent days, a number of new COVID-19 cases have been reported in South Australia. A small number of these cases have been linked to aged care.

These cases highlight the importance of all aged care workers to remain vigilant to minimise the spread of COVID-19. This is a critical time to ensure you are promoting and practising:

  • good hand hygiene
  • cough etiquette and respiratory hygiene
  • maintaining a distance of 1.5 m
  • encouraging staff to stay at home if they are feeling unwell and to be tested for COVID-19 if they have any symptoms, no matter how mild.

All residential and home care providers should be undertaking routine screening of staff and visitors on entry. It is especially important for residential services located in communities where there is a local cluster of people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19.

All aged care providers are urged to ensure their outbreak management plan is up to date and ready to be activated. It is essential you remain alert to any staff or care recipients experiencing respiratory and flu like symptoms.

If you require additional PPE and you cannot source it through your usual means, you can submit a request to the National Medical Stockpile through the online PPE form. Applications for additional PPE will be prioritised and distributed to aged care facilities that are most in need.

The Australian Government has a number of resources available on both this website and the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission website. These key documents will support you to prepare and reduce the risk of infection to care recipients and staff. It is also imperative that you stay up to date with advice and directions from the SA Government.

We are here to help. In the event you have a COVID-19 case or outbreak, please inform the Commonwealth Department of Health at: agedcareCOVIDcases [at] health.gov.au. The Department can provide emergency assistance including rapid access to PPE. Workforce surge support is also available if you have a positive COVID-19 case at your service.

If you have a positive case, you must also immediately contact SA’s Communicable Diseases Control Branch (CDCB) on 1300 232 272. You should immediately establish an Outbreak Management Coordinator in conjunction with SA’s State Control Centre – Health. The Control Centre is responsible for assisting aged care providers to manage a case or outbreak including investigating cases, contact tracing and infection controls.

Thank you for your continued efforts to protect and care for older Australians during this challenging time.