Date published: 
20 December 2021
Type: 
Subscriber announcement
Intended audience: 
Health sector

The Australian Government is now offering a one-off emergency surge support program to supply Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) kits for residential aged care facilities (RACF) in eligible Local Government Areas (LGAs) within New South Wales.

This is to support RACFs to screen staff to help prevent COVID-19 outbreaks.

A number of Public Health Networks (PHN) in NSW have been provided with RAT kits through the Department’s National Medical Stockpile (NMS) to facilitate the delivery and distribution of these kits to eligible facilities for a period of 4 weeks.

Eligible Local Government Areas

You can receive RAT kits if you are a RACF within the Local Government Areas below:

Primary Health Network (PHN)

Local Government Area (LGA)

Central and Eastern Sydney

Bayside, Burwood, Canada Bay, Canterbury-Bankstown, Georges River, Inner West, Randwick, Strathfield, Sutherland Shire, Sydney, Waverley, Woollahra

Hunter New England and Central Coast

Cessnock, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Newcastle, Port Stephens

Nepean Blue Mountains

Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury, Penrith

North Coast

Byron, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley, Tweed

Northern Sydney

Hornsby, Hunters Hill, Ku-ring-gai, Lane Cove, Mosman, North Sydney, Northern Beaches, Parramatta, Ryde, Willoughby

South Western Sydney

Camden, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Fairfield, Liverpool, Wollondilly

Western Sydney

Blacktown, Cumberland, Parramatta, The Hills Shire

Who is not eligible?

Facilities in NSW who are already registered and participating in the Commonwealth funded Rapid Antigen Testing Program will already have RAT and are not eligible to access RAT through this surge capacity. Relevant PHNs have been provided with a list of RACFs that have already received tests.

If your facility is experiencing an outbreak, you will need to contact your relevant aged care case manager who will manage the full requirements of an outbreak.

Use of the test kits:

The emergency surge support program will be managed through your local PHN. If you meet the criteria, please contact your local PHN to access the testing kits.  If you are unsure or if you have any questions contact your local PHN.

Training and support for the use of RAT will be provided to your facility through an external provider who will contact you as part of the surge program.

The RAT kits are to only screen workers entering the facility.  Workers should be tested every 72 hours as part of the screening program.  It is expected that visitors will provide their own RATs to assist with the management of infection.