Rapid antigen testing is proving highly successful in screening staff and visitors for COVID-19 with results in 15 minutes. Screening staff and visitors before entering an aged care environment, minimises the risk of an outbreak. During an outbreak, infectious workers and residents can quickly be isolated to contain the spread.
The Australian Government encourages all eligible aged care providers in high risk NSW LGAs to implement rapid antigen test screening as an additional layer of protection for senior Australians who are more vulnerable to COVID-19, and as a tool to ultimately protect your residents and workers.
Who is eligible for a rapid antigen test kit?
In response to the ongoing pandemic situation, the Australian Government is making rapid antigen testing (RAT) kits available from the National Medical Stockpile (NMS) to residential aged care facilities located in areas where the risk of transmission is considered high. This includes all aged care providers (including MPS and NATSIFAC) who operate or have staff who live or work in high-risk LGA.
As of 20 September, identified high-risk LGAs in NSW include:
- Greater Sydney: Bayside, Blacktown, Burwood, Campbelltown, Canada Bay, Canterbury-Bankstown, Central Coast, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Hawkesbury, Inner West, Liverpool, Parramatta, Penrith, Shellharbour, Strathfield, Sydney, and Wollongong.
- Regional NSW: Albury City, Dubbo Regional, Mid-Western Regional, Bogan, Bourke, Brewarrina, Coonamble, Gilgandra, Narromine and Walgett.
How to order
Eligible providers can order online via the Rapid Antigen Testing Order Form.
How do the rapid antigen test kits work?
After ordering a kit, the providers will receive information, training and support to implement rapid antigen testing. Testing needs to be administered or supervised by a registered health practitioner, however, a training provider will ensure they are able to competently administer the test and advise on appropriate protocols for screening.
More information is available on the Department of Heath website.
Booking a priority vaccination
All aged care workers are encouraged to get a COVID-19 vaccine if they have not already done so.
Workers can call the COVID-19 Vaccine Helpline on 1800 020 080 to make an appointment
Vaccinations are available at NSW vaccination clinics, primary care clinics including GPs and Commonwealth vaccination clinics.