The 'Guiding Principles for residential aged care – keeping Victorian residents and workers safe' (the Principles) have been in place since 27 July 2020 to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading among aged care residents and workers. Based on current case numbers in the community and within aged care residents and staff in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, the risk of infection is now considered low.
The Australian Government would like to thank the residential aged care sector for its hard work to achieve this. As a result, the Principles will end on 30 November 2020 in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire. This means that providers of non-government aged care facilities should commence transition out activities so that normal working arrangements can recommence from 1 December 2020. Public Sector facilities in Victoria are continuing single site arrangements until February 2021, as funded by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.
The activity period for the Support for Aged Care Workers in COVID-19 (SACWIC) grant, as funded by the Australian Government, will end on 30 November 2020 in line with the Principles. Eligible providers can submit applications for the SACWIC grant up until 30 June 2021.
While the risk is low, providers are encouraged to continue to limit workforce mobility where possible. We encourage you to take steps to understand your workforce by developing a register for recording each workers mobility and their skills and training. The Department is currently updating the CDNA national guidelines for the prevention, control and public health management of COVID-19 outbreaks in residential care facilities in Australia to include advice relating to preparing for single site workforce arrangements should these be implemented in the future.
The Support Hub, by ACSA and LASA, is available for Victorian aged care providers using the Principles to support transition out activities. You can visit The Guiding Principles Support Hub or seek assistance by phoning 1800 491 793 (free call).
Workers and managers can also obtain counselling support until 30 December 2020 by phoning 1800 687 327 (free call) or visiting Converge International to book an appointment. Please state that you are from the "VIC Residential Aged Care Workforce" when booking.