Until further notice, residential aged care facilities in Northern Beaches Local Government Area (LGA) and Penrith LGA should exclude all visitors. Staff in these locations must wear a surgical mask at work. Staff and visitors must be excluded if they been in any of the locations on the self-isolate and get tested immediately list, at the times and dates listed or on the monitor for symptoms list.
Providers are reminded to stay up to date with advice and Directions on the NSW Health website and to check for these updates regularly. The latest Directors are set out in the Public Health (COVID-19 Aged Care Facilities) Order (No 4) 2020.
Providers are encouraged to exercise care and compassion in applying visitor restrictions. It will be a particularly difficult time over the festive season when residents may be getting together with loved ones to celebrate. Arrangements should be put in place for residents and their families to regularly communicate. This could be through phone calls and video conferencing. Further guidance is available in the Industry Code for Visiting Residential Aged Care Homes during COVID-19.
Supports available to aged care providers
There are a number of resources on the Department of Health website to assist aged care providers prepare and manage a COVID-19 outbreak. This includes national three-tier escalation guidance on actions to take depending on the COVID-19 situation within the community. Now is a good time to re-familiarise yourself with these resources as well as looking at the supports available should an outbreak occur.
Aged care workers in residential aged care facilities in the Northern Beaches should limit their work to one site to minimise the risk of COVID-19 spreading between facilities. The Australian Government will make grant funding available to assist residential aged care providers cover the associated costs.
The Department of Health is contacting all residential aged care facilities in the Northern Beaches LGA and Penrith LGA to ensure they have sufficient PPE supplies and to arrange dispatch of emergency supplies if needed. If you require urgent PPE and you cannot source it through your usual suppliers, 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.
All aged care workers are reminded to complete COVID-19 infection control training. Additional training modules, specifically designed for aged care workers are also available on our website.
The Australian Government has funded a number of services to support senior Australians during COVID related restrictions. These are available to residents of the Northern Beaches right now.
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).