The Western Australian Government has introduced a 5 day lockdown in ‘affected areas’ including; Metropolitan Perth, Peel and South West regions following a hotel quarantine worker testing positive to COVID-19. This lockdown includes updated advice to aged care providers in Western Australia (Visitors to Residential Aged Care Facilities Directions No.5). It is critical that aged care providers and their staff familiarise themselves with these directions.
Effective immediately, a person must not enter, or remain at a residential aged care facility in the affected areas unless:
- the person is an officer, employee or contractor of the residential aged care facility;
- the person's presence at the premises is for the purposes of providing goods or services that are necessary for the effective operation of the residential aged care facility;
- the person's presence at the premises is for the purposes of providing health, medical, or pharmaceutical services to a resident of the residential aged care facility, whether the goods or services are provided for consideration or on a voluntary basis;
- the person's presence at the premises is for the purposes of end of life support for a resident of the residential aged care facility;
- the person's presence at the premises is required for the purposes of emergency management, law enforcement or otherwise responding to an emergency;
- the person's presence at the premises is required for the purposes of performing a function (including exercising a power or performing a duty) under a written law by an officer, employee or contractor of a public authority;
- the person's presence at the premises is in the person's capacity as a prospective resident of the residential aged care facility;
- the person is a legal practitioner whose presence on the premises is for the purpose of providing legal services in relation to wills estate planning to a resident of a residential aged care facility.
However, if you have returned from overseas or been informed you are a close contact in the last 14 days or you have any symptoms you may not enter a residential aged care facility.
Aged care facilities outside of the affected areas are required to continue following the Visitors to Residential Aged Care Facilities Directions No. 4.
It is critical to stay up to date with advice and Directions on the WA Government website and to check for these updates regularly.
Please note that Aged care providers are reminded they need to urgently contact both their local PHU and the Commonwealth Department of Health at agedcareCOVIDcases@health.gov.au in response to a confirmed case of COVID-19 in a resident or staff member. A Commonwealth case manager will be assigned to you and a range of supports will be made available to help you manage the outbreak. The PHU will also advise and assist you with testing arrangements.
Aged care providers are asked to ensure they have a sufficient supply of PPE, to use their own supply of PPE first and to request extra supply as and when needed. If you urgently need PPE and cannot source it, please submit an online application for access to PPE from the National Medical Stockpile. The application will need to be completed for your request to be considered. The Commonwealth is prioritising requests for PPE from the National Medical Stockpile to aged care services that are most in need.
Further information and advice
The Western Australia PHU contact number is 13 268 43 (13 COVID).
Please visit the Australian Government Department of Health website for information and resources to assist in preparing and managing a COVID-19 outbreak.