Managing your health and working arrangements

Read information for aged care workers about when you must not work, temperature checks, testing, taking leave, and accessing government support and payments.

When you must not go to work

If you are an aged care worker, do not go to work if you have:

  • been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19
  • a fever
  • a symptom, even a minor symptom, of respiratory illness (cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose or nasal congestion)
  • not had a 2020 flu vaccination
  • returned from overseas in the past 14 days
  • travelled in the past 14 days as a cruise ship passenger or crew member.

Let your employer know if you need to quarantine at home.

If you are a residential aged care worker, you must have had a flu shot to work, though exemptions apply in some states and territories.

Read about flu vaccination requirements for aged care facilities.

Temperature checks

Aged care workers and visitors might have a temperature check as an added precaution.

But temperature checks aren’t always an accurate way of knowing whether someone has COVID-19. This is because:

  • people with COVID-19 don’t always have a fever
  • various other medical conditions or infection can cause a fever, not just COVID-19
  • fever can go up and down during an infection or after taking medication – it might be down at the time of the check.

Testing

It is important to detect COVID-19 in aged care workers as early as possible.

You are eligible for COVID-19 testing if you are an aged care worker and develop fever or respiratory symptoms.

Your doctor will confirm whether you need a test, and will arrange it if you do.

Aged and residential care facilities are high-risk settings. Staff (and residents) will also be tested if there are 2 or more people with fever and respiratory symptoms in the facility.

Sonic Healthcare does priority sample collection and testing for suspected cases of COVID-19 in residential aged care facilities, including for staff.

Five new COVID-19 testing teams are testing staff and residents in residential aged care facilities across metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire. Read about this testing

Accessing support

If you can’t work, financial support is available. Find out what you may be eligible for and how you can apply.

Payment information for residential and home care workers is available, including what to do if you have a problem with your payment.

The Head to Health website provides information about mental health and digital support.

Resources

Publications and fact sheets

    Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources for health professionals, including aged care providers, pathology providers and health care managers

    A collection of resources for health professionals, including aged care providers, pathology providers and health care managers, about coronavirus (COVID-19).

    Webinars

    Online training

    A 30-minute online module – COVID-19 infection control training – is available for care workers across all health care settings. It includes training specific to aged care.

    Other training modules include:

    • personal safety
    • families and visitors – residential care
    • families and visitors – in-home care
    • COVID-19 and aged care
    • outbreak management procedures
    • personal protective equipment
    • laundry
    • if you suspect a person has COVID-19.

    These modules take 5 to 10 minutes each. You will receive an acknowledgement of completion certificate for each module.

    This training is hosted on an external site, provided by our COVID-19 training partner Aspen Medical.

    Register now

    Staying informed

    To stay up to date on aged care and COVID-19:

    You can also read our COVID-19 advice for:

    Australian Government WhatsApp channel for COVID-19

    Join our COVID-19 WhatsApp channel to learn the latest on Australia's response to coronavirus (COVID-19). If you're already a WhatsApp user you can send a message to the channel to connect. If you don't have WhatsApp, download the app to join the channel.

    Coronavirus Australia app

    Stay up to date with official information and advice about the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. You can check your symptoms and get notified when urgent information and updates are published.

    Last updated: 
    18 September 2020

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