Support in the event of an outbreak
In the event of an outbreak in aged care, Australian Government Department of Health Case Managers would be allocated to any New South Wales Residential Aged Care Facility (RACF) experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak. The Case Managers will work with the RACF to ensure:
- Workforce capacity;
- Application of infection prevention and control measures;
- Adequate supply of personal protective equipment (PPE);
- Waste procedures are in place, and
- Communication with family and friends associated with the RACF residents.
Residential aged care providers need to remain alert and prepared for a potential outbreak of COVID-19 at their facilities. The department encourages you to be familiar with the measures you should have in place at all times to prevent and prepare for an outbreak and how to identify and manage an outbreak in residential aged care.
Please visit our website for information and resources to assist in preparing and managing a COVID-19 outbreak, including what to do in the first 24 hours of an outbreak in a residential aged care facility.
Aged Care Support Program Extension Grant
The COVID-19 Aged Care Support Program Extension will reimburse eligible aged care providers for staffing and eligible expenditure incurred on managing direct impacts of COVID-19 between 28 May 2021 and 31 March 2022. The Program will run over 1 year in 2021-22. The Program will assist Residential Aged Care, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program and Home Care Package providers that are subject to direct COVID-19 impacts, to deliver continuity of safe quality care for consumers.
The program supports costs for additional or replacement staff, personal protective equipment, onsite testing, cleaning and infection control, waste management, and travel and accommodation.
To apply or find out more information about this grant visit the GrantConnect website and search for GO4863 COVID19 - Aged Care Support Program Extension.
If you need assistance please phone 02 6289 5600 or email Grant.ATM@health.gov.au.
Support for Aged Care Workers in COVID-19
The Support for Aged Care Workers in COVID-19 (SACWIC) Grant Opportunity is designed to support eligible aged care providers located in hotspots or high risk locations with eligible costs associated with implementing Single Site working arrangements.
The SACWIC grant opportunity remains open until 31 December 2021. Examples of eligible workforce costs under SACWIC are those that will support eligible workers:
- who normally work at multiple residential aged care facilities, but will be working solely at the facility being applied for.
- who are not to work because they have been experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, have been diagnosed as COVID-19 positive, require testing or are subject to self-isolation or quarantine requirements.
- to undertake training in the event a skills gap arises from where existing workers are not to work due to experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or are subject to self-isolation or quarantine requirements.
- To apply or find out more information about this grant visit the GrantConnect website and search for GO4215 and search for Support for Aged Care Workers in COVID-19.
If you need assistance please phone 02&bsp;6289 5600 or email Grant.ATM@health.gov.au.
The Australian Government is supporting asymptomatic testing of staff and residents in residential aged care facilities in the affected areas.
Asymptomatic testing of aged care staff and residents gives health authorities the chance to find people with COVID-19, before they appear unwell. This helps health authorities identify where community transmission is happening, before there are COVID-19 outbreaks. Asymptomatic testing will also help providers know the COVID-19 status of staff and residents on a given day.
This may help providers know if someone is positive before further transmission occurs or a significant outbreak. Douglass Hanly Moir (a subsidiary of Sonic Healthcare) will contact aged care services in the affected areas to offer asymptomatic testing.
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 for emergency purposes as and when needed.
The Commonwealth is prioritising requests for PPE from the National Medical Stockpile to aged care services that are most in need. The deployment of PPE is only where commercial supply is unavailable, and where there is a government direction regarding COVID-19 PPE requirements or demonstrated clinical need.
If you urgently need PPE and cannot source it, please submit an online application. The application will need to be completed for your request to be considered.
Support for senior Australians
In addition to strengthening protection for residents and supporting aged care providers and workers, the Australian Government continues to support all senior Australians receiving Commonwealth-funded supports, including through wellbeing checks, grief and trauma counselling, support for families, and advocacy services through the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN).
A dedicated, free call support line (1800 171 866) continues to operate, supporting the mental health of senior Australians and their families impacted by COVID-19.
The My Aged Care Contact Centre is also equipped to respond to the needs of senior Australians, including through emergency care packages and food parcel delivery if required.