Protecting Older Australians - COVID-19 Update 1 July 2021

In this edition: In the event of an outbreak, Who to notify if you have a confirmed case, NT CHO Updated directions for Alice Springs and more.

Date published:
Health sector

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.

Who to notify if you have a confirmed case

You must contact your state or territory public health unit immediately to report positive COVID-19 cases in either staff members or care recipients.

  • Australian Capital Territory – (02) 5124 9213 After Hours: 02 9962 4155
  • New South Wales – 1300 066 055
  • Northern Territory – 08 8922 8044
  • Queensland – 13 432 584 (13 HEALTH)
  • South Australia – 1300 232 272
  • Tasmania – 1800 671 738
  • Victoria – 1300 651 160
  • Western Australia – 08 9222 8588 or 08 6373 2222 (if confirmed COVID-19)

All aged care providers should also immediately notify positive coronavirus (COVID-19) test results by email to the Australian Department of Health:

NT CHO Updated directions for Alice Springs

Please see the CHO Directions (No.21) Directions to lock down Alice Springs and CHO Directions (No.22) Directions to close places, activities and services in Alice Springs signed by the Chief Health Officer (CHO) 30 June 2021 at 12:42pm and 12:43pm respectively.

These directions took effect immediately and expire at 1pm on 3 July 2021.

The Directions include:

  • No visitors are permitted to enter aged care facilities, unless attending for end of life support. Persons who are permitted to enter are:
    • Workers
    • Persons providing goods or services necessary for the operation of the facility
    • Persons providing health, medical or pharmaceutical goods or services to a resident, including vaccinations
    • Persons required for emergency management or law enforcement
    • A legal practitioner providing legal services to a resident regarding end of life matters if the services cannot be provided remotely.
  • Masks must be worn by workers on the premises and by residents who are outside of their room unless the resident has a medical reason not to wear a mask.
  • Residents and workers are subject to testing as required by the CHO.

If you have symptoms regardless of where you are living, you are urged to get tested and stay isolated until you receive a negative result.

This information can change rapidly so please check the NT Health website regularly for updates.

A 24-hour hotline has been established by NT Health to provide information about the lockdown arrangements, call 1800 193 111.

New website: Grief, loss and bereavement support for aged care

The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement (ACGB) has been funded to provide national grief and loss support for those living and working in aged care, and for the loved ones of aged care recipients; who have been impacted by COVID-19.This is part of the Aged Care COVID-19 grief and trauma response package.

ACGB have launched a new aged care specific support website.

Grief and trauma comes in many forms

Many people may be suffering grief from the death of a loved one due to COVID-19. Grief can also be experienced without involving death. Many people living and working in aged care facilities, or in home care who weren’t exposed to COVID-19 outbreaks may be still feeling grief caused by lockdowns and social distancing. This kind of grief could be from missing visitors, experiences, pets, routines, and loss of important life events.

What does the website contain?

  • Information on the free services provided to those living and working in aged care and for the loved ones of aged care recipients.
  • An online registration tool, where you can register for individual/group counselling or support.
  • Fact sheets prepared by bereavement practitioners to support those in need of assistance or understanding. These fact sheets are being translated into 5 different languages: Arabic; Greek, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese and Vietnamese. There are fact sheets that can be shared with aged care recipients, their loved ones, aged care managers and aged care staff.
  • Information on the My Grief app, which has advice for people who are bereaved, and also advice on how to help others.
  • Information on peer support programs for aged care.
  • Information on future webinars to support those in and around the sector.

Who should visit this website?

  • Aged care residents and home care recipients, and people representing/supporting them
  • Aged care sector staff including personal care workers, clinical, nursing, allied health, and wellbeing staff, and leaders and managers
  • Aged care peak bodies staff
  • People with loved ones using aged care including: families, family of choice, loved ones, friends, representatives and community visitors.

State and territory aged care COVID-19 information

As the COVID-19 situation can change rapidly, aged care providers are reminded to stay up to date on visitor restrictions, PPE requirements and other measures relating to COVID-19 in aged care, from their relevant state or territory website below:

Western Australia

Help us improve

If you would like a response please use the enquiries form instead.