Weekly webinar on COVID-19 in aged care – reminder
A reminder for aged care providers that the Department of Health and Aged Care is tomorrow hosting a webinar to provide key updates and advice on COVID-19 as providers continue to manage outbreaks.
When: Thursday 11 August 2022 11am – 12pm (AEST)
If you would like to attend and haven't yet registered, please register to attend.
There will be a moderated Q&A session with the Departmental officials and we encourage you to submit questions in advance through the registration link.
Clarification on accessing immunisation history
In our newsletter of Monday 8 August 2022, we provided some information in relation to contacting the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR). We would like to clarify that a resident can call the AIR enquiries line on 1800 653 809 (8am-5pm, Monday to Friday AEST) and request their own hard copy statement, residents can also ask their doctor or vaccination provider to print a copy of the immunisation statement, or the resident can access the records through their own myGov account.
Rapid Antigen Test Kits – continuing supply for residential aged care homes
The Australian Government is continuing to supply a regular weekly deployment of Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) kits to residential aged care homes through the National Medical Stockpile. This regular weekly deployment should form part of your surveillance screening of at least 2 times per week and not more than 72 hours apart for staff, or on entry for each visitor. During an outbreak, this should increase to daily testing of staff and visitors. An additional provision is also supplied to allow testing of residents during an outbreak, noting that PCR testing is preferred and can be arranged.
RAT kits will be delivered to every residential aged care home around Australia each week with outbreak sites being prioritised for earliest delivery. While deliveries occur weekly regardless of outbreak status, residential aged care homes in outbreak are automatically allocated a larger quantity of kits.
Unless a residential aged care home has specifically requested to be removed from the dispatch list, all will receive regular deliveries of RAT kits. To request removal from the dispatch list, please email: AgedCareCOVIDLiaison@health.gov.au.
The volume of RAT kits allocated are based on outbreak status and the number of staff, residents and visitors expected at the aged care home. It is inappropriate for facilities to charge for the use of these RATs.
Visitors can also use their own RAT kits prior to their visit. Visitors may be asked to provide evidence of their test result.
Some residential aged care homes have purchased RATs at their own cost, to undertake RAT screening of visitors and staff. Reimbursement of this cost may be available through the COVID-19 Aged Care Support Program Extension Grant (GO4863).
If you are an outbreak or exposure site with an urgent requirement for RATs, please contact your Commonwealth Case Management team.
COVID-19 Vaccination and Antiviral treatment fact sheet
The Department has developed a new resource, the COVID-19 Vaccination and Antiviral Treatments fact sheet, with information and answers to frequently asked questions for residents living in aged care homes and their families.
Please share this resource with your residents and their families if they have any questions or concerns on COVID-19 vaccinations or the use of antivirals to treat COVID-19.