Protecting Older Australians: COVID-19 update 11 December 2020

What’s new: webinars from ACSA, Safer Care Victoria and the VACRC, reminder about entry restrictions during the Christmas period, deadline for variations to payment 3 of the workforce retention bonus and more.

Date published:
Health sector

A reminder that the newsletter has moved to once a week.

This week’s edition includes information on a webinars presented by ACSA and the Victorian Aged Care Response Centre (VACRC) on how to implement a safe environment for residents and visitors and on stress testing your COVID-19 outbreak plan. There is also a reminder on entry restrictions for visitors during the Christmas period.

For those in Victoria, there is an invitation to a webinar by Safer Care Victoria on healthcare worker wellbeing. In addition, NSW has updated its advice to aged care providers on remaining COVID safe.

We remind residential aged care providers that variations to payment 3 of the workforce retention bonus close today, Friday 11 December 2020.

We encourage you to share this newsletter with your colleagues and workforce, particularly your communications teams. Please also encourage them to subscribe for future updates. You can also view past editions of the Protecting Older Australians Newsletter.

Anyone living in an aged care facility, their family or representative who needs support should contact the Older Person’s Advocacy Network (OPAN) on 1800 700 600.

Webinar on a safe environment for visitors and residents

ACSA and the Victorian Aged Care Response Centre (VACRC) have jointly hosted a webinar that provides practical guidance on how residential aged care facilities can continue to implement a safe environment for visitor access and resident movement.

Infection prevention and control experts discuss mitigating risk to facilitate good visitor access and implementing best practice for COVID recovery. The webinar also takes you through the latest information and shared key learnings on visitor checks, symptomatic testing, PPE use, outdoor areas and state and territory public health declarations.

Stress testing your COVID-19 outbreak plan

In this webinar for all Australian residential aged care providers, ACSA has partnered with VACRC to discuss the best practices to stress test aged care providers’ outbreak management plans.

The webinar is on Friday 11 December, 1-1:45pm. You can register here.

Entry to residential aged care facilities – state and territory directions

As we are heading into the festive season this is a reminder to all residential aged care providers about entry restrictions for residential aged care facilities.

State and territory governments established directions under their emergency management provisions in response to COVID-19, which set out requirements for entry into residential aged care facilities. Generally, these directions restrict the entry of visitors who have not had the influenza vaccination to residential aged care facilities, unless an exemption applies. This gives effect to the recommendations of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC), endorsed by National Cabinet.

The directions are continuing to be updated in response to the COVID-19 situation. Approved providers should continue to stay up to date with the directions and their legislative responsibilities in relation to state and territory public health orders and contact the relevant state or territory health department as needed. Further information for residential aged care providers and individuals to explain how the directions apply is available on state and territory government health department websites.

The AHPPC continues to strongly recommend all visitors and staff of residential aged care are vaccinated against influenza to protect the health and safety of residents.

Safer Care Victoria webinar information – Keeping the focus on healthcare worker wellbeing

Please join Safer Care Victoria for their next webinar about protecting and promoting healthcare worker wellbeing on Friday 18 December 2020 at 10:30 – 11:30am.

Safer Care Victoria will be looking forward as Australia settles in to our new normal and asking how do we create lasting change to make sure we look after the health and wellbeing of our healthcare workers?

The panel of healthcare workers, leaders and experts will share:

  • lessons learned during coronavirus (COVID-19) about healthcare worker wellbeing, and how we can prepare for future surges
  • ways to help staff restore, replenish and recover
  • resources and materials available to enable lasting change in worker wellbeing.

The webinar is aimed at Victorian clinical and non-clinical healthcare workers, managers and leaders working in health services, community health, primary and aged care. Places are limited to 500.

For further information and to register visit the Safer Care Victoria website.

Updated NSW advice to Residential and Home Care Aged Care Providers

New South Wales issued updated advice on 4 December 2020 for Residential Aged Care Facilities and Home Care service providers.

Residential aged care facilities are encouraged to plan safe ways for residents and families to meet up during the festive season. All residential aged care facilities in NSW should support visits for residents, unless the facility is experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak or where visitors are in a category that require restriction of access, including where they are unwell or have any symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

Aged Care Workforce Retention Payment 3

The final Aged Care Workforce Retention Payment will be paid in January 2021. The value of this payment will be equal to the second payment, unless a variation to funding is required. Variation requests need to be submitted to the Department no later than Friday 11 December 2020. Further information is available on the Department’s website.



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