Date published: 
19 May 2020
Type: 
Newsletter
Intended Audience: 
Health sector

This edition reminds workers to stay at home if they are unwell and reminds providers of the importance of screening staff and visitors entering aged care facilities. Below you will find helpful resources and guidance from the Communicable Disease Network of Australia and the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission to support aged care facilities detect and prevent outbreaks.

This edition also provides further COVID-19 translated resources for aged care workers.

As always, many thanks to you and your teams for your continued support to protect older Australians.

Reminder: Staff and Visitor Entry Screening

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission's Chief Clinical Advisor has written to residential aged care services providers on the subject of screening people entering residential aged care facilities.

In light of evidence that older people are more susceptible to contracting and being seriously affected by COVID-19, a highly precautionary approach has been adopted across the aged care sector in responding to the pandemic, based on the latest and best medical advice. This approach includes restricting visitors’ access to residential aged care services, and should also involve screening visitors and staff on entry to residential facilities.

Routine screening of staff and visitors on entry is strongly recommended for all residential services irrespective of size or location. It is especially important for residential services located in communities (and/or drawing their staff from communities) where there is a local cluster of people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, or which are considered to be at higher risk of an outbreak.

The Commission’s screening recommendations for all residential aged care facilities include:

  • a single point of entry
  • screening questions for staff and visitors
  • a no-touch temperature check.

The full letter from the Commission to all RACF can be read here.

Reminder: Stay at Home if You Are Unwell

Once again, we are reminding everyone working in aged care to stay at home if you are unwell - even if you are only mildly unwell. It is the best thing you can do for the vulnerable people you care for.

Guidance has been developed by the Communicable Disease Network of Australia (CDNA) and endorsed by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) on monitoring COVID-19 symptoms.

You can find the guidance here and we encourage all residential aged care services to make this available to their staff.

Further Translated Aged Care Resources

Further translated aged care resources including an in home care fact sheet has been made available on the Department’s website.

To check the list of COVID-19 resources by language, please click here.

Resources

Coming Soon

  • More information on how testing works in residential aged care facilities
  • Aged care workforce measures FAQs
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