Protecting Older Australians – COVID-19 Update 2 June 2021

What's new: Webinar on Aged Care IPC Update : Thursday 3 June 2021, OPAN meeting for Victorian aged care residents, COVID-19 vaccine access prioritised for Victorian aged care workers and more.

Health sector

Webinar on Aged Care IPC Update : Thursday 3 June 2021

In light of the developing situation in Victoria, the department is hosting a webinar as a timely reminder for the aged care sector on the importance of maintaining Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) practices to protect aged care residents and staff, and encouraging aged care workers to get vaccinated.

Presenters at the webinar will include:

  • Professor Alison McMillian, Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer
  • Mr Nigel McGothigan, Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) lead in Canberra
  • Dr Melanie Wroth, Chief Clinical Advisor, Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission

Date: Thursday, June 3 2021
Time: 9:00 am to 9:45 am AEST
Cost: FREE

You do not need to RSVP for the webinar, and there is no limit to the number of participants.

To participate in a the live webinar, follow these steps:

  • Click on the Webinar link.
  • To start a live webinar, click on the ‘launch’ button (no log in is required). For upcoming webinars, this button will only appear 15 minutes prior to the event start time, and once launched will only display a holding image in the video player.
  • After you click on the ‘launch’ button, you will see a video player - this is where you will watch the webinar. For upcoming webinars there will also be a chat window which you can use to submit your questions.
  • You can test whether you can watch the live webinar from your device before the event. If the video pauses, please refresh your web browser by pressing F5 on your keyboard.

More information can be found on the department’s website and a video of the webinar will be available on-demand on Friday afternoon with captions and transcript to follow.

OPAN meeting for Victorian aged care residents

Elder Rights Advocacy and the Older Persons Advocacy Network invite older people living in residential aged care in Victoria and their families to a Zoom meeting at 12pm Thursday 3 June.

This meeting will allow you to ask questions you may have about the outbreak and how it affects you and your older family members.

You can ask questions of:

  • Gerard Mansour, Commissioner for Senior Victorians
  • Elder Rights Advocacy representative
  • Craig Gear, Older Persons Advocacy Network CEO

Please register for the event here.

COVID-19 vaccine access prioritised for Victorian aged care workers

Victorian aged care workers have prioritised access in vaccine centres from 9am-4pm from 2 June – 6 June.

Aged care and disability care workers are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine now. Workers will be vaccinated quickly during peak periods and do not need to book.

Bring your Medicare care, photo ID and proof of occupation (such as your work ID card, letter from your employer or a completed Eligibility Declaration Form) to any of the vaccination centres providing priority access.

The vaccine is safe, effective and free. Please read information for aged care workers about vaccines, including preparing for your vaccine, consent and what to do afterwards.

Vaccine update from QLD Health

Queensland Health strongly encourages anyone working in the residential aged care sector to obtain their COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible.

To support the aged care sector, the Queensland Government is taking a more active role in the vaccination of residential aged care workers.

The Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is now available to all Phase 1a and 1b frontline workers in Queensland regardless of age via Queensland Health vaccination clinics. This includes residential aged care workers.

How to book your vaccination

Register your interest
Step 1: Click the link Register your Interest and enter your personal details.
Step 2: Select the cohort titled ‘Residential Aged Care Worker’. It is not mandatory to enter your Medicare number or a registration code.
Step 3: You will be sent an email confirming your registration

Book your appointment
Once you have registered your interest, you will be sent an email with instructions on how to book an appointment when clinic time and vaccine is available.

IMPORTANT: For those over 50 wishing to receive Pfizer/BioNTech they must select a vaccination clinic available to ‘all ages’ or ‘under 50’ when they make their booking.

Information about the vaccine, what to expect on the day of your vaccination and how Queensland Health is committed to protecting your privacy and confidentiality can be found here.

For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine program, please visit the Queensland Health website.

Updated direction from SA Health

SA Health has advised that effective from Saturday 7.45pm, 28 May 2021, the Emergency Management (Cross Border Travel – Associated Direction No 14) was revoked and the Emergency Management (Cross Border Travel – Associated Direction No 15) came in to effect, these changes include:

  • People are not permitted to enter SA from Victoria after 7.45pm 28 May 2021.
  • People who have arrived in SA between 7.00pm 26 May 2021 and 7.45pm 28 May 2021, may not enter a RACF (or any prescribed high risk setting) for 14 days after arrival.
  • There are no restrictions on those transiting through Victorian Airports

NOTE: Cross Border Community Members – persons who are ordinarily residents in the cross border corridor (the area 70 km either side of the border between South Australia and Victoria) are without restrictions if they have not been outside this area in the 14 days prior (but not before 20 May 2021).

Due to the developing nature of the Victorian outbreak, multiple Associated Directions have been published. These do not apply retroactively and previous directions still apply to people who arrived in South Australia within the last 14 days.

Further information about COVID-19 and Aged Care is available on the SA Health website.

What to do if you have a confirmed COVID case

Residential Aged Care Facility
If you have a confirmed case in your facility please visit the 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.

The first 24 hours in the management of a confirmed COVID-19 case in a residential aged care facility (RACF) is critical to minimise the spread of the virus. Following the identification of a COVID-19 positive case in either a resident or a staff member RACFs should follow the steps in the checklist in conjunction with your COVID Outbreak Management Plan to minimise the spread of the virus

Immediately notify your state or territory PHU. It will coordinate the public health response to the outbreak.

  • NSW - 1300 066 055
  • WA - 08 9222 8588 or 08 6373 2222 (if confirmed COVID-19)
  • SA – 1300 232 272
  • NT - 08 8922 8044
  • ACT - (02) 5124 9213 After Hours: 02 9962 4155
  • QLD - 13 432 584 (13 HEALTH)
  • TAS - 1800 671 738
  • VIC - 1300 651 160

You can find contact details and websites of local state and territory health departments here.

All aged care providers (Residential, Home Care and CHSP) must also notify the Commonwealth Department of Health at of any care recipient or staff COVID-19 cases. The Commonwealth will appoint a dedicated case manager to connect you with resources to manage the outbreak. Resources include PPE, surge workforce, supplementary testing, and access to primary and allied health care.

Home Care Providers
There are some steps you should take to keep your staff and care recipients safe from COVID-19. Full details are in the COVID-19 guide for home care providers.

  • Save the contact details of your local public health unit. Contact them for specific advice about any COVID-19 cases among your staff or care recipients;
  • Be aware of requirements that apply when a COVID-19 case has been confirmed:
  • Consider how to contact care recipients who may have stopped receiving services to monitor their safety and wellbeing. Explore alternative models of care for them such as tele-health, and support networks.

Department of Health

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