Protecting Older Australians: COVID-19 update 2 October 2020

What’s new: Aged Care Royal Commission COVID-19 report, additional P2/N95 masks for Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire, advice on returning to work for aged care workers in Victoria, updated NSW advice for providers and a reminder on the third retention bonus payment.

Date published:
Health sector

Today’s newsletter introduces the Royal Commission’s special report into COVID-19 in aged care.
We also have information on the additional seven million P2/N95 respirator face masks that will be supplied to residential aged care facilities in Melbourne and the Mitchell shire.

The latest advice from the NSW Chief Health Officer is included in this edition, as is a reminder that the Government has announced a third round of the Workforce Retention Payment.

Resources for aged care providers include updated ICEG guidelines on personal protective equipment (PPE), an updated fact sheet from the VACRC for visitors, and a link to the suite of COVID-19 resources available from the Australian Government.

Again we encourage you to share this newsletter with your colleagues and workforce. Please also encourage them to subscribe for future updates.

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

Aged Care Royal Commission COVID-19 report

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety has delivered a special report on the COVID-19 pandemic in aged care, tabled in the Australian Parliament on 1 October 2020, ahead of its Final Report.

Further information is available:

Additional P2/N95 masks for Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire

To support the Victorian Government, capacity for asymptomatic testing of aged care workers will be extended and an additional seven million P2/N95 respirator face masks will be provided as the Commonwealth continues to help the sector drive down case numbers.

Minister for Health, Greg Hunt and Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, Richard Colbeck have announced that the government will extend testing and bolster the supply of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) throughout residential aged care facilities across Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire.

Additional P2/N95 masks are being made available from the National Medical Stockpile to residential aged care facilities in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire to ensure the continued delivery of safe care.

All facilities in these areas will be able to request P2/N95 respirator masks using a one-off request form. Requests must be submitted by 30 October 2020.

If additional PPE is required and it cannot be sourced through your usual means, you can submit a request to the National Medical Stockpile through the usual online PPE form. Applications for additional PPE will be prioritised and distributed to aged care facilities that are most in need.

Advice on returning to work for aged care workers in Victoria

The Victorian Aged Care Response Centre (VACRC) has published an updated video from infectious disease physician Dr Lyn-li Lim on Returning to work for aged care staff.

This video provides information on common questions and useful resources for those aged care workers who are asked to go into quarantine or self-isolation, and are then cleared to return to work.

Updated NSW advice for providers

On 30 September 2020, NSW Health issued updated advice to residential aged care facilities and home care services in NSW with some of the recommended restrictions eased in certain areas based on the latest COVID-19 community transmission data. Advice will be reconsidered again next week.

The letters have been sent to all NSW residential aged care facilities and home care services. View the advice for home care providers and residential aged care providers.

Reminder on the third retention bonus payment

Aged care providers are reminded of the third Workforce Retention Bonus Payment. This payment is in recognition of the ongoing pressure and challenges of aged care workers and will be based on employment at 30 November 2020.

This third payment will have the same eligibility criteria as the first two rounds. Previous applicants for this grant opportunity are not required to re-apply. If you are a new applicant and would like to apply, you must contact and request an application form.


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