Reminder – Webinar on COVID-19 in aged care
A reminder for aged care providers that the Department of Health and Aged Care is today hosting a webinar which will focus on being ready for the current wave of COVID-19 including on outbreak preparedness, testing and antiviral pathways as well as a refresh on infection prevention and control (IPC) practices in the aged care sector.
When: Monday 21 November 2022 3.00pm to 4.00pm (AEDT)
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 panel, and we encourage you to submit questions in advance through the registration link.
Top 3 questions from 4 November 2022 webinar
Question 1 - How can residents get treatment for oral antivirals?
From 1 November, further changes were made to the way COVID-19 oral antiviral treatments, Lagevrio® (molnupiravir) and Paxlovid® (nirmatrelvir and ritonavir) can be managed.
It is critical that oral treatments are urgently accessible to every eligible resident who has tested positive for COVID-19, particularly those aged 70 years or older, regardless of whether they have symptoms or not. First Nations people, aged 30 years or over, will require only one risk factor (from the current list of risk factors) instead of two, to meet the definition of high risk for the purpose of PBS eligibility.
To expediate access to antivirals you should pre-assess any potentially eligible residents, discuss consent options, discuss the administration of the medicine and have clear and established pathways with community pharmacies. Residents should be guided by primary care providers, who play a fundamental role in determining eligibility, discussing risk factors and prescribing the best clinically appropriate treatment. This is really important because antivirals need to be administered within 5 days of symptom onset, and the sooner the better, for the best outcome.
To support prompt treatment of patients as of 1 November 2022, medical practitioners and nurse practitioners will be able to add Lagevrio® and Paxlovid® to their Prescriber Bag supplies.
Additional information can be found in the Covid-19 Fact sheets.
Question 2 - If an aged care worker is positive, are we able to say you are not fit to work because you're unwell?
All aged care workers should not attend work, and should stay at home, if they have respiratory symptoms to help prevent the spread. Workers who test positive for COVID-19 should not attend the workplace for at least 7 days, including those who provide close personal care to older people in their homes or the community.
Question 3 - Do close contacts need to isolate?
If you are a close contact, you should monitor for signs and symptoms and get tested. All aged care workers should not attend work and should stay at home if they have respiratory symptoms to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Workers who test positive for COVID-19 should not attend the workplace for at least 7 days, including those who provide close personal care to older people in their homes or the community. Home care providers and staff must adhere to all public health advice issued by the relevant state or territory government, including vaccination and testing requirements, and isolation protocols for close contacts. You can find the latest information for your state or territory: