Type: 
Newsletter
Intended Audience: 
Health sector

Thank you for continuing to stay up to date with the latest information.

Please share this newsletter with your colleagues and workforce, particularly your communications teams and encourage them to subscribe for future updates. You can view past editions of the Protecting Older Australians Newsletter as well as other announcements for the aged care sector on the department's website.

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.

Notification of positive COVID-19 cases for aged care providers

All aged care providers should immediately notify the relevant state or territory public health unit to report positive COVID-19 cases in either staff members or aged care recipients:

  • Australian Capital Territory – (02) 5124 9213 After Hours: 02 9962 4155
  • New South Wales – 1300 066 055
  • Northern Territory – 08 8922 8044
  • Queensland – 13 432 584 (13 HEALTH)
  • South Australia – 1300 232 272
  • Tasmania – 1800 671 738
  • Victoria – 1300 651 160
  • Western Australia – 08 9222 8588 or 08 6373 2222.

Aged care providers should also notify the Commonwealth Department of Health by emailing: agedcareCOVIDcases [at] health.gov.au.

Under the Privacy Act 1988, this information should be de-identified and should not include personal or private information that can identify a resident or staff member, such as an individual’s name, address, date of birth or contact details. It should also not include information about a resident’s movements or passing.

An example of the information required by the Commonwealth is:

  • Resident #1 – positive result confirmed 12/08 at 8.15am
    • Asymptomatic
    • Close contact of positive staff member
    • In a wing with 25 other residents
    • Isolated since 11/08
    • Vaccinated with two doses
  • Staff member #1 – positive result received 11/08 at 9am
    • AIN/RN/kitchen staff
    • Last worked 9/08
    • Felt unwell 10/08
    • Vaccinated with one dose

Please be reminded that approved providers must:

  • protect the care recipient’s privacy and comply with all applicable laws relating to the use of personal information
  • implement security safeguards to protect care recipients’ personal information against loss or misuse
  • meet the Australian Privacy Principles in the Privacy Act 1988.

Any information that has been provided to the Commonwealth will be handled and stored securely and this will not be disclosed unless the law requires or authorises the Commonwealth to do so.

Special COVID-19 vaccination webinars for in-home and community aged care workers

The Department of Health is hosting a series of webinars for in-home and community aged care workers on COVID-19 vaccination.

The initial webinars are being held for workers – including volunteers, students and subcontractors – in Victoria, New South Wales and the Northern Territory. Public health directions are now in place for these workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a mandatory requirement.

The webinars will provide information for workers on their state or territory’s public health directions, how and where to get priority vaccination, and to answer any questions workers may have.

While COVID-19 vaccination for in-home and community aged care workers is not currently mandated in other states and territories, it is very important to get vaccinated now.

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee is currently considering national mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for all in-home and community aged care workers, as occurred for residential aged care.

For Victorian in-home and community aged care workers

The webinar for in-home and community aged workers in Victoria was held on Wednesday 20 October, from 1.00pm – 2.00pm AEDT. The webinar will shortly be available for on demand viewing on the department’s website.

For Northern Territory in-home and community aged care workers

All in-home and community aged care workers in the Northern Territory are invited to a special live webinar this Friday 22 October from 2:30pm – 3:30pm NT Time.

Join by personal device or computer:
https://health-au.webex.com/health-au/j.php?MTID=m6719a0039607475be5fe442f4b58953e

Friday, 22 Oct, 2021 2.30pm – 3.30pm NT time (4.00pm – 5.00pm AEDT)
Event number: 2651 979 1954
Event password: 9876 (9876 from phones)
Join by phone:
+61-2-9338-2221 Australia Toll
Access code: 265 197 91954

For NSW in-home and community aged care workers

All in-home and community aged care workers in NSW are invited to a special live webinar this Monday 25 October from 3:30pm – 4:30pm AEDT.

Join by personal device or computer:
https://health-au.webex.com/health-au/j.php?MTID=m2a91fde1711b402307b4b123b6c1b683

Monday, 25 October, 2021 3:30 pm – 4.30pm AEDT
Event number: 2653 035 4651
Event password: 9876 (9876 from phones)
Join by phone
+61-2-9338-2221 Australia Toll
Access code: 265 303 54651.