Protecting Older Australians – COVID-19 Update 24 June 2020

What’s new: new resources on Emergency Leave for residential aged care, PPE for disability support workers video and updated guidance following the latest AHPPC advice.

Date published:
Health sector

Today’s edition includes new fact sheets for providers and residents on Emergency Leave from residential aged care facilities. From 1 April 2020 to 30 September 2020 residents can take leave without impacting their social leave balances.

Following the release of the updated Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) advice on 19 June, we have provided links to updated information available on the Department’s website. This includes updated guidance on public gatherings and advice to providers delivering aged care services during COVID-19.

We have included a link to a video on how and when to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) for disability support workers.

This newsletter will now be published twice weekly. We will continue to deliver timely updates and resources to ensure the sector is kept up to date with matters relating to COVID-19.

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

Emergency leave for aged care residents

New resources on Emergency Leave are now available, with a fact sheet for residents and a fact sheet for providers.

Minister Colbeck has determined that the new Emergency Leave period for permanent aged care residents will last from 1 April to 30 September 2020.

During this time residents will be able to take leave without impacting their social leave balances.

As a result, residents’ social leave balances for 2020–21 will start at 52 days on 1 October 2020.

Any fees paid by residents for exceeding their 52 day social leave limit between 1 April and 30 September 2020 will need to be reimbursed by their provider.

Aged care homes will, however, continue to be paid residential care subsidy when residents are on Emergency Leave, ensuring neither residents nor providers are disadvantaged.

A payment system solution for the new Emergency Leave is being designed by Services Australia for a late June 2020 release. Further advice on these changes will be provided shortly.

Disability support workers video

A video detailing how and when disability support workers should wear PPE has been made available. Alison McMillan, Australia’s Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, demonstrates how and when PPE is to be used. Further information on the use of PPE for the health workforce is available on the department’s website.

Updated guidance following the latest AHPPC advice


Coming soon

  • First person perspective on outbreak management
  • Flu vaccination requirements for aged care facilities 

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