Protecting Older Australians - COVID-19 Update 25 June 2021
In this edition: Second dose COVID-19 vaccine clinics in residential aged care, Reminder: what to do when residents have missed their second vaccine, NSW – Roving clinics established and latest advice, ACT – Advice on flu vaccinations for RACFs and Updated advice and QLD – Ease of restrictions.
Second dose COVID-19 vaccine clinics in residential aged care 99% complete
As at 25 June 2021, over 309,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in 2,566 residential aged care facilities receiving in-reach clinics through the Commonwealth’s roll out in aged care.
Second dose vaccination clinics have been held in 99 per cent of facilities, with the remaining clinics scheduled for completion within the recommended interval between doses.
Thank you again to all residents, their families, aged care facility workers, providers and vaccine workforce providers for your support and cooperation.
Roving vaccination clinics established in response to current COVID-19 outbreaks in NSW
In response to current outbreaks, the Commonwealth Government is deploying roving COVID-19 vaccination clinics to 94 residential aged care facilities located in the seven Local Government Areas (LGA’s) declared as COVID-19 hotspots:
- Canada Bay
- City of Sydney
- Inner West
The roving clinics will offer a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to any residents or workers yet to receive a vaccine.
All 94 residential aged care facilities have received their first and second dose clinics through the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 vaccine roll out in aged care.
The local Primary Health Network will contact residential aged care facilities in the 7 local government areas in Sydney to schedule the roving clinics.
Roving clinics are also offering vaccine to residents and workers yet to be vaccinated at 145 residential aged care facilities in Tier 1 locations, as defined by Victorian health authorities. To date, 136 of the facilities have received the roving clinics.
The Commonwealth Government is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation in both Victoria and New South Wales and will extend the roving clinics program as needed.
Reminder: what to do when residents have missed a second COVID-19 vaccine dose
Residential aged care facilities are reminded to contact their Primary Health Network (PHN) to report any aged care residents that may have missed the opportunity to receive their second Pfizer dose.
PHNs can assist in coordinating local solutions for individuals where available. As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout progresses, advice will be given if other options for vaccination become available.
Updated resources on COVID-19 vaccine
The following resources have been updated to reflect recent recommendation provided by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI)’s recommendation that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine be offered to adults under 60 years of age.
- COVID-19 vaccine information for the residential aged care workforce
- COVID-19 vaccine information for in-home and community aged care recipients and workers
- Translated in 63 languages: Updated COVID-19 vaccine rollout advice.
NSW Health - Latest advice
The key messages for this update are:
- Facilities located in the four Sydney LGA’s of Randwick LGA, Woollahra LGA, City of Sydney LGA and Waverley LGA must exclude visitors unless they are providing essential caring functions. Residents are discouraged from leaving unless for an essential reason.
- People who live in or have regularly worked in the four LGAs in the last 14 days must not visit a RACF in NSW.
- Residents of facilities in other Greater Sydney locations should not attend gatherings or functions in the four LGAs.
This information can change rapidly so please check the NSW Health at least daily for updates.
ACT Health - Latest advice
ACT Health has today issued advice for high risk settings due to growing lists of COVID-19 exposure locations in NSW, QLD and VIC.
A new Stay-At-Home requirement has been introduced for anyone who has left Metropolitan Sydney on or after 4:00PM Friday 25 June. The Stay-At-Home requirement for anyone who left the Sydney LGAs of Randwick, Canada Bay, Inner West, Bayside, City of Sydney, Waverley and Woollahra on or after 4:00PM Wednesday 23 June stays in effect.
Staff and visitors who have been in a geographical area of risk should not attend a high-risk setting for 14 days after leaving the affected area.
Anyone who has been in the following regions in the last 14 days should wear a mask while visiting or working in a high-risk setting:
- Greater Sydney
- Central Coast
- Blue Mountains
Staff and visitors who are under a stay-at-home requirement under a Public Health Direction must not attend a high-risk setting unless it is for an approved essential purpose.
ACT aged care providers can find out more information from ACT Government.
ACT Health - Advice on Flu vaccinations for RACFs
ACT Health has issued a reminder that all staff working in RACFs should have an annual influenza vaccine. This includes, but is not limited to care staff, kitchen, administration, cleaning staff, volunteers or agency staff. Getting vaccinated helps to reduce influenza illness in staff and prevent the spread of influenza from staff to vulnerable residents, reducing their risk of serious pneumonia.
They have produced resources to support staff influenza vaccine uptake. These resources include posters, FAQs for staff, a staff influenza vaccination program checklist and an influenza vaccine statement form.
The full range of resources are available on the ACT Health website and includes:
- Aged Care Flu poster – higher risk
- Aged Care Flu poster – flu can be serious
- Aged Care Flu poster – best protection
- Aged Care Flu poster – can spread
- Aged Care Flu poster – tracking coverage
- Immunisation – Aged Care Declination form
- Influenza Checklist for Aged Care Facilities
- Influenza FAQs for Aged Care Staff.
QLD - Easing of restrictions and expansion of Check in Qld app for RACFs
Queensland Health have advised that from 1am Friday 9 July, the Check In Qld app will be mandatory for a number of new sectors, including residential aged care facilities and applies to all visitors, volunteers and contractors, not staff or residents.
Expanding the use of Check in Qld will create greater certainly for the public health response and support increased flexibility in the level of restrictions imposed in the event of a transmission event.
You can find further details including how to register for businesses and visitors on the Qld Health website.
Phoenix Australia is one of the organisations delivering trauma support to the aged care sector under the Aged Care COVID-19 grief and trauma response package. They are creating a trauma informed care framework for aged care, including training, webinars and resources for aged care staff.
Their introductory module Trauma awareness training is available now. It takes around 45 minutes, and you can complete the training as an individual, in a group, or download into your organisation’s Learning Management System. This course aims to help you learn more about the simple things you can do to help improve the quality of life of older people affected by trauma, while also supporting your own wellbeing.
Who should use this training?
- Aged care sector staff, including personal care workers, clinical, nursing, allied health, and wellbeing staff, and leaders and managers
- Aged care peak bodies staff
This course is designed to help you:
- Understand the nature of trauma and its impacts in aged care settings.
- Manage common responses to trauma.
- Use self-care strategies.
To access the free Trauma awareness training: Visit the workforce page on the Phoenix Australia Trauma and Aged Care Support and Information hub.
Linking to the Quality Standards:
Engaging in trauma informed care training may help you and your organisation to meet your obligations under the Aged Care Quality Standards.
Under the Quality Standards, providers are required to treat aged care recipients with dignity and respect (Quality Standard 1). The Standards also require providers to ensure aged care recipients get personal care and clinical care that is safe and right for them (Quality Standard 3). Planning for aged care for a recipient who has had past trauma will help you to embed safe and inclusive practices in delivering care and services, and provide more tailored care appropriate for that individual that keeps both care givers and the recipient safe.
In addition, the Royal Commission’s final report highlights the importance of trauma-informed care, including a recommendation that training on trauma-informed service delivery be provided for all workers who come in contact with people seeking or receiving services in the aged care system.
Aged care providers are asked to ensure they have a sufficient supply of PPE, to use their own supply of PPE first and to request extra supply for emergency purposes as and when needed.
The Commonwealth is prioritising requests for PPE from the National Medical Stockpile to aged care services that are most in need. The deployment of PPE is only where commercial supply is unavailable, and where there is a government direction regarding COVID-19 PPE requirements or demonstrated clinical need.
If you urgently need PPE and cannot source it, please submit an online application. The application will need to be completed for your request to be considered.
Further information and advice
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.