Protecting Older Australians – COVID-19 Update 26 July 2022

In this edition: Weekly webinar on aged care and COVID-19, Extension of Australian Defence Force (ADF) support for residential aged care and NSW Chief Health Officer Update.

Date published:
Health sector

Weekly webinar on aged care and COVID-19

The Department of Health and Aged Care is hosting a webinar to provide key updates and advice on COVID-19 as providers continue to manage outbreaks.

The session will be held online on Thursday 28 July 2022, 11am–12pm (AEST).

Please register to attend.

There will be a moderated Q&A session with the Departmental officials and we encourage you to submit questions in advance through the registration link.

Extension of Australian Defence Force (ADF) support for residential aged care

The Australian Government has extended ADF surge workforce support to COVID-19 impacted residential aged care facilities (RACFs) until 30 September 2022.

From 29 July 2022, ADF Medical Augmentation Teams will be reformatted as Clinician-Led Teams, also known as Composite Medical Teams, consisting of up to 12 teams of six personnel (2 clinical and 4 general duties personnel).

This is in addition to the Commonwealth’s civilian surge workforce resources, and will ensure that impacted facilities continue to be supported to manage COVID-19 outbreaks throughout winter 2022.

Requests for ADF surge workforce assistance can be made through the case management team within the relevant Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care office in each state or territory.

NSW Chief Health Officer Update

From Monday 18 July 2022, the following NSW Chief Health Officer advice has been updated for:

Residential Aged Care Facilities:

A summary of the updates is as follows:

  • Visitor restrictions are no longer included in the Public Health Order. However, in the context of rising case numbers, restrictions are incorporated in the Chief Health Office advice, with a recommended limit of visitors of 2 adults and 2 children per resident each day. However, the provider has discretion to allow more visitors in special circumstances.
  • Visitors are encouraged to be vaccinated against COVID-19 but it is no longer a mandatory requirement. Influenza vaccination is also strongly encouraged.
  • The exemption relating to receiving a COVID-19 booster vaccination has been extended to 6 September 2022, the conditions on the exemption remain.
  • Effective COVID-19 antiviral treatments are available, and facilities should ensure pathways are in place for residents to have early access to treatment.
  • Amendment of the reinfection period from 12 weeks to 4 weeks to align with the AHPPC statement on COVID-19 winter update.

Home Care

A summary of the updates is as follows:

  • Updates to align with the Aged Care and Disability Care advice.

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