Today’s newsletter contains resources developed by the Victorian Aged Care Response Centre (VACRC) to support services with an outbreak of COVID-19. This includes a new resource on the healthcare for older Australians impacted by COVID-19.
We have included information on the National Reopening Framework, which builds on the 3-Step Framework for a COVIDSafe Australia to reopen to a state of COVID-normal by December this year.
We have also included the latest advice from NSW on restrictions for residential aged care and home care providers.
We encourage you to review the updated IGEG guidance included in the resources section.
Again we encourage you to share this newsletter with your colleagues and workforce. Please also encourage them to subscribe for future updates.
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.
Guidance for aged care facilities dealing with COVID-19 in Victoria
The Victorian Aged Care Response Centre (VACRC) has developed a number of resources and guidance for aged care facilities dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19. This includes advice on communicating with families.
Resources include fact sheets on establishing and maintaining ongoing communications with residents, nominated representatives, families and staff in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak and a contact details template. In addition, fact sheets are available on personal protective equipment and visiting residential aged care facilities in Victoria.
A new fact sheet has been developed for aged care staff looking after elderly residents. This provides guidance for managing the risk to older people’s physical, nutritional and psycho-social status. Even where residents are COVID-19 negative, lockdown, isolation and disruption to usual activities, processes and supports can still have a major impact on residents.
National Reopening Framework
The Framework for National Reopening builds on the 3-Step Framework for a COVIDSafe Australia, to nationally reopen to a state of ‘COVID Normal’, wherever it is safe to do so, by December 2020.
The aim of the framework is to provide consideration and guidance for a reopening of Australia whilst managing the health impacts and severity of COVID-19.
The framework includes:
- Key principles and pillars to support a COVIDSafe Australia
- Best practice health components
- Industry preparedness, restrictions and risk mitigation for business
- Proposed steps and timings summary
- The proposed new three step framework.
It is important that you continue to keep up to date with the latest state/territory requirements. States and territories have the decision making authority in relation to public health measures.
The framework has not been endorsed by the Western Australian Government.
Updated NSW advice for residential and home care providers
NSW Health has written to the state’s Residential Aged Care Providers and Home Care Services with new advice. Key updates include:
- Staff who have been in Shepparton are no longer excluded.
- There remains a risk of community transmission in NSW and wearing of masks provides an additional barrier of protection. As a precaution NSW Health recommends over the next week all facilities and home care providers plan for all staff to wear surgical masks when at work.
- Exclude visitors if they have been in the following areas in the 14 days: Liverpool LGA, Camden LGA, Bayside LGA, Waverley LGA and Randwick LGA. Some visitors may be allowed after a risk assessment and when extra measures are put in place.
Facilities are urged to monitor the latest COVID-19 news and updated locations, for any areas of concern.
Updated ICEG guidance:
- Guidelines for infection prevention and control in residential facilities
- Recommended minimum requirements for the use of masks and respirators by in areas with significant community transmission
- Guidance on use of PPE in non-inpatient health care settings
- Information on environmental cleaning of residential care facilities