Protecting Older Australians – COVID-19 update – 28 October 2022

Read the latest update to the aged care sector on new COVID-19 information, including PPE pre-deployment for residential aged care homes and influenza vaccinations.

Date published:
Audience:
Health sector

Webinar – aged care COVID-19 update

The next webinar will be held on Friday 4 November 2022, 1pm - 2pm (AEDT).

In this session you will hear from the Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation (ANMF) and the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission on workforce issues in the aged care sector and how you can be prepared to manage COVID-19 impacts and other possible emergency events over the summer period. The Department will also provide advice on preparing for the Christmas period and visitation.

Please register to attend.

This session will include a moderated Q&A session with the panel, and we encourage you to submit questions in advance through the registration link.

PPE pre-deployment for residential aged care homes

To help you prepare for summer and any potential outbreaks or waves of COVID-19 over this period, we will be pre-deploying 3 days' supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) to residential aged care homes.

Deliveries are expected to commence in early November starting with rural and remote areas.

DHL will be contacting facilities next week to confirm delivery arrangements. If you do not want this supply of PPE, let DHL know when they contact you and they will not proceed with the delivery, or you can also let us know via the Citizen Space online form.

What is included in the summer PPE pack?

The summer PPE pack will include a 3-day supply of all the PPE items listed below.  The volume of PPE provided will depend on the number of residents at each home.

Please note these are not bespoke emergency packs. Packs contain set quantities of PPE - facilities are not able to select specific products and must accept all items in the pack.

  Extra small Small Medium Large Extra large
Face shields

 1,000

1,000

1,000

1,200

1,600

Gloves (L)

1,000

1,000

1,000

2,000

2,000

Gloves (M)

 1,000

1,000

1,000

2,000

2,000

Gloves (S

1,000

1,000

1,000

1,000

1,000

Gloves (XL)

1,000

1,000

1,000

1,000

1,000

Gowns

640

800

1,040

1,160

1,440

P2 N95

1,200

1,200

1,800

1,800

2,400

Surgical Masks

2,000

2,000

2,000

2,000

2,000

MAXIMUM ESTIMATED PALLETS 2 2 3 3 4
  • Numbers are an estimate only, actual quantities delivered vary as quantities are rounded to the nearest carton by the logistics provider and may change depending on availability.

It is important to note that facilities that have reported an outbreak or exposure via the My Aged Care provider portal can continue to request standard and emergency PPE packs via the portal.

Reporting of aged care residents and aged care staff influenza vaccinations in 2022

As a requirement under the Aged Care Act 1997, Accountability Principles, each aged care service needs to report the number of residential aged care residents and aged care staff who received an influenza vaccination in 2022.

The collection of the number of residents and aged care staff who received an influenza vaccination in 2022 is important information to support future activities in the lead up to the annual influenza season in 2023 and to ensure adequate steps have been taken to protect residents and staff.

The annual reporting for 2022 is required on 31 October 2022 and will be collected via the online form until 30 November 2022.

If a provider fails to meet their reporting obligations, they will be included in a non-reporters list provided to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. The Commission will then consider a range of escalating regulatory actions. The non-reporters list will not be provided to the Commission until the end of November, to make sure providers have adequate time to report.

Who needs to report?

  • Residential Aged Care Service – residents and staff
  • Multipurpose Services – residents and staff
  • Transition Care Program services delivered in a residential age care setting – residents and staff
  • Short Term Restorative Care services delivered in residential aged care settings – residents and staff
  • Home Care Package services – staff only.

What needs to be reported?

Simply the number of residential aged care residents, where applicable, and all aged care staff who have voluntarily informed aged care providers they received an influenza vaccination in 2022. In addition, reporting on the number of staff who have voluntarily informed aged care providers they have not received an influenza vaccination in 2022, including whether they received an exemption from a state or territory public health order requiring flu vaccination (where these may have been in place) and the nature of that exemption.

Reporting all COVID-19 cases and positive resident deaths via the My Aged Care COVID-19 provider portal

To determine the impact of COVID-19, the Department requires residential aged care homes to report all resident, worker and visitor COVID-19 cases through the My Aged Care provider portal. This data is important as it allows the Department to maintain a contemporary view of current outbreaks and exposures in residential aged care homes and helps us gauge the level of Government support required by the sector.

It is important that you keep the information up to date by reporting additional cases as your exposure or outbreak progresses, and then closing the record at the end of the episode.

COVID-19 positive resident deaths should also be reported through the portal. A COVID-19 positive resident death is when a resident passes away from COVID-19 or with COVID-19 when a clear alternative cause of death has not been determined. Reporting resident deaths can be made within 28 days of a resident’s COVID-19 positive test result.

Where there has been a complete recovery from COVID-19 prior to death, meaning all symptoms have passed, this should be excluded and does not need to be reported via the Portal.

COVID-19 positive deaths can also be reported 28 days after an outbreak or exposure notification has been closed in the Portal.

There are a range of materials to assist you with your COVID-19 reporting including:

Please call the My Aged Care Provider and Assessor helpline on 1800 836 799 if you need assistance accessing the portal.

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