Protecting older Australians: COVID-19 update 3 April 2020

What’s new: Outbreak Management resource and Expansion of CHSP flexibility provisions

Date published:
Health sector

Today’s update includes a new resource to assist with outbreak management and information on the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP).

Thank you for your continued support to protect older Australians from COVID-19.

Outbreak Management

The Department of Health’s guide to outbreak management in residential facilities is now available. This resource outlines how to identify if there is an outbreak at your facility and the steps to take to manage the outbreak.

To determine an outbreak, apply the “two in three” rule. An outbreak is considered to have started if 2 people in 3 days become sick with the symptoms and at least one of these has a positive test for COVID-19. While this is a guideline, the state/territory public health unit will assist in deciding whether to declare an outbreak.

Further Expansion of CHSP Flexibility Provisions

CHSP providers have already been given full flexibility to allocate up to 100% of their existing funds in 2019–20 and 2020–21 between the different service types they deliver so that emerging client needs can be met.  These provisions have now been expanded to allow providers to re-allocate funding across the Aged Care Planning Regions (ACPRs) in which they operate on a time-limited basis. Any reallocation of funds between ACPRs should be done cautiously and only on the following basis:

  • Providers must retain the ability to return to their current regional footprint post the COVID-19 crisis;
  • Providers must not leave a service gap in an area they are operating in — i.e. resources may only be reallocated out of a region where there is a clear drop in the need for the service (e.g. group social support)
  • Providers seeking to reallocate funds to a different region should make all efforts to ensure existing service providers in the area are not already ramping up to meet the perceived need (speak with your FAM and other providers in the area).
  • Providers may still only allocate resources to services they are funded to deliver.

CHSP providers are only expected to use these relaxed flexibility provisions to support time limited care needs during the COVID-19 pandemic, and funding agreements will not be amended to reflect the changed service mix.


Training modules

Seven modules are available for completion as part of the Department of Health’s eLearning program for Aged Care workers. The training includes Personal Safety, Families and Visitors, Outbreak Management and PPE.

Register and access the training modules

Fact sheets

All Aged Care fact sheets that are publicly available on the Department of Health site are being updated to reflect recent announcements. Thank you for your patience while these updates are processed.

Coming Soon

  • Guidelines for Home Care Recipients
  • Updated FAQs
  • Workforce continuity measures

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