Date published: 
3 July 2020
Type: 
Newsletter
Intended Audience: 
Health sector

Today’s extra edition provides an update on the Industry Code on Visiting Residential Aged Care Homes during COVID-19. The code has been reviewed in response to feedback from consumers and the aged care sector, and incorporates updated advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC).

Also included is a reminder about the availability of translated COVID-19 resources. We are keen to hear from you if there is a particular COVID-19 resource for aged care you believe should be translated.

We continue to acknowledge the challenges faced by aged care providers and workers at this time, particularly in Victoria. We thank you and all aged care workers for your commitment to protecting older Australians, and for the essential care and services you are providing.

Updated Industry Code on Visiting Residential Aged Care Homes During COVID-19

The Industry Code on Visiting Residential Aged Care Homes (the code) is a sector-led nationally consistent approach to visitation and communication across residential aged care. The code has been updated.

The code incorporates updated AHPPC advice and feedback from consumers, families, advocates, providers and peak bodies. The updated code reflects that:

  • spouses, close relatives and social supports are not limited in the number of hours they spend with relatives
  • children under 16 are can visit aged care homes
  • staff are required to screen visitors, educate visitors about social distancing and hygiene during their visit, but not supervise visits
  • residents are able to leave to attend small family gatherings (with providers undertaking a risk assessment prior to the outing and a screening process following the outing)

The updated code also reflects that facilities may need to return to a higher level of protection in the event of an outbreak of COVID-19 or a local cluster in the community. In accordance with this advice, it is appropriate for aged care facilities in the identified ‘hot spots’ in Victoria to adopt increased visitor restrictions.

The first version of the code was translated into 18 different language. The Department of Health is working to translate the updated version of the code and these translations will be available shortly.

Translation of COVID-19 resources

For more translated resources, the Department of Home Affairs has a dedicated website – COVID-19 information in your language. This provides culturally and linguistically diverse communities with a single source of information in 63 languages other than English.

The following resources have been translated into 63 different languages:

  • Stay COVID free do the 3
  • Testing for COVID-19
  • What you need to know about coronavirus
  • Help for finances and mental health
  • Protecting you from coronavirus
  • Easing of restrictions
  • Roadmap to a COVIDSafe Australia
  • COVIDSafe app – new tool to help slow the spread of COVID-19
  • It’s OK to have home care

Particularly for our Victorian providers who may be experiencing an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in their communities, please advise the department if you believe there is a language that should be translated that is not available, or there are other resources available on the department’s website that should be translated. You can send this advice to the department by emailing agedcareCOVIDliaison [at] health.gov.au.

Resources

Coming soon

  • Provider perspective on outbreak management
  • Survey for providers on communications during COVID-19