Protecting Older Australians – COVID-19 Update 30 July 2021

In this issue: NSW Health – Updated advice, SA Health – Updated advice, Webinar recording now available: The Loss and Grief experienced by aged care staff in the wake of COVID-19, Reminder – Survey to evaluate the Aged Care COVID-19 Grief and Trauma supports

Date published:
Health sector

NSW Health - Updated advice

The screening advice for residential aged care facilities and home care service providers has been updated for 29 July 2021.

The key messages for this update include:

  • For home care service provider and residential disability care facility staff living or staying in:
    • the City of Fairfield (Fairfield LGA), testing continues to apply from 29 July 2021 until 31 July 2021.
    • the Canterbury-Bankstown LGA will need to begin COVID-19 testing every 72 hours from 31 July 2021.
    • other affected LGAs are not required to get tested regularly, but should get a COVID-19 test in these circumstances.
  • For residential aged care facility staff living or staying in:
  • Victorian border region staff are not excluded from residential aged or disability care facilities or working as home care service providers
  • Current visitor restrictions for RACFs remain in place until further notice and a reminder that all staff (including contractors but excluding people entering the premises in response to an emergency) and visitors to residential aged care facilities will need to check-in using the Service NSW QR code app.

This information can change rapidly so please check the NSW Health website at least daily for updates.

SA Health – Updated advice

While SA Stay at Home orders have ceased, the current SA Emergency Management Direction for RACFs remain in place.

Whilst public activity restrictions in the community will ease, the requirements set out in the Emergency Management (Residential Aged Care Facilities) (COVID-19) Direction 2021 and the Public Health direction to follow the approved COVID-19 Infection Control Plan, will remain in place.

Visitors to RACF for the purpose of providing care and support to a resident (eg. family and friends) can recommence from tomorrow with the following requirements:

  • Limitation on Care and Support Visits: Visitors are limited to a maximum of two visitors per day in RACFs where less than 70% of residents have received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. This may be two visits of one person each time, or one visit of two people together. RACFs with 70% or more of residents vaccinated against COVID-19 (with at least a first dose) are not impacted by these visitor restrictions.
  • Wearing of Masks: A person (other than a resident or a child under 12 years) must not enter or remain on the premises of a RACF, unless the person is wearing a face mask (covering mouth and nose) at all times when in the physical presence of other persons.

The requirement for a mask does not apply:

  • when the person is eating or drinking
  • the wearing of a mask will hinder the provision of the relevant care and/or impact resident safety or wellbeing
  • by a person who has a relevant medical condition, including problems with their breathing, a serious condition of the face, a disability or a mental health condition
  • in circumstances where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication, such as to enable communication by or with any person who is deaf or hard of hearing.

Note on Sourcing PPE: SA Health can provide surgical masks to RACFs free of charge while the wearing of masks by all staff and visitors is a mandatory requirement in the RACF Emergency Management Direction. To obtain stock, please email:

Further changes to the RACF Emergency Management Direction will be communicated in the coming days.

More information about COVID-19 and Aged Care is available on the SA Health website.

Webinar recording now available: The Loss and Grief experienced by aged care staff in the wake of COVID-19

Your staff may find it useful to view a new webinar now available to provide grief and loss support to those working in the aged care sector. The webinar is provided as part of the national grief and loss support the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement (ACGB) is providing for those living and working in aged care, and for the loved ones of aged care recipients, who have been impacted by COVID-19. The Australian Government is funding this support as part of the Aged Care COVID-19 grief and trauma response package.

ACGB recently hosted their first in a series of 4 webinars designed to provide grief and loss support to those in and around the aged care sector: The loss and grief experienced by aged care staff in the wake of COVID-19.

You can view the webinar and please take the time to view and share it with your colleagues in aged care.


Webinar Overview:
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the aged care sector in Australia. Aged Care staff have experienced extraordinary levels of uncertainty and distress. This has generated an extra dimension to the grief and loss which already has been so prominent within the aged care sector.

What the webinar covered: The webinar explored impact that COVID-19 has had on residential aged care staff. The webinar reflected on this situation, identified some of the major issues of concern and offers practical strategies aimed at assisting staff so that they can work safely and productively within the aged care sector.

Who should view the webinar?

  • All staff working in the aged care sector, including those working in residential aged care or providing home care for older persons.
  • People working in management or organisational leadership within the residential aged care sector.
  • Anyone interested in providing support with grief and bereavement issues within aged care residential settings.

The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement has support and information resources available in 5 languages on its aged care grief and bereavement support website. Hard copies of information in print, and in language can be ordered at no cost to you by using the order form on the program resource page.

To contact ACGB, email:

For more information about the aged care COVID-19 grief and trauma response package, or for questions, contact Visit the program page for more information, brochures, posters, translated resources and social media content to raise awareness of the services.

Reminder – Survey to evaluate the Aged Care COVID-19 Grief and Trauma supports

The Department is committed to continuous improvement of consumer supports, programs and services.

Please complete this short, 5-minute survey to help us evaluate the aged care COVID-19 grief and trauma response package. The survey will assess:

  • how many people know about the services provided in the package.
  • how many people used the services provided
  • how the services and communication about the package could be improved

Who should fill in the survey?
We’d like to hear from all aged care stakeholders, regardless of your awareness/involvement in the package. This survey is intended to capture the aged care provider experience, so is for:

  • aged care providers, including home care and residential care
  • aged care staff
  • aged care stakeholders
  • Community Visitors Scheme auspices and volunteers

Background on the package:
The emotional and psychological impacts of COVID-19 right across the aged care sector have caused grief and trauma for many. The Australian Government has funded a Grief and Trauma Response Package (the Package) to provide grief and trauma support and resources to aged care recipients, their loved ones and the aged care staff.

You can complete the survey which will be open until 16 August 2021.

There will be a subsequent survey to capture the perspective of older people and their loved ones.

If you have any questions about the survey, please contact: HealthConsult Project Manager Amy Monk via or the Department project team

Help us improve

If you would like a response please use the enquiries form instead.