Protecting Older Australians – COVID-19 Update 4 June 2021 – Part 2

In this issue: Continued Support to aged care through COVID-19, New translated videos for aged care workers on COVID-19 vaccination, Reminder: Online resources to support aged care workers receive COVID-19 vaccinations.

Date published:
Health sector

Continued Support to aged care through COVID-19

The Aged Care Support Program Extension (GO4863) grant opportunity, announced by the Minister for Health on 2 June 2021, aims to reduce the financial cost of managing direct impacts of COVID-19 during the pandemic by reimbursing aged care providers for eligible costs.

The Program will assist Residential Aged Care, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program and Home Care Package providers that are subject to direct COVID-19 impacts, to deliver continuity of safe quality care for consumers.

A directly impacted service has:

  • one or more COVID-19 infected or isolated residents/clients/staff
  • incurred expenses between 28 May 2021 and 31 March 2022 as a result.

Eligible applicants can apply for funding for each impacted service between 28 May 2021 and 31 March 2022, for the periods between the date that first care recipient or staff member is tested for COVID-19 and the date on which direct COVID-19 impacts are resolved (i.e. no infected or isolated care recipient or staff members).

Applications for the grant are now open and will close on 31 March 2022.

To apply or find out more information about this grant, visit the GrantConnect website and search for GO4863 COVID19 - Aged Care Support Program.

New translated videos for aged care workers on COVID-19 vaccination

A range of videos for aged care workers are now available in 15 languages about how and where to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The videos also include information about COVID-19 vaccine safety and how the COVID-19 vaccines work. You are encouraged to share the videos with your network and colleagues.

Reminder: Online resources to support aged care workers receive COVID-19 vaccinations

There are a range of resources available to support residential and in-home and community aged care workers to decide about, and know where to access, a COVID-19 vaccination. This includes information in 19 languages.

Importance of COVID-19 vaccination for residential aged care and disability workers video

Encourage your networks, staff and colleagues to hear Annie Butler, Federal Secretary of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation and Professor (Practice) Alison McMillan, Commonwealth Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, guide you through what the vaccination program means for you and how you can access a COVID-19 vaccine as a residential aged care and disability worker. Watch the video online.

VIC Infection prevention and control guidelines

Updated COVID-19 infection prevention and control guidelines have been issued by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.

The guidelines are broadly applicable, but they are particularly relevant to health care workers and those working across the residential aged care sector.

The most recent changes relate to advice on cleaning and disinfection after a brief consultation, and an update to the patient definition.

However, there were also substantial updates made to the document in May which span a host of relevant issues for the residential aged care sector.

You can access the latest updates at the Victorian Department of Health’s website.

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission website also provides current information from each state and territory.

VIC updated advice for RACFs in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria

New requirements have been issued for residential aged care facilities across both metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria given the evolving COVID-19 situation in the state.

The two new sets of guidance, which apply from 11.59pm on 3 June 2021, detail critical advice based on the latest Chief Health Officer directions.

The latest advice includes:

  • Visitor restrictions, including enabling end-of-life care visits
  • Face mask requirements, for both visitors and workers
  • PPE advice
  • Requirements for resident screening and testing
  • Workforce declarations and screening
  • Workforce mobility, particularly if there is an outbreak at an RACF.

Stay up to date the latest information on the Victorian DHHS website.

NT updated advice for RACFs

The Northern Territory Chief Health Officer has issued CHO Directions No. 7 of 2021 (Directions for Aged Care Facilities) detailing who may or may not enter a residential aged care facility.

The limits have been removed on the number of visitors permitted to visit a resident at any time, and provides other guidance on record keeping requirements for visitors and employees and contractors who work at other sites.

The Direction provides a specific list of people, on top of symptomatic people, who are not permitted to enter an aged care facility. The list includes:

  • a person who has been in contact with a person infected with COVID 19 within the previous 14 days;
  • a person who must quarantine under any COVID-19 Directions;
  • a person who was, within the previous 14 days, in a place that is declared to be a COVID-19 hotspot at the time of entry;
  • a person who is required by me to be tested for COVID-19 if:
    • the person has not yet been tested
    • the person was tested but has not received a negative result for COVID-19 infection.

The new arrangements came into effect on 3 June 2021

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