Protecting Older Australians - COVID-19 Update 7 June 2021

What's new: Single site arrangements for COVID-19 impacted areas of Greater Melbourne extended to 24 June 2021, New reporting requirements on aged care workforce COVID-19 vaccination – updated information and more.

Date published:
Health sector

Single site arrangements for COVID-19 impacted areas of Greater Melbourne extended to 24 June 2021

To continue to enable residential aged care providers to facilitate single site worker arrangements while there is an increased risk of COVID-19 transmission, the Australian Government grant funding has been extended for two weeks to 24 June 2021. Grant funding is available to support providers with out of pocket costs associated with implementing single site arrangements in Greater Melbourne for the four week period from 27 May 2021 to 24 June 2021.

During this period, providers and workers should be implementing single site arrangements as a key step to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 between facilities. It is expected that workers will work at the site where they can work the most hours for the duration of the activity period covered. Residential aged care providers should also work cooperatively to stabilise the workforce and prevent disadvantage to any one provider.

These arrangements may be further extended on the advice of the Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer and in line with the de-escalation criteria set out in the National COVID-19 Aged Care Plan, including an assessment of the risk to vulnerable populations such as those in aged care.

Key to this arrangement is ensuring that workers are not financially disadvantaged during this period and that they continue to receive the income they may have received from other residential aged care providers. Where this results in additional out of pocket costs for the primary employer, reimbursement can be sought through the grant application process. The Support for Aged Care Workers in COVID-19 (SACWIC) grant opportunity remains open until 31 December 2021.

In addition to funding support, providers can also access guidance on practical implementation of single site arrangements, including employee relations expertise, through the Guiding Principles Support Hub website or hotline on 1800 491 793. A webinar on single site workforce arrangements was held on 1 June 2021 to answer frequently asked questions. A recording of the presentation is available on the Guiding Principles Support Hub website.

New reporting requirements on aged care workforce COVID-19 vaccination – updated information

Instructions on how to access the new online reporting tool
The Australian Government announced the introduction of a new reporting tool for all approved providers of residential, in-home and community aged care services to report on the COVID-19 vaccination status of their aged care workforce.

The reporting becomes a formal requirement for residential aged care providers starting on 15 June 2021 and it will become a formal requirement for in home and community aged care providers in the coming weeks. All providers are strongly encouraged to start reporting now.

To access the new reporting tool on the My Aged Care Provider Portal, providers are advised to refer to the updated My Aged Care Provider Portal User Guide: Part 1 Administrative Functions which are available on the website. Section 2.6 (page 84) provides the steps to report on workforce COVID-19 vaccination status.

SA - Priority vaccinations for RACFs workers

To ensure that aged care workers can be fully vaccinated quickly, SA Health is now making the Pfizer vaccine available to all people working in a Residential Aged Care Facility, regardless of age.

This includes all staff (nursing and personal care workers, allied health professionals, students on placement, kitchen, cleaning, laundry, garden and maintenance and administration/office staff), agency staff and contractors.

You will need to bring proof of employment to your appointment, such as a payslip, letter from your employer or current work ID card showing your employment in a residential aged care facility.

Book now:
You can now book an appointment at the Elizabeth Vaccination Clinic, Noarlunga Vaccination Clinic, Wayville Vaccination Clinic, Women’s and Children’s Hospital, and many regional clinics.

  • 16 years – 49 years of age – Book here
  • 50 years of age and over – Call 1800 253 787 (9.00am to 5.00pm, 7 days).

For more information please visit the SA Health website and read the FAQs.

ACT - Updated advice

On 4 June 2021, the ACT Chief Health Officer updated ACT COVID-19 advice.

  • New exposure sites have been identified in NSW after cases of COVID-19 were in the community while potentially infectious. These areas have not been designated as geographical areas of risk at this stage. This may change as the situation evolves.
  • The ACT Government has extended the ‘stay-at-home’ requirement for anyone leaving Victoria after 11:59pm 27 May 2021 and then entering the ACT. This will apply until 11:59pm 10 June 2021.

ACT aged care providers can find out more information from ACT Government.

NSW - Updated advice

NSW Health has issued additional advice for Residential Aged Care Facilities, including influenza vaccination, as at 07 June 2021. The changes include:

  • emergency workers (e.g. maintenance and ambulance staff) are exempt from needing to prove flu vaccination, and
  • all Visitors aged 6 months and over should be vaccinated against the flu.

Further information is available on the NSW Health website.

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