Protecting Older Australians: COVID-19 update 7 October 2020

What’s new: updated directive from Queensland Health, additional PPE for Victorian providers, DHHS resources for Victorian providers, latest COVID-19 data update for aged care providers and LASA National Ten Days of Congress.

Date published:
Health sector

Today’s newsletter contains an update from Queensland Health easing some restrictions on visitors to aged care facilities.

We have included the Department of Health’s latest weekly COVID-19 data snapshot for aged care and a reminder for aged care providers in Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire that they have until the end of October to apply for P2/N95 masks from the National Medical Stockpile.

We have details about LASA’s National Congress which is on next week, and has a focus on COVID-19.

Again we encourage you to share this newsletter with your colleagues and workforce. And encourage them to subscribe for future updates.

Anyone living in an aged care facility, their family or representative who needs support should contact the Older Person’s Advocacy Network on 1800 700 600.

Updated directives from Queensland Health

Queensland Health has written to aged care providers and issued Directive No.11 covering residential aged care facilities. Health workers who wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and follow recommended infection control precautions are not considered ‘known contacts’ of confirmed COVID–19 cases for the purposes of entry to a residential aged care facility.

Also, people who have been in the New South Wales border zone are allowed to visit loved ones in residential aged care facilities. Residents can have up to two visitors at one time, and there is no limit on the number of visitors a resident can have in any one day. Residents can also leave their care facility for a range of reasons.

This Directive replaces the former Aged Care Direction (No. 10) made on 11 September 2020.

Reminder: Additional PPE for Victorian providers

A reminder that the Government is providing extra P2/N95 respirator masks for residential aged care facilities across Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire to ensure the continued delivery of safe care.

All facilities in these areas will be able to request P2/N95 respirator masks using a one-off request form. Requests must be submitted by 30 October 2020.

If additional PPE is required and it cannot be sourced through your usual means, you can submit a request to the National Medical Stockpile through the usual online PPE form. Applications for additional PPE will be prioritised and distributed to aged care facilities that are most in need.

DHHS resources for Victorian providers

Aged Care providers in Victoria are encouraged to ensure they are familiar with the latest advice published on the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) website that relates to the aged care sector and COVID–19.

The information includes advice on visitations, screening, personal protective equipment, and admissions as well as the state’s COVID–19 plan for residential aged care facilities. The DHHS site also links to webinars and other useful resources for aged care services.

Latest COVID-19 data update for aged care providers

The Department of Health is continuing to publish a weekly national data snapshot of COVID–19 outbreaks in residential aged care facilities across the country.

The latest data snapshot, shows that of the 217 residential aged care facilities that have had a case(s) of COVID–19. Of these, 96 facilities or 44 per cent have a single case of COVID–19 case.

Other international comparisons and data points can be found in the weekly report.

LASA National Congress to consider COVID-19

Leading Aged Services Australia (LASA) National Congress is on next week, and kicks off with a full day focus on COVID–19 and Aged Care. They will be discussing COVID–normal in the sector, considering international learnings, and Dr Norman Swan will discuss how the virus will change the future of the industry. For more information and to register visit LASA’s Ten Days of Congress.


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