Since 5pm AEST, 29 March 2021, all of Queensland has been declared a restricted area in response to COVID-19 community transmission within Greater Brisbane.
For all residential aged care facilities in Queensland, this includes:
- No personal visitors (end of life visits and visits to maintain continuity of care that cannot be delivered by non-contact means are still permitted). For more information visit the QLD Health website.
- Residents may only be permitted to leave for health reasons, to attend a funeral, or for an emergency or compassionate reason.
- Anyone entering a facility must wear a single use surgical face mask. A person does not have to wear a mask if it will create a risk to their health or safety.
- Facilities in all areas are considered at Moderate Risk for the purposes of the PPE Guidance, as per this letter from Dr. Jillan Farmer.
- Masks are required for all of Queensland when indoors.
- Greater Brisbane will enter a 3 day lockdown.
Queensland aged care providers can find out more information and are encouraged to stay up to date via the QLD Health website.
Please note that these restrictions will not affect the rollout of vaccines to impacted facilities and teams will comply with Queensland government public health orders including wearing the required PPE to protect residents and staff while administering vaccines.
Single site funding support for COVID-19 impacted areas of greater Brisbane region
In response to the increased number of COVID-19 cases in Queensland, the Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer has declared greater Brisbane region as a COVID-19 hotspot. Australian Government grant funding is now available to support aged care providers to implement single site arrangements. This supports the Queensland Government’s Aged Care Direction (No.25) which recommends that residential aged care providers limit their staff to working at one site.
The grant funding will be available for out of pocket costs incurred during an initial two week period, from 30 March 2021 to 13 April 2021. If the hotspot declaration is extended, these arrangements will also be extended.
A reminder that employers should ensure their workers are not financially disadvantaged during this period. Where this results in additional out of pocket costs for the provider, reimbursement can be sought through the grant application process. The Support for Aged Care Workers in COVID-19 (SACWIC) grant opportunity remains open until 30 June 2021.
At this stage, SACWIC funding is available to residential aged care providers in the following LGAs:
- City of Brisbane
- City of Ipswich
- Logan City
- Moreton Bay Region
- Redland City.
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.
NSW – Screening advice for residential aged care facilities
- There are close and casual contact locations in NSW in the Byron Bay LGA
- Restricted access applies for people who have been to: Brisbane City, Moreton Bay Logan, Ipswich and Redlands Regional Council areas and any contact tracing locations since 11 March 2021
- Visitors and staff (including home care service providers) are required to wear a surgical mask if the residential aged care facility or home care services are located in the Northern NSW locations of Ballina LGA, Byron Bay LGA, Lismore LGA and Tweed LGA.
All States and Territories
In response to COVID-19 in Brisbane, other States and Territories may have updated restrictions and Directions. Aged care providers are reminded to stay up to date with advice and Directions from their local government via the links below:
- New South Wales
- Australian Capital Territory
- South Australia
- Western Australia
- Northern Territory
Further information and advice
Please see online for information and resources to assist in preparing and managing a COVID-19 outbreak including what to do in the first 24 hours of an outbreak in a residential aged care facility.