Visitation guidelines, Escalation Tiers and aged care provider responses

The three-tier escalation guidelines as well as visitation guidelines and the updated Visitor Code.

Health sector

The personal welfare and mental health of aged care residents is of vital importance as Australia moves towards becoming COVIDSafe.

AHPPC has endorsed COVID-19 Escalation Tiers and Aged Care Provider Responses guidance document, October 2020.

These ‘three-tier’ escalation guidelines, endorsed by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC), will assist aged care providers to consider proportionate actions to take depending on the level of COVID-19 epidemic in the community, and ramp the response up or down as needed.

Concurrently, updated advice on visitation for residential aged care facilities (Visitation Guidelines) during COVID-19 has also been released.

The Visitation Guidelines align with the Industry Code for Visiting Residential Aged Care Homes during COVID-19 (the Industry Code) as updated on 20 November 2020, to also reflect the ‘three-tier’ model of escalation and de-escalation.

During COVID Recovery and COVID-19 Normal phases, AHPPC continues to support proportionate infection prevention and control measures. The primary focus should be on preventative action. Residents’ health needs must be balanced with their personal wellbeing and human rights. Providers should also continue to undertake health symptom screening of all people entering the facility.

This guidance is designed to support the aged care sector to boost preparedness at the provider, local, state and national level.

Certain jurisdictions may have more specific requirements/arrangements in place based on their relative risk profile. Service providers should stay up to date with the directions in their State or Territory as many are now being revised.

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