COVID

COVID-19 Update

Message from Senior Management

As you must have heard from the news, the Government’s pandemic management measures are relaxing with the clearly trending downward of COVID-19 transmissions in NSW.   This is certainly a pleasing news to all of us.

The government has just announced some changes to the close contact isolation rules.  However, please be aware that these changes DO NOT apply to aged care settings or aged care workers (residential care or home care or senior wellness centre).

ANHF Residential aged care facilities

Given each residential aged care facility may be impacted by the risk of COVID-19 exposure differently, all people intending to go to the nursing home should take their responsibility to contact each nursing home directly to find out what are their visiting conditions at the moment.

All nursing homes would continue to ensure residents are able to be visited by one essential visitor at all times. However, after a risk assessment, or when COVID-19 is circulating in the local community, the nursing home may choose to limit visiting duration and visitor numbers by the booking schedule. In these instances, we will continue to support residents to be visited outdoor; and connect to their family by phone or by audio visual means; or our staff will continue to support “window visit” or outdoor visit; or transport dropped off food or other items to the residents.

Exemptions will be granted by Facility Manager to residents require essential care or End-of-Life visits after risk assessment subject to the visitors’ agreement to follow additional risk mitigation measures such as enhanced PPE (N95, Face Shield, Gown and Gloves).

The booster dose completion rate is one of the determining factors for the facility to consider relaxing visiting conditions. We are pleased to inform that our staff have achieved 98% booster vaccination rate at the moment.  All visitors are asked to cooperate with the nursing home in infection prevention and control seriously, and also consider receiving COVID-19 Booster dose, as well as consider receiving the seasonal influenza vaccination.

Visitors must not enter the facility at all if they:

  • have COVID-19 symptoms
  • are a close or casual contact of a person with confirmed COVID-19 unless they have completed their self-isolation and testing requirements. Close contacts should not enter high risk settings for at least 14 days since their exposure to a COVID-positive person.
  • are waiting for a COVID-19 test result.
  • have been overseas in the previous 14 days, unless they are:
    • fully vaccinated, it has been at least 7 days after arrival and they have received a negative rapid antigen test 6 days or later after arriving in NSW.

ANHF’s Senior Wellness Centres

  • Senior Wellness Centres are permitted by the government to operate but must align with the directions in the Public Health (COVID-19 General) Order 2021.
  • Consumers will be contacted by their Centre Coordinator when their Centres are ready to re-open.
  • Our general risk mitigation practices include:
    • ensuring everyone wears a mask when indoors, unless they are exempted;
    • Continue the practice of mask wearing protocols as precautions;
    • Temperature check, COVID-19 symptoms and travel history screenings as part of normal routine (ie. no participation or attending Senior Wellness Centre if anyone have any COVID-19 symptoms);
    • Some services or activities may only be opened to fully vaccinated consumers;
    • Regular use of alcohol-based hand sanitiser;
    • Social distancing of at least 1.5 meters from other people to be observed, in particular during eating and drinking time.

Home care / Domestic Assistance Service / Personal Care Service and Flexible Respite Service / Social Support Individual Service

  • All of our home care, domestic assistance, personal care, flexible respite and social support services are operating under their COVID-Safe plans and practices.
  • In line with the community expectation, the consumers’ COVID-19 vaccination status will be taken into consideration when assessing the risks and/or the degree of services our team can provide to the consumers. Current public health guideline advises that where a client has not been fully vaccinated (2 doses), we could only perform essential services in their home with the use of appropriate PPE.  Our staff could not provide non-essential services at home at the moment if the consumers have not been fully vaccinated unless we could agree on other risk mitigation measures. 
  • All staff will follow COVID-Safe screening protocols prior to commencing work.
  • Mask wearing requirement
    • It is essential and very important that both of the home care worker and the in-home services and community consumers wear a surgical mask during the provision of the service.
    • CDC guidance informed that when you wear a mask, you protect others as well as yourself.  Masks work best when everyone wears one. In the event of becoming a close contact through care interaction that social distancing cannot be maintained, or the duration of togetherness in crowded area or area not well ventilated, having both workers and carers wearing masks helped to reduce the transmission risk.
    • A home care worker or resident may only remove their mask:
      • while communicating with a person who is deaf or hard of hearing
      • if wearing a mask creates a risk to health and safety
      • where clear enunciation or visibility of your mouth is essential
    • Anyone removing a mask for one of these reasons should maintain 1.5m distance from others wherever possible.
    • There are currently mandatory face mask rules  in some settings. If a home care worker is taking a resident out of the home setting it is important to follow the rules and understand how to use a face mask.
    • If a person cannot wear a face mask because of a disability, physical or mental health illness or condition, they must carry either
      • a medical certificate or letter signed by a registered health practitioner (such as a doctor) or a registered NDIS provider or
      • a statutory declaration.

The above information can change rapidly so please check the web (Residential Care or Home & Community Care) for updates regularly.

Getting Test for COVID-19

COVID-19 testing requirements in NSW have changed. More information can be found on the getting tested for COVID-19 fact sheet
From 12 January 2021, if you test positive for COVID-19 from a rapid antigen test (RAT), you must register your test result with Service NSW.  
Where a resident or consumer is unable to independently complete the information on the Service NSW portal, the resident’s facility manager or the consumer’s advisor or coordinator could register the result on behalf of the resident or consumer.

Rapid Antigen Test Concessional Program

From 24 January 2022, you can access free RATs if you hold an eligible Commonwealth concession card:

  • Pensioner Concession Card
  • Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card
  • Health Care Card
  • Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gold, White or Orange Cards.

The above Concessional card holders can access up to 10 RATs over a 3 month period (max 5 over a 1 month period) through participating community pharmacies.

Updates to Public Health Orders

There have been several recent updates to Public Health Orders. More information on the Public Health Orders and restrictions is available.

We appreciate your understanding that we may have to amend our measures timely in response to the urgent directive from the NSW Health.  We will contact all affected consumers, residents, relatives or staff directly as required.

ANHF Senior Management

22/04/2022

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To download previous messages, click on the below link:

Message from Senior Management – 13 August 2020

Letter from the Chairman & CEO – 18 March 2020

Chief Executive Officer

From the CEO – Amid COVID-19 – 7 May 2020

From the CEO – COVID-19 Update: Health & Safety Reminder – 7 March 2020

Community Care

Letter to Home Care & CHSP Consumers 23 November 2021

Letter to Home Care Consumers 09 July 2021

ANHF Home Care Service Newsletter May 2021

ANHF Home Care Service Newsletter March 2021

ANHF Home Care Service Newsletter January 2021

ANHF Home Care Service Newsletter December 2020

ANHF Home Care Service Newsletter November 2020

ANHF Home Care Service Newsletter October 2020

ANHF Home Care Service Newsletter August 2020

ANHF Home Care Service Newsletter July 2020

Safe Work Australia: Workplace Principles & Practice – In-Home Services during COVID-19 – 5 May 2020

Home Care Clinical Newsletter – COVID-19 – April 2020

Community Care Letter to Consumers, Tenants & Carers – Protecting Older Australians – 1 April 2020

Community Care Letter to Service Providers – 24 March 2020

Letter to Home Care Consumers – 17 February 2020

Community Care: Information & Recommended Health Care Actions – 17 February 2020

Letter to Home Care Consumers – 29 January 2020

Residential Care

Letter to Residential Care Residents and Relatives#46 22 April 2022

Letter to Residential Care Residents and Relatives#45 21 February 2022

Letter to Residential Care Residents and Relatives#44 12 February 2022

Letter to Residential Care Residents and Relatives#43 11 January 2022

Letter to Residential Care Residents and Relatives#42 23 Dec 2021

Letter to Residential Care Residents and Relatives#41 07 Nov 2021

RS6858 Visitors Risk Assessment and Response Measure – From 11-10-2021

Letter to Residential Care Residents and Relatives#40 08 Oct 2021

Letter to Residential Care Residents & Relatives #39- 07 Aug 2021

Letter to Residential Care Residents & Relatives #38- 25 July 2021

Letter to Residential Care Residents & Relatives #37- 15 July 2021

Letter to Residential Care Residents & Relatives #36- 09 July 2021

Letter to Residential Care Residents & Relatives #35- 26 June 2021

Letter to Residential Care Residents & Relatives #34- 25 June 2021

Letter to Residential Care Residents & Relatives #33- 22 June 2021

Letter to Residential Care Residents & Relatives #32- 18 June 2021

Letter to Residential Care Residents & Relatives #31- 17 May 2021

Letter to Residential Care Residents & Relatives #30- 11 May 2021

Letter to Residential Care Residents & Relatives #29- 09 May 2021

Letter to Residential Care Residents & Relatives #28- 06 May 2021

Letter to Residential Care Residents & Relatives #27- 23 March 2021

Letter to Residential Care Residents & Relatives #26- 01 March 2021

COVID-19 Vaccine Consent Form

Letter to Residential Care Residents & Relatives #25- 22 February 2021

Letter to Residential Care Residents & Relatives #24 – 06 February 2021

COVID-19 Vaccine Update from Department of Health 03 February 2021

COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions from Department of Health 03 February 2021

Letter to Residential Care Residents & Relatives #23 – 30 January 2021

Letter to Residential Care Residents & Relatives #22 – 27 January 2021

Letter to Residential Care Residents & Relatives #21 – 15 January 2021

Letter to Residential Care Residents & Relatives #20 – 7 January 2021

Letter to Residential Care Residents & Relatives #19 – 30 December 2020

Letter to Residential Care Residents & Relatives #18 – 23 December 2020

Public Health (COVID-19 Aged Care Facilities) Order (No 4) 2020-11 December 2020

Letter to Residential Care Residents & Relatives #17 – 18 December 2020

Letter to Residential Care Residents & Relatives #16 – 24 November 2020

Letter to Residential Care Residents & Relatives #15 – 28 September 2020

Public Health (COVID-19 Aged Care Facilities) Order (No 3) 2020 – 16 September 2020

COVID-19 Update from NSW Health & NSW Chief Health Officer – 31 August 2020

Letter to Residential Care Residents & Relatives – Update #14 – 31 August 2020

Letter to Residential Care Residents & Relatives – Update #13 – 21 August 2020

What to expect if the facility has a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 – 21 August 2020

COVID-19 Info for permanent aged care residents emergency leave – 3 August 2020

Letter to Residential Care Residents & Relatives – Update #12 – 23 July 2020

Letter to Staff & Volunteers – Urgent Updates from NSW Health 16 July 2020

Letter to Residential Care Residents & Relatives – Update #11 – 16 July 2020

Letter to Residential Care Residents & Relatives – Update #10 – 26 June 2020

Letter to Residential Care Residents & Relatives – Update #9 – 15 May 2020

Industry Code for Visiting RAC Homes during COVID-19 – 15 May 2020

Mandatory Requirement on Influenza Vaccination – Update #8 – 28 April 2020

2020 Influenza Vaccination – Mandatory Requirement for Anyone Who Need to Work or Visit a RACF

Letter to Residential Care Residents & Relatives #7 – 1 April 2020

How to protect yourself and people you are caring for from infection with COVID-19 – March 2020

Letter to Residential Care Residents & Relatives #6 – 19 March 2020

Letter to Residential Care Residents & Relatives #5 – 6 March 2020

Residential Care Letter: Information for Visitors During COVID-19 Outbreak – 2 March 2020

Letter to Residential Care Residents & Relatives #4 – 29 February 2020

Letter to Residential Care Residents & Relatives #3 – 16 February 2020

Letter to Residential Care Residents & Relatives #2 – 12 February 2020

Letter to Residential Care Residents & Relatives #1 – 31 January 2020

Keep up to date with the latest news from the Department of Health:

NSW Health Alert – COVID-19 Case Updates & Warnings – 13 July 2020

Australian Government Department of Health

New South Wales Government Department of Health

New South Wales Government Department of Health Facebook

NSW Health: COVID-19 Updates

World Health Organisation

Factsheets – Australian Government Department of Health

Interim Advice on Non-Inpatient Care of Persons with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19

Factsheet for Older Australians – I have a Home Care Package, What Does this Mean for Me?

Covid-19 Information for Residents of RAC Services, their Family Members & Visitors

Families & Residents on Restricted Visits to RACF

COVID-19: Identifying the symptoms

Slowing the spread of COVID-19 – Practice social distancing

Practise simple hygiene by washing hands regularly

NSW Health Secondary Triage – Information for Residents & their Families

NSW Health Factsheet – Secondary Triage for RACF

COVID-19 Advice for the Public: Myth Busters

COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates

Cold weather and snow CANNOT kill the new coronavirus

Does the new coronavirus affect older people, or are younger people also susceptible?

Taking a hot bath does not prevent the new coronavirus disease

The new coronavirus CANNOT be transmitted through mosquito bites

Can an ultraviolet disinfection lamp kill the new coronavirus?

Can spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body kill the new coronavirus?

How effective are thermal scanners in detecting people infected with the new coronavirus?

Are antibiotics effective in preventing and treating the new coronavirus?

Do vaccines against pneumonia protect you against the new coronavirus?

Can regularly rinsing your nose with saline help prevent infection with the new coronavirus?

Additional Resources – Learn the fundamentals of infection prevention and control:

World Health Organisation: When and how to use masks

How to make a cloth face mask – Health & Human Services Victoria State Government

Frequently Asked Questions:

NSW Health: COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Call Us on 1800 882 288

Older people are at greater risk of more serious illness if they get COVID-19. If you, or someone you care for, need help, there is support available. Visit My Aged Care COVID-19 page to access a range of important resources to guide you through this difficult time.

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