22 April 2022

As, Covid-19 continues to circulate in our community and rules continue to change surrounding the virus, we have a duty of care to our staff and participants to do everything we can to keep us all safe.  In light of recent changes, we are making some changes to how we deliver supports.

CLOSE CONTACTS

Last week, NSW Health announced changes to self-isolation requirements for Close Contacts.  Those changes can be found here.  It is key to note that these changes do not apply to disability support, however we have implemented a covid safe plan that will allow some flexibility and maintain safety for staff and participants.

Close contacts are those who live with a person who has tested positive to Covid-19.  They no longer need to self-isolate and will be provided with an opportunity to work if the following measures are in place at a minimum;

  1. They will be unable to work in high-risk settings or without the consent of the participant.  Community access supports will be acceptable supports for most Participants, but this will still depend on a case-by-case basis to consider other factors such as a Participants vaccination status, underlying health issues and living arrangements.
  2. All close contacts will be required to undertake daily rapid antigen testing each day prior to providing supports.  They must also not be experiencing any symptoms.
  3. If points 1 and 2 are satisfied, they must also wear a p2/N95 mask for the duration of the support.  DAS will supply support workers with a Covid kit inclusive of masks and other hygiene products such as hand sanitizer, wipes and spray.  This will be used to wipe down their vehicles if transport is a component of the support.

The key component to this change is the consent of all Participants and we have a dedicated Covid Safe team who will work with our Participants to ensure they are comfortable receiving supports with DAS.

EXTRA MEASURES

DAS will continue to follow our other COVID-19 policies, they will not change. These measures include;

  1. All Support Workers must wear a mask at all times on support unless eating, undertaking exercise or working with a hearing-impaired client. Especially, while driving in a vehicle with a Participant. 
  2. All Support Workers will call ahead of each support to complete a “COVID-19 Check In” to assess the welfare of the Participant and of the occupants of their home.
  3. All Support Workers will wipe down their vehicles and other touch points between supports to help minimise transmissions. They have all been provided with Covid Kits for this use.

PARTICIPANTS

We need your help!  We need participants and their families to let us know if they are feeling unwell so we can adjust how we provide supports.  We also need to know if you are living with someone who has tested positive to covid-19 because we will adjust who and how supports are provided in these environments.  

Please contact your Team Leader as soon as possible if you are feeling unwell or call our on call number on 02 8328 1414 to report Covid-19 exposures.

While Covid-19 is not new we are aware of the exhaustion many are feeling in this ever changing environment.  We genuinely appreciate the commitment both our staff and participants have made in keeping us informed of Covid-19 exposures and taking steps to keep themselves and others safe wherever possible.  Together we will all see this through to the other side.

If you or someone you know is struggling with the impacts of Covid-19 support is available.

  • NSW Mental Health Line- 1800 011 511
  • Beyond Blue helpline – 1800 512 348
  • Lifeline – 13 11 14
  • Service NSW mental wellbeing resources