Covid-19 updates as of Wednesday- 13 July 2022



The Victorian government announced as of 11.59pm Tuesday, 12 July, the period when someone is considered a recently confirmed case (thus exempt from testing and isolation/quarantine requirements) has been revised to 4 weeks from 12 weeks as per the advice of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC). This is to reflect the emerging evidence that new variants of COVID-19 evade prior immunity gained from infection. Please click here to view the state government’s advice to stay well in winter.

The Victorian government announced, on Tuesday 5 July, it will extend the Pandemic Bill for an additional three months. Premier Daniel Andrews explained this extension will allow key settings to stay in place over the winter, considering the rising COVID-19 cases.


Here are some helpful links


Click here to read more about COVID-19 information for the community service sector.


Click here to read more about COVID-10 information for the community service sector in Easy English.


If you are looking for COVID-19 updates and other safety measures in languages other than English, click here to view the Victorian government’s CALD resources.

Most COVID-19 restrictions have been removed on Friday 22 April 2022. Click here to view the Victorian government’s Department of Health’s updates and advice on public health response.


Vaccinations update


The Victorian government has recommended a winter booster shot for those who are vulnerable to severe illness. The interval recommended between a recent SARS-CoV-2 infection, or the first booster dose and a winter booster dose is now 3 months. They have recommended it for people who are:


  • Adults aged 50 years and over.

  • Adults aged 30 to 49 years, however the benefit for people in this age group is less certain.

  • A resident in an aged care or disability care facility.

  • Severely immunocompromised.

  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and aged 50 years and older.

  • Aged 16-64 and with a medical condition that increases the risk of severe COVID-19 illness.

  • Aged 16 to 64 with disability with significant or complex health needs or multiple comorbidities which increased risk of poor outcome.

If you need help arranging an appointment, please contact your outcomes lead/house supervisor or regional general manager outcomes. You can also find your nearest vaccination site and walk in or book now. More information is at: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/vaccine.


As always, information about service users’ rights to consent to or refuse the vaccine can be accessed on the Office of the Public Advocate website. Also, the best personto talk to if you have concerns about your health and being vaccinated against COVID-19 is your doctor/general practitioner (GP).


See the Department of Health and Aged Care website for more information.

See Disability Gateway’s website on general information regarding vaccinations (Easy English)

Click here to view the Department of Health’s document about the COVID-19 winter dose (Easy English)


Information for visitors coming to visit


Visitors over 18 are required to wear an N95/P2 if they are inside the building. Visitors will continue to declare, in writing upon entering homes, that they

  • Do not have any symptoms of COVID-19, other than symptoms caused by an underlying health condition or medication; AND

  • Are not currently required to self-isolate or self-quarantine in accordance with the Quarantine, Isolation and Testing Order.

Also,

  • Have received a negative result from a COVID-19 rapid antigen test on the same day that they attend the Melba Residential Service; OR

  • Are entering for purpose of providing urgent support for a person's immediate physical, cognitive, or emotional wellbeing, and it was not practicable for the visitor to take a COVID-19 rapid antigen test prior to entering; OR

  • Have undertaken a COVID-19 PCR test within 24 hours prior to visiting and provided acceptable evidence of a negative result from that test.

Adults can sign the declaration for children. Both RAT tests and masks are available onsite. So, please be in touch if we can provide you with these resources.


What are the COVID-19 guidelines for disability support service?


Disability support workers are required to have three COVID-19 vaccinations. They are also required to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Masks have played an important role in stopping the spread of COVID-19. While their use is not as widespread in the community as it once was, there is still a requirement to wear a mask in some places and situations at Melba. Currently, Melba continues to require the use of P2 masks when in shared spaces with people we support.


Support workers don’t need to wear facemasks when outdoors unless they cannot keep a 1.5m distance from the supported person and other workers.


Melba continues its commitment to ensure that we are responsive to the health needs of people we support and the Melba Covid Team continue to meet weekly to ensure that we are supporting people to live fabulous lives.


Factsheets on needle phobia are now available. They are:

COVIDSafe Settings for the disability services sector


All disability services must comply with any applicable directions in the Workplace (Additional Industry Obligations) and have a COVIDSafe Plan for onsite operations. For more information about restrictions and developing a COVIDSafe Plan visit Victoria’s coronavirus website.


NDIS Providers


NDIS providers have obligations under the NDIS Code of Conduct and the NDIS Practice Standards as well as conditions of registration that relate to the delivery of safe, quality supports and services, and the management of risks associated with the supports provided to NDIS participants.


The NDIS Quality & Safeguards Commission


The Commission has issued a fact sheet for providers about COVID-19 outbreak preparedness, prevention and management. This resource contains practical guidance to support providers to ensure workers take reasonable precautions to protect people with disability and themselves, prepare for an outbreak of COVID-19, respond to suspected or confirmed cases in different types of service settings, and manage an outbreak of COVID-19.


From 28 May 2021, community facilities (e.g. community centers and community halls) must use the free Victorian Government QR Code Service through the Service Victoria app. For instructions on how to switch if you are using a non-Service Victoria provider, please go to QR code service and digital record keeping for contact tracing.


Vaccinations


The COVID-19 vaccines are free, safe and voluntary – the more people who are vaccinated, the greater the protection for those vaccinated and the whole community.

  • The COVID-19 vaccines are free for everyone in Australia.

  • The best person to talk to if you have concerns about your health and being vaccinated against COVID-19 is your doctor/general practitioner (GP).

  • Visit the Australian Government website for the latest news and updates on COVID-19 vaccines.

  • For the latest vaccine information from the Victorian Department of Health, please visit: COVID-19 Vaccines.

You can also subscribe to the Victorian Department of Health project update mailing list for updates on the vaccination rollout in Victoria.


Information about service users’ rights to consent to or refuse the vaccine can be accessed on the Office of the Public Advocate website.


COVID-19 information for people with disability is available in accessible formats at: Information for people with disability.


Remember as of April 23rd you no longer need to isolate if you are able to test, wear a mask at indoor venues outside your home and not attend hospital’s care facilities unless you have an exemption to be there. For more information use go to ​​​​​​​Checklist for COVID contacts .


Take care,


Hayley


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