COVID-19: Update 28/07/2020
As of todays date (28/07/2020 ) we have no reported cases of COVID-19 within A4L and will be operating to maintain this.
We have been maintaining all practises listed below in addition to completing risk assessments each morning.
COVID-19: Update 1/05/2020
As of todays date (1/05/2020 ) we have no reported cases of COVID-19 within A4L and will be operating to maintain this.
COVID-19: Update 16/04/2020
As of todays date (16/04/2020 ) we have no reported cases of COVID-19 within A4L and will be operating to maintain this.
COVID-19: Update 31/03/2020
As we continue to monitor the COVID-19 outbreak closely, please be advised our Day Program and in-home and community 1:1 support will continue until we are further advised.
- We have restricted all access to the Wellness Centre. The front gates have been closed and reception is now virtual (1800 254 834).
- Symptom checks are conducted at all of our sites on staff and clients daily.
- We have implemented a rigorous cleaning procedure that ensures all surfaces at our sites & in our vehicles are regularly sterilised. Additional PPE has been made available to staff.
- We have cancelled all face to face meetings.
- We are practising social distancing (as much as possible) and have some staff working from home.
- We have implemented temperature checks at all our sites for staff and clients. The purpose is to identify early if someone presents with a temperature or fever.
- All staff have completed the compulsory COVID-19 training.
We are finalising scenario planning for situations such as a society wide shut down; school closures and its impact on staff availability and what would happen if someone at Alive4life contracted Covid-19.
At all times the health and safety of our Staff and Clients is our priority.
As of todays date (31/03/2020 ) we have no reported cases of COVID-19 within A4L and will be operating to maintain this.
COVID-19: Update on Alive4life response to outbreak 20/03/2020
Hi to our valued Alive4life clients, carers, friends and team,
We are writing to update you on the measures Alive4life have commenced in response to the Corona Virus outbreak and our efforts to protect our community. Most importantly we wish to assure everyone that your health and wellbeing are our top priority and we take this matter very seriously.
The team at Alive4life have been monitoring the outbreak very closely to develop a realistic and effective response across our organisation. Our current response is the mitigation and analysis of risk with further preparations to manage a potential pandemic in accordance with the Federal Governments Corona Virus Emergency Response Plan.
As of Monday, 16th March we have enacted our organisational emergency response protocol stage 1. This means we are taking a number of measures to protect our wellness centre, residential living homes and the homes within the community that our team enters and deliver services within. As well as protecting our staff, clients, carers and wider community. These responses will impact on our services, however we are endeavouring to minimise disruptions and inconvenience where we can.
These measures include;
- Restricting all visitors to the wellness centre and residential homes until further notice and limiting contact between people within the wellness centre
- Increased daily cleaning and disinfecting of all spaces and surfaces
- Offering more centre based activities for our group based clients with outings restricted to quiet areas that are not being accessed by other community members
- Regular symptom assessments for centre based and residential based staff and clients with plans and supports in place where self isolation is required
- Providing all onsite and offsite staff with PPE packs for the duration of their shifts
- Onsite full time staff to work from home as often as possible
- Support Coordination will continue their division in a work from home environment with all home visits and person to person meetings suspended until further notice.
- Community based supports will continue on a case by case basis with ongoing assessments of the health and wellbeing of everyone involved. Staff have received further advice in hand washing, hygiene and personal protective equipment to minimise the risk of transmission
- Cancellation of all community events until further notice
We understand that these decisions have a wide reaching impact, including impacting other organisations and services. Alive4life respectfully request that open and transparent communication be our top priority as we work hard to continue to support the needs of our clients and greater community. Our goal is to collaborate with our team, clients, carers, stakeholders and the greater community to proactively respond to this pandemic and minimise risk and impact to our community.
Alive4life will continue to update you with further information and advice. Please, if you can any concerns or questions, give us a call or send us an email.
Stay well Everyone!!!
Alive4life Disability Services Team
Information for support workers and access to PPE
The following information has been cleared by the Australian Government Department of Health.
- People who have returned from anywhere overseas, or have been in close contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19, must self-isolate for 14 days.
- If you develop symptoms, including a fever and cough, immediately and urgently seek medical attention.
This information sheet should be read in conjunction with the ‘What you need to know’ and ‘Isolation guidance’ information sheets on the Australian Government Department of Health website.
Can I go to work?
Like others, people working in the disability services sector need to stay at home for 14 days after returning from overseas or being in close contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19. Employees who are in isolation cannot go to work and should alert their employer. Depending on the type of work, and provided the employee is well, they may want to discuss alternative arrangements such as working from home. See the ‘Isolation guidance’ information sheets on the Department of Health website.
Disability support workers should not attend work if they have a fever, or symptoms of a respiratory illness.
What should I tell my staff?
Employers should provide information to all employees and contract staff on relevant information and procedures to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Employers should inform staff who meet the above criteria that they should remain isolated in their home.
Employees should advise their employer if they develop symptoms during the isolation period, particularly if they have been in the workplace or in contact with a client. Public health authorities may contact employers in the event an employee is confirmed to have coronavirus.
NDIS providers can find information about coronavirus, including provider obligations, how to reduce the risk to participants, and links to updates and resources on the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission website.
Is training available?
The Australian Government Department of Health has developed a free online training module: Infection prevention and control for COVID-19.
This training module is for all support workers, including those in disability and aged care. It covers the fundamentals of infection prevention and control for COVID-19, including
- COVID-19 – what is it?
- Signs and symptoms
- Keeping safe – protecting participants and your workforce
- Myth busting
At the end of this module, you should be able to:
- understand the basics about the COVID-19 virus, including how it is spread
- describe what you can do to protect participants and your workforce
- know what to do if you develop symptoms
- know what to do if the person you are supporting develops symptoms
- tell the difference between myths and facts of COVID-19.
If you have any technical questions relating to the training portal, please email [email protected]
The Department of Health has also developed a webinar on COVID-19 preparedness for in-home and community aged care. This webinar is also relevant to all providers and workers in the disability sector.
Should disability support workers wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?
If you are working with people with disability, continue to practise good hygiene – wearing gloves where required, washing your hands frequently and so on.
There is no need for disability or health workers to wear surgical masks unless you are working directly with clients or patients who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. Further guidance on the use of surgical masks is on the Department of Health website.
How can providers access PPE?
The Australian Government Department of Health provides the following advice for providers to access PPE.
If a case of COVID-19 is suspected by a medical professional, workers will need to practise further infection control measures including use of appropriate PPE.
In the context of NDIS supports and services, where a case of COVID-19 is suspected by a medical professional, PPE may be required in settings where:
- supports being provided are essential to the participant’s life, health of safety due to withdrawal or alteration of critical supports
- contact between people exceeds Department of Health guidelines for social distancing or isolation
- there are heightened risks to people with disability due to their vulnerabilities.
These situations may arise in supported living arrangements, or where essential supports are provided to a person in their own home.
In line with standard procedure, all requests for stock from the National Medical Stockpile should be sent to: [email protected].
The Department of Health is triaging requests for stock from the National Medical Stockpile and is recommending deployments of protective equipment from the Stockpile according to need. Requesting parties will be asked to demonstrate that:
- they have been unable to source masks through the open market
- existing stocks have been depleted
- who the requested masks are intended for
- how the masks are to be prioritised and distributed in order to minimise transmission to greatest effect
- how previous Stockpile stocks (if applicable) have been used efficiently and effectively.
In the event of an outbreak in a supported independent living setting, NDIS providers should contact the Department to request PPE from the Stockpile immediately.
For the latest advice, information and resources, go to www.health.gov.au
Call the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you require translating or interpreting services, call 131 450.
The phone number of each state or territory public health agency is available at www.health.gov.au/state-
Links to previous COVID-19 provider alerts
- 19 March 2020: Business continuity planning
- 9 March 2020: Provider obligations and COVID-19 health information
- 7 February 2020: Information about the novel coronavirus outbreak