Erin Heine posted in Disability Inclusion Network Central Coast
12th May 21, 08:02 AM
NSW Ministry of Health - Updated Guidance to Disability Service Providers Disability Service Providers 11/05/21
The advice by NSW Health Public Health Response Branch for residential disability care providers and home care service providers has been UPDATED today (11 May 2021) on the NSW Health Disability Support Providers webpage at https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/covid-19/Pages/disability-support.aspx.
1. COVID UPDATE
• The key messages are:
o There has been local transmission of COVID-19 in NSW with close and casual contact locations identified.
o For residential disability care facilities within the Greater Sydney area, including metropolitan Sydney, Nepean Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong:
All staff and visitors should wear a surgical mask where possible
Residents should limit visitors to a maximum of two visitors each day. They may have different visitors each day.
o Greater Melbourne is currently considered an affected area, with a number of places of high concern.
o Western Australia has been removed as an affected area.
o This information can change rapidly so please check the web at least daily for updates.
o Influenza vaccination is recommended for all staff, residents and visitors to residential disability care facilities.
o You can find a list of NSW close and casual contact locations here.
• Providers are reminded that:
o the guidance provided presents the latest advice from NSW Health to assist in the assessment of risk and the prevention of community transmission
o they should carefully balance the need for infection control with the rights of people with disability to receive disability services and to engage in all their usual activities
o people with disability, disability workers and families should be reminded that when attending sites where there are crowds, it is important to remain COVID aware and maintain COVIDSafe practices including:
handwashing and hand sanitising
cough and sneeze etiquette
physical distancing, and
checking in when entering hospitality and other sites. Any problems with using QR codes should be directed to Service NSW in the first instance on 13 77 88.
If providers need assistance with assessing risk or require advice about how to implement the NSW Health advice, they should consult their local Public Health Unit on 1300 066 055 or email [email protected].
2. GENERAL PUBLIC HEALTH ADVICE
• NSW Health has issued further alert this evening about the situation in Victoria. People arriving in NSW arriving from the Greater Melbourne area from 6am tomorrow (Wednesday 12 May 2021) must complete a declaration which confirms that they have not attended a venue of concern. These declarations will be available on the Service NSW website soon.
• You can find advice on face mask requirements for the general community in NSW here.
• The mass vaccination centre at Sydney Olympic Park opened yesterday with hundreds of people receiving their COVID-19 vaccine and thousands more booked in for this week. All reports are that the process is running smoothly.
• You can find further information on where to get vaccinated here.
• General advice on COVID-19 in NSW can be found here.
3. ALERTS AND HELP
• The cases of community transmission in Sydney and Melbourne are a reminder that we need to maintain all COVIDSafe behaviours, especially the use of QR codes or other methods for checking into business and other locations.
• If you do not have a mobile phone or cannot use the QR code for any other reason, the venue is required to have an alternative option to check in: “You must provide an alternative form of electronic check-in for people without smartphones”. Read more here and here. Direct any concerns or inquiries in the first instance to Service NSW on 13 77 88.
• NB: Advice will change quickly in response to new information (including identification of community transmission sites)
• We will send an email alert if/when the guidance changes but it is recommended that you regularly check the latest advice on the NSW Health website.
• If you require advice on anything related to the guidance contact:
• your local Public Health Unit on 1300 066 055
• the Ministry of Health on (02) 9391 9858 or [email protected].
4. COVID VACCINE ROLLOUT
• A reminder that anyone in Phase 1a or 1b can make a booking for a vaccination by following the question sets on the Vaccine Eligibility Checker and answering the questions to reflect their situation. Some of the NSW Health Vaccine Clinics are not yet linked via this booking system. If you are located in an area not covered by one of the listed clinics, check back in regularly to see when your area has been added.
• You may also be approached by your Local Health District (LHD) to connect you with a local clinic in the meantime. If you are contacted, you are encouraged to take the opportunity to organise vaccinations for your residents and staff. If you wish to make contact with your LHD, please use your usual connections or email [email protected].
• If you have any concerns about, or difficulties with, the Eligibility Checker process or vaccinations more generally (including specific questions about vaccinations in NSW for the disability sector), you can get assistance from the National Coronavirus and COVID-19 Vaccine Helpline on 1800 020 080.
• Feedback from people with disability and disability providers about:
o attending the Sydney Olympic Park Mass Vaccination Clinic has been consistently positive. There is some disability parking at the back of the centre. Flag your disability parking needs when you are asked for information about any mobility issues, and ask for advice on how to book. There is a rear entrance from the disability parking area that provides easy access to the centre
o access to vaccinations in rural areas has also been very positive, with a number having been contacted by their LHD disability leads with offers to residents and staff to attend LHD Vaccination Clinics group bookings.
• We understand that Aspen Medical (the vaccination provider engaged by the Commonwealth Department of Health to deliver inreach for disability group homes) is about to begin inreach visits. Once further advice comes to hand about locations we will let you know. In the meantime, access options include NSW Health Clinics, GPs (for those over 50) or the two Sonic Pfizer Clinics.
• The Commonwealth has advised that this online form can be used to make a declaration of eligibility under Phase 1a or 1b:
Alternatively, people working in the disability sector can produce a letter from their employer to show that they work in the disability sector. The letter or declaration can be produced electronically (for example, on a mobile phone).
• Providers are reminded not to forget flu vaccinations and to ensure 14 days between flu and COVID-19 vaccinations.
Direct any specific questions or suggestions about COVID-19 vaccines for people with disability or disability workers to the Disability Team at the Vaccine Taskforce by emailing [email protected].
For any other inquiries or concerns call the Ministry of Health on (02) 9391 9858 or email [email protected].