Friday 17 December 2021
This is an archived Newsletter. The information may be outdated.
For the latest COVID-19 information, please refer to the SA Government COVID-19 website.
Sector staff get COVID-19 booster now
Dear sector colleagues,
As the holidays loom I know we are all working hard to keep the people we support safe and ensure continuity of services. This means having fully vaccinated staff AND, if eligible, a COVID-19 booster.
Why a booster?
DHS has been working with SA Health to change the Arrivals - Associated Direction which restricts people who have returned to SA from Victoria, NSW or the ACT from entering a high-risk setting for seven days. This current Associated Direction would have severely hampered the sector's ability to schedule sufficient staff.
We anticipate there will shortly be a provision to enable staff to return to a high-risk workplace if:
- they are double vaccinated against COVID-19, AND
- have received a COVID-19 booster shot (if eligible).
I would encourage all of you to inform your staff to book here to receive their booster NOW. Current guidelines for a COVID-19 booster are five months since your last vaccination.
Following on from my COVID-19 Update on Wednesday 15 December, I would like to take this opportunity to highlight important issues regarding COVID-19 and our sector.
We have already had reports of COVID-19 in some of our care homes, while some staff have become close contacts and have had to isolate. It is important we all continue to review and update our business continuity and risk management plans so we can provide continuity of service in these tough times.
Resources are available for the disability sector to assist with this planning, such as the COVID-19 Toolkit website that has been developed by National Disability Services (NDS). The Toolkit provides essential information for disability service providers, including a comprehensive guide to business continuity planning.
Who do I contact regarding a positive COVID-19 case or close contact?
DHS's COVID Response Team is currently receiving a number of calls and enquiries from providers regarding a range of issues, from close contacts to positive cases.
Disability providers are encouraged to contact the Team when dealing with a positive case of COVID in a client or employee if they have not been contacted by SA Health within 4 to 5 hours of receiving notification of the positive test result.
Resources and contacts for other COVID-19 information
- For general advice about what to do following a positive COVID-19 test result, please refer to the SA Health website.
- If you need advice relating to being a casual or close contact, please ensure you follow any advice received from SA Health and visit the SA Health contact tracing website for more information.
- The primary and community health care settings matrix (PDF 184KB) is used for disability support worker contacts who care for clients living in their private homes/share houses/group homes in the community (that is, those not living in a residential care facility). Communicable Disease Control Branch would still be involved in managing the event given the vulnerability of the client population.
- If the exposure occurs in a supported residential care facility then it would be managed as an outbreak with Communicable Disease Control Branch involvement. The outbreak management would be similar to that for RACFs and providers are urged to follow this advice. Further information about the COVID-19 outbreak policy for RACFs can be found on the SA Health website.
- Continue to check the SA Health contact tracing and exposure locations every day. The SA Health website is updated frequently, and you can easily sort locations by suburb, date added and health advice.
- Call the SA COVID-19 Information line on 1800 253 787 for any other information.
Chief ExecutivePage last updated : 17 Dec 2021