Monday 10 January 2022
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 The information may be outdated.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.
Dear sector colleagues,
Thank you for your continued dedication throughout this challenging period as we face more changes in the response to COVID-19 cases rising within our community. My thoughts are with those of you who have been unwell with the virus or isolating due to being a close contact.
I would particularly like to acknowledge frontline workers who continue to care for our state’s most vulnerable people, as well as the wonderful work being done by many administrative staff to support businesses and colleagues alike.
Mandatory Booster Vaccination
People who work in health care settings, disability support workers and people who engage in work or perform duties at residential and in-home and community aged care need to, within four weeks of becoming eligible, have a COVID-19 booster shot, or have evidence of a booking to receive a COVID-19 booster shot.
This requirement will come into effect from 12.01am on 29 January 2022.
Booster vaccinations are an effective way to protect yourself and those around you, and help to stop the spread of COVID-19, particularly the omicron variant.
Please encourage your staff to book a booster appointment as soon as possible.
The DHS Highgate Park vaccination clinic is open for appointments for those 12 years and over, and a new mass clinic will open at Netball SA’s Stadium at Mile End from 12 January 2022, further increasing appointment availability.
Book an appointment or find out information about the open hours of vaccination clinics from the SA Health website.
More information can be found here on:
- the updated Healthcare setting workers vaccination Direction
- the In-home, community aged care and disability workers vaccination Direction
- and the Residential aged care facilities Direction, including FAQs and the immunisation exemption form at www.covid-19.sa.gov.au.
Free SA Health Rapid Antigen Tests for close contacts to be implemented this Thursday, 13 January 2022
You may have heard the Premier announce that close contacts will soon no longer need to confirm a positive Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) with a PCR test.
This will mean that close contacts identified by SA Health – or who identify themselves to SA Health – will be sent a QR code allowing them to collect two free SA Health RATs for use on day one and day six from a nominated collection point. RATs are about 95% accurate so if you get a positive result on day one, you will be deemed to be COVID-19 positive, and will no longer need to get a corresponding PCR test.
It is important to note that close contacts should not buy and use RATs from retail shelves for their day one and six tests. Using RATs provided by SA Health will allow positive cases to be accurately reflected in the state's case numbers, and will help ensure confidence in the quality of the tests. Further, these should be left for those for people who want to do surveillance testing.
This new close contact RAT process is NOT yet in place. Therefore, you will need to continue the current process where close contacts isolate for seven days and get PCR tests on days one and six.
As a reminder, close contacts include household contacts, intimate partners, people who have been in areas of high transmission, and people who have spent more than 15 minutes with a positive case in close proximity indoors without masks.
RAT and PPE supplies
Whilst DHS has been happy to provide assistance over the Christmas and New Year period, NGOs are encouraged to establish alternate sources for Rapid Antigen Test kits and PPE to support their operational requirements.
Useful training video resources
Fitting N95 Masks
An N95 mask provides a greater seal around the mouth and nose and increases protection from small airborne particles, compared to a surgical mask. Wearing these masks correctly involves doing a fit check when the mask is put on.
Personal Protective Equipment
Appropriate PPE is one of the most important defences we have against the transmission of COVID-19. However, PPE can only be effective when worn, removed and disposed of correctly. Please ensure you are familiar with how to don and doff PPE correctly (Ausmed - requires a subscription to view).
Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs)
Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) are an excellent surveillance tool to quickly and easily determine your COVID-19 status. You should always follow the instructions provided in the kit as different tests may vary. An example of how to administer the test is available in this Rapid Antigen Test Kit tutorial (Vimeo 2.40 mins).
Stay safe, we will continue to update you as new information comes to hand.