Department of Human Services

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Monday 24 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 The information may be outdated.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 again for your continued dedication throughout this challenging period. We certainly haven’t had the start to the year we all envisioned, but I know your efforts to respond and adapt to these shifting circumstances are making a difference in our community.

I hope the following updates provide some clarity and are useful for your organisation and workforce.

I have had COVID-19, can I get my second dose or booster dose?

People who have had COVID-19 can be vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine once they have recovered.

Vaccination can be deferred for up to 6 months as past infection reduces the chance of reinfection for at least this amount of time.

If you are required to have a vaccination by an Emergency Services directive, eligibility is currently once you have recovered and three months from your second vaccination for your booster. SA Health are working to clarify the eligibility and we will provide further information as it comes to hand.

Procuring RAT kits for personal care workers supporting vulnerable people in group or home settings

Due to the limited supply of RATs currently in South Australia, we are working to assist you in securing a supply of RATs for workers supporting vulnerable people in group or home settings.

If you have not been able to source RATs from a supplier you can order enough supply for surveillance testing — this is suggested to be up to three times per week per staff member.

Please only order what you need on a fortnightly basis, and a reminder that RATs are for NGO staff offering personal care support to vulnerable people.

We unfortunately cannot guarantee that requested stock numbers will be available, however, we will endeavour to ensure your workforce has adequate supplies.

Please email DHSAssetsRequests@sa.gov.au and see our document, DHS-distributed Rapid Antigen Test Kits: NGO Workforce (PDF 143 KB), for the ordering process.

Depending on your business operations, cost recovery for your order may be available (for example, SIL providers who receive payments for RATs from the NDIS).

It was also announced today that eligible NDIS participants can purchase RATs with funding from their NDIS plan, to ensure safe access to their supports in current COVID-19 outbreaks.

NDIS participants can use plan funds to claim for rapid antigen tests (NDIS)

Further information about the parameters around this is expected to be provided by the NDIA shortly.

Update on reporting COVID-19 positive cases to the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission

On Monday 17 January 2022 we outlined how disability services providers can advise the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission of COVID-19 positive cases.

The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission acknowledge that reporting is already significant in this space and have further outlined the following steps to support disability services providers report COVID-19 positive cases:

Disability services sector response to COVID-19

As we continue to adapt to community transmission of COVID-19 in South Australia, DHS is hosting a number of disability services forums and discussion points to support the broader sector. They have been an important way for the sector to share information.

If you are a disability services provider, not connected to one of these discussion groups and would like to be, please email Helen Lawlor at helen.lawlor@sa.gov.au for further information.

Financial support for individuals

South Australians who have lost work due to being a close contact or COVID-19 positive may be eligible for financial support:

  • The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment from Services Australia provides financial relief of up to $750/week to people who have lost at least one day of work because they are isolating due to being COVID-19 positive, caring for someone who is COVID-19 positive, or is deemed to be a close contact.
  • The State Government’s SA COVID-19 Isolation Payment of up to $300 is available if you are a close contact who lost work while isolating to await PCR test results.

Rapid antigen test collection points

If you are a close contact, you can register online to access a RAT kit from the collection points — there are currently 12 collection points including new locations that opened last week in Mount Gambier and Port Adelaide Enfield. Each RAT kit contains two free rapid antigen tests.

Register to collect your kit and find an SA Health RAT collection point.

Do I need a PCR test to confirm my RAT result?

Your situation RAT result PCR test?
I am a close contact Positive No
I have symptoms Positive No
I am a close contact with no Covid-19 symptoms Negative No
I am a close contact with symptoms Negative Yes
I have Covid-19 symptoms but no known contact Negative Yes
I have no Covid-19 symptoms and no known contact Negative No
I have no Covid-19 symptoms and no known contact Positive Yes

Return to school

SA Health and the Department of Education have developed a staged return to school and preschool for the first 2 weeks of 2022.

It is important to clarify that there is no definition of an ‘essential worker’ in regard to sending children back to school. No child will be turned away.

Parents who are required to attend work and do not have appropriate supervision for their child can choose to send their child to school. Supervision will be provided for those students to complete the online learning program. Vulnerable children are encouraged to attend school.

Department for Education information about the staged return plan, COVID-19 safe measures, and testing, isolating and quarantine requirements.

Return to work

The Premier announced that from Thursday, 27 January 2022, the Government is encouraging 25% of the workforce to return to offices and worksites.

Upon staff returning, it is important that the appropriate safety measures continue to be in place to help slow the spread of COVID-19, with advice provided to ensure staff:

  • have 1 per 4sqm spacing between them
  • are wearing masks
  • are limiting their movements, and
  • are eating lunch outdoors where possible.

Meetings are also encouraged to remain online to limit group gatherings.

Stay safe.

Best regards,

Lois Boswell
Chief Executive

Read the NGO Newsletter online - 24 January 2022

Page last updated : 30 Aug 2022

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