Tuesday 24 November 2020
Dear sector colleagues,
Now that restrictions have eased and schools have re-opened, the department has shifted its focus to supporting you in the next phase of South Australia’s COVID-19 cluster response.
Yesterday afternoon, the Sector Intelligence Group met to discuss some of the immediate challenges NGOs are experiencing during this outbreak. Dr Chris Lease, Deputy Chief Public Health Officer, joined us to provide an SA Health update and answer questions. You will find responses to questions raised below.
If you have any questions that are not covered by the information below, please send them to us via our DHS:Covid Response dedicated email for our COVID Response team to resolve for you.
A topic of much discussion is the requirement around wearing masks. I have advised DHS staff that wearing masks is mandatory for those performing home visits and caring for people with disability if social distancing cannot be maintained. In addition, Youth Justice admission and reception personnel have been directed to wear masks. For all other department employees, wearing masks is strongly encouraged, particularly on public transport and in other places were social distancing is difficult.
Although restrictions have eased and, all going well, are expected to be further relaxed on December 1, we are reminding everyone to maintain COVID-Safe measures.
This includes a recommendation to continue working from home if possible and to the extent that it does not disrupt service delivery. People with underlying health conditions, or with family members at home who are vulnerable or at-risk, are also encouraged to continue to work from home if possible too.
It has been a challenging time for everyone in our sector and I acknowledge it hasn’t been an easy few days, weeks (or indeed months). We’re grateful for your openness and willingness to share your experiences so the department can resolve challenges for everyone’s benefit.
If you have any questions or concerns, I encourage you to contact DHS’s COVID-19 Response team at DHSCOVIDResponse@sa.gov.au