Please read full letter provided in the link – Updated advice for home care providers – COVID-19 – 24 July 2020
Substantive new content since last letter from Chief Health Officer dated 20 July:
- Addition of Parramatta LGA
- Addition of references to communities along the NSW/VIC border
- Mask wearing recommendation extended until further notice
Dear Home Care Service Providers
Thank you for being responsive to implementing measures to prevent introduction of COVID-19 into your services.
The outbreak of COVID-19 continues in Victoria and the outbreak in NSW, first detected in South Western Sydney and associated with the Crossroads Hotel in Casula, has now spread to some other areas. While the initial focus of cases in Victoria was in metropolitan Melbourne, there is a number of cases in some areas of regional Victoria.
It is crucial that all home care service (disability and aged care) providers maintain vigilance to prevent the introduction of COVID-19 into your services.
Given the current risk of COVID-19 now in the community NSW Health recommends the implementation of the following measures.
- Any staff with fever ≥37.5°C or respiratory symptoms*; even mild, should be excluded from work. They should be advised to isolate at home and seek COVID-19 testing.
- Any staff who have been in Victoria in the last 14 days should be excluded from providing home care services (noting there are special arrangements in place for people living and working in communities along the NSW/VIC border, refer: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/what-you-can-and-cant-do-under-rules/border-restrictions/guide).
- Any staff who reside in the following local government areas: Parramatta, Fairfield, Liverpool, Campbelltown, Camden, Wingecarribee and Wollondilly, must wear a surgical mask while providing services.
- Any staff who live in NSW/VIC border communities must wear a surgical mask while providing services
- *Symptoms include: fever, cough, sore/ scratchy throat, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell
When providing care to clients who live in, or have visited the above local government areas, or NSW/VIC border community, staff must wear a surgical mask while providing services.
Please note that some residents may react with discomfort to seeing staff wearing surgical masks. Consider supporting tools to manage this as needed (eg: show a photo with the staff member’s face uncovered).
Staff must actively ask clients about symptoms on arrival. If staff become aware of a client with symptoms, that client should be isolated from others, and arrangements made for COVID-19 testing.
If you would like more information, please contact your local NSW Health public health unit on 1300 066 055.
Dr Kerry Chant PSM
Chief Health Officer, NSW Health
24 July 2020