COVID-19

COVID-19 information for service providers

15 April 2021 – Easing of COVID-19 restrictions

Disability Accommodation Services

Under Queensland COVID-19 Restricted Areas (No. 14), there are no longer any Local Government Areas declared as restricted areas. As such, Part 3 of the Disability Accommodation Services Direction (No.16) is no longer in effect for any shared disability accommodation services in Queensland.

Part 3 restricts visitors from entering these services and requires the wearing of face masks for those permitted access to these services (excluding residents).

Similar requirements have been lifted under the Aged Care Direction (No. 26) and Hospital Visitors Direction (No. 18).

Furthermore, in regards to PPE guidance, all geographic areas are now low risk for PPE usage.

Revocation of Restrictions for Queensland

A summary of the changes in restrictions can be found here. Further information on Public Health Directions is available here. Easy read versions will be made available here once finalised.

31 March 2021 – Who needs to wear a mask?

Greater Brisbane is in lockdown for three days from Monday 29 March until 5:00pm Thursday 1 April. According to Queensland Health advice, you must carry a face mask with you at all times when you leave home unless you have a lawful reason not to. The following advice for business has been provided by the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training.

For those in the Greater Brisbane Area:

  • If you or your staff are working in customer facing roles you must wear face masks (unless you have a lawful reason not to i.e. medical condition).
  • Queensland Health advises that businesses should not refuse service to people who are not lawfully required to wear a mask.
  • More information here

For those outside the Greater Brisbane Area:

  • If you or your staff are working in customer facing roles you must wear face masks (unless you have a lawful reason not to i.e. medical condition).
  • More information here
  • Queensland Health advises that businesses should not refuse service to people who are not lawfully required to wear a mask.
  • More information here
  • Your patrons are not required to wear face masks whilst they are seated to dine-in.

Patrons must wear a mask when ordering at a bar or counter (which is permitted).

22 March 2021 – Priority groups for COVID-19 Phase 1b confirmed

Important points

  • COVID-19 vaccination is free for everyone and voluntary.
  • The Department of Health will contact people eligible for phase 1a for their vaccine appointment.
  • This provider alert outlines who is in Phase 1b and how to make a booking.
  • We encourage people to be patient if they are not able to get a vaccination appointment right away to check again as more GP clinics come online over the coming weeks.

Phase 1b commences on 22 March 2021

The following people are eligible to receive a vaccine in this Phase:

  • Healthcare workers currently employed and not included in Phase 1a
  • Critical and high risk workers currently employed
  • People 70 years and over
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 55 years and over
  • People 18 years and over with an underlying medical condition, including disability

Eligible people with disability

People with disability 18 years and over with an underlying medical condition are eligible for Phase 1b. The Department of Health have developed a presentation about priority groups for COVID-19 Vaccination Program: Phase 1b, which includes a list of underlying medical conditions.

This includes people with disability who require frequent assistance with activities of daily living as well as people living with Down Syndrome, muscular dystrophy, traumatic brain and spinal cord injury, or severe intellectual disability.

12 March 2021 – Disability provider update

Verifying data about residential disability accommodation sites

On behalf of the Department of Health, Healthdirect will be contacting disability providers in the coming weeks to verify data about your residential disability accommodation sites. This data verification process remains critical to ensure people with disability can be offered the vaccines at the earliest opportunity and to avoid any impact on the timing for vaccinations to be administered at your sites.

Disability Provider COVID-19 Vaccine Readiness Toolkit now available

  • The COVID-19 vaccine disability service provider readiness toolkit is a collection of resources designed to assist disability service providers with the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines. It includes:
  • Information on what to expect on COVID-19 vaccination day at your disability residential accommodation (information for people with disability, families and carers)
  • Checklist for planning and delivering vaccinations
  • Information on roles and responsibilities for COVID-19 vaccination at disability residential accommodation sites
  • Information on site readiness requirements for vaccination sites
  • Consent guidance material
  • Information on how vaccine providers should allocate excess doses of COVID-19 vaccines
  • Information on monitoring and reporting side effects

The tool kit is available on the Disability Provider Webpage.

Disability Provider webpage

A Disability Provider webpage on the Department of Health website is now available and contains information and resources to help disability service providers plan for the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out. The page will update frequently as new information becomes available.

 


COVID-19 Vaccination – Eligibility under Phase 1b

On behalf of the Department of Health, Healthdirect will be contacting disability providers in the coming weeks to verify data about your residential disability accommodation sites.

This data verification process remains critical to ensure people with disability can be offered the vaccines at the earliest opportunity and to avoid any impact on the timing for vaccinations to be administered at your sites.

The Commonwealth Government has released additional information about people with disability, and people working in the disability sector, eligible for vaccination under Phase 1b.

Included in Phase 1b are:

  • Essential carers (paid and unpaid) including carers who are also family members of someone with disability or an elderly person
  • Disability support volunteers who provide support to people in their homes, respite care, educational employment and leisure settings
  • People with a disability attending centre-based services (eg, day programs, support employment).

For more visit the Health website.

COVID-19 Vaccination Disability Service Providers Toolkit

The Federal Government has released the COVID-19 Vaccination Disability Service Providers Toolkit. This collection of resources is designed to assist residential disability service providers to prepare for Phase 1a vaccinations.

The toolkit resources includes:

  • Clinical Governance at Disability Residential Accommodation
  • Disability Residential Accommodation Checklist
  • Information for Disability Service Providers on Consent
  • Monitoring and Reporting Side Effects for Disability Service Providers
  • Excess Dose Policy
  • What to Expect on Vaccination Day at Your Disability Residential Accommodation

Access the toolkit.

 


The Queensland Chief Health Officer and the Director General – Health are working with lead agencies for response and recovery, including Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors, which chairs the Human and Social Recovery Committee.

To support funded service providers and foster and kinship carers the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women has provided answers to some of the most frequently asked questions relating to COVID-19. Updated Information for service providers includes answers to questions such as what does the relaxation of restrictions mean for face-to-face delivery of services and how will eased restrictions affect your organisation’s business.

If your organisation has any further questions or issues due to the impacts of COVID-19 contact your contract manager promptly.

People sitting in a meeting room. A woman is standing, pointing at notes stuck to the wall.

Easing restrictions – implications for community services

The Queensland Government has released its Roadmap to easing Queensland’s restrictions: A step-down approach to COVID-19. As restrictions ease, it remains critical that we continue to follow the advice of health professionals in maintaining social distancing and practising good hygiene.

The latest public health directions can be found on the Queensland Health website.

The Workplace Health and Safety Queensland website includes information to assist in developing a workplace health and safety plan to demonstrate how your organisation is COVID Safe.

Our Community and the Institute of Community Directors have created a guide to creating a COVID-19-safe workplace.

Guidance on using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Queensland Health has provided guidance on personal protective equipment in residential aged care and disability care accommodation services. From 25 September 2020 the entire state is on ‘low risk’ for PPE decision-making. PPE utilisation should not change until further notice. This is important to preserve stock of critical supplies.

Queensland Health’s PPE information guide for clinicians provides further information on the use of PPE in Queensland with regards to COVID-19 and is based on national and international guidelines.

The Australian Government Department of Health’s new video, Coronavirus (COVID-19): Wearing personal protective equipment for disability workers, explains how and when disability support workers should use PPE.

Services Australia resources for community groups

Services Australia has a range of resources for community groups to help people in your community who are affected by COVID-19. You can download a COVID-19 eKit with resources on how Services Australia is supporting people including an easy read guide, information on income support payments and a family and domestic violence checklist. There is also a range of audio content, including files in other languages, which you can access on the Services Australia playlist on the SoundCloud website.

Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission extends COVID-19 compliance arrangements

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) has extended COVID-19 compliance arrangements to 31 December 2020. Under these arrangements, the ACNC will not investigate certain breaches of the Governance Standards and the External Conduct Standards that occur from 25 March until 31 December 2020. Significant breaches may still be investigated.

For more detail, visit the ACNC’s webpage on compliance during COVID-19.

Under the original arrangements, before 18 September 2020, the ACNC would not take action on breaches of Governance Standard 5 (which includes the duty to ensure that the financial affairs of the charity are managed responsibly) on the condition that charity informed its members and the ACNC if it was trading while insolvent.

This requirement has now been removed and replaced with a statement that reminds charities they need to follow relevant legislation. Justice Connect has a summary of these requirements on its COVID-19-governance webpage.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander support

NDIS and disability services

Support for culturally and linguistically diverse community members

Lessons from Victoria

 

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