COVID19 update for staff

As part of WHS obligations for HomeCare+, we must provide and maintain a working environment that is safe and free of risks to health, so far as is reasonably practicable. Similarly, you must take reasonable care for your health and safety in the workplace and for the health and safety of others who may be affected by what you do or don't do.

If you are feeling unwell, you should stay home and away from the workplace. Please familiarise yourself with the Department of Health COVID-19 information as specific requirements are in place for people who have returned from a region that is at high or moderate risk for COVID-19, or think they may have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.

You can find SA Health advice here. This page is updated regularly.

Our policy remains that we follow expert medical and health advice at all times and we support the COVID-19 vaccination rollout to all of our clients and workers, unless you are advised otherwise by a medical practitioner. You can contact us at any time if you have any questions regarding the current advice.

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.
Please arrange your booster appointment as soon as possible.

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.

At the time of this update, the DHS Highgate vaccination clinic was 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.
To book an appointment or find out information about the open hours of vaccination clinics please visit 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.

Masks

We are required to wear a mask when delivering supports to our clients – the mask can be either a disposable type or a reusable cloth mask.

You may already own masks – however, disposable masks will be available for collection from each of our six offices if you need them. If you cannot collect these, you can either purchase enough disposable masks for the next seven days OR buy up to two reusable cloth masks (generally $10-15 each) and claim the money back from us with a tax receipt.

Clients do not have to wear masks, but we are strongly encouraging them to do so when receiving our supports.

Exemptions to wearing a mask

There are some exemptions but you must discuss this with the client’s service coordinator/your supervisor before determining an exemption applies.
These include:

  • Where we believe that wearing a mask will hinder the provision of our supports or compromise the client’s safety (e.g. behaviours of concern)
  • Where you have a medical condition that would preclude you from wearing a mask (we may ask for medical evidence)
  • Where the client has to be able to see your mouth for communication

As we instructed last year, you can remove your mask in situations where you are not directly in contact with the client, such as when a worker is on an overnight sleepover shift or in a different room performing domestic duties

PPE

Additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be provided in higher risk settings, such as when a client is classified as a close contact. Please make sure you read our regular email updates that include information about PPE as well as instructional videos regarding how to wear it effectively.


Checking In & Hand Hygiene

QR code scanning must still be used in our offices and where located in supported independent living (24/7 support sites) and you must continue to follow good hand hygiene practices and not go to work if you are feeling unwell.