COVID-19 Latest Health Advice
We are working with our entire community to keep those in our care safe during this challenging time with the COVID-19 pandemic. Helping Hand is taking a proactive approach to ensure the continued care and safety of all residents, clients and staff.
We will be regularly posting updates that are specific to Helping Hand on this page. If you have any immediate concerns or questions call us on 1300 653 600. You can read previous updates that we’ve posted by clicking here. You can also read answers to some frequently asked questions about our response to COVID-19 by clicking here.
As the situation evolves, plans are in place so that we can continue to provide quality care for people in our residential care homes and for the thousands of people in metropolitan Adelaide and regional South Australia who receive home care services. We are also working with staff at all levels of our organisation to ensure they are fully aware of all the preventative measures and have access to the latest information and updates.
Given the extensive media coverage of COVID-19, Helping Hand recommends the Department of Health (Federal) website, which provides daily updates with medical advice, alerts and official reporting, or the South Australian Government COVID-19 website for specific information about the situation in our state.
If you are not online, you can phone the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. This service runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you require translating or interpreting services, call 131 450.
SA Health has advised that reported cases of COVID-19 in the community have gone down over the past few weeks. They are also seeing the beginning of a downward trend in case numbers at residential care facilities that they expect will continue.
On this basis, SA Health has advised that mask wearing is no longer compulsory.
We will no longer require staff and visitors to wear a mask routinely unless there is a single positive COVID-19 case or a COVID-19 outbreak at a care home. Should an outbreak occur, you will be informed as usual and PFR masks will again be used for the duration of the outbreak as we do currently. SA Health advises to reinstate mask wearing when one resident tests positive to COVID-19, or when advised by SA Health. This may be just in one area of the home for a single case or the entire facility if more than one resident or staff member tests positive.
This change will take effect on Wednesday 25 January 2023.
We respect anyone’s preference to continue wearing a mask. Masks will always be available for this purpose and any other infection prevention and control requirement.
All check-in procedures have not changed and must still be followed.
CLICK HERE to visit our frequently asked questions page.
Information for aged care organisations and aged care staff, including further details of the requirements listed below, can be found on the SA Health website.
Personal Protective Equipment
Staff should follow specific advice on personal protective equipment when looking after clients who are confirmed to have, or suspected of having, COVID-19. For more information review the Helping Hand procedures and guidelines available to you on the internal intranet. Further information is available at SA Health’s website
Influenza (Flu) vaccination
It is crucial now, more than ever, for Helping Hand staff to keep their flu vaccination up to date. It is a government requirement that all people entering a residential aged care facility must have a current influenza vaccination.
The Australian Government has mandated that all residential aged care staff and home care staff, contractors and volunteers are required to have current COVID-19 vaccination (both doses). From 29 January 2022, booster vaccinations will be mandatory within four weeks of becoming eligible for all staff.
Staff should inform their line manager immediately if they are having a PCR test, and provide evidence of the result, whether it is negative or positive for COVID-19. If the result is positive, the staff member will be advised when they are allowed to return to work.
CLICK HERE for general advice and mythbusters from the World Health Organisation
Just Clean Your Hands for Visitors
Just Clean Your Hands for Personal Care Staff
Just Clean Your Hands for Housekeeping Staff / Environmental Support
Just Clean Your Hands for Volunteers
CLICK HERE for social distancing guidelines video from Department of Health
CLICK HERE for good hygiene guidelines video from Department of Health
CLICK HERE for ‘stop the spread’ guidelines video from Department of Health