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.
As of 12.01am Friday 23 September 2022, visitors entering an aged care facility are no longer required:
- To show evidence of current Influenza or COVID 19 vaccinations
- Undertake a COVID check in procedure.
Please note that wearing of masks is still mandatory.
From Friday 23 September visitors will see that COVID-19 check in pages have been removed from our care homes.
The Government is strongly encouraging visitors to undertake RAT tests prior to entry. Helping Hand has successfully relied on RATs to keep COVID-19 out of our care homes as much as possible. We therefore require visitors to continue to RAT test prior to entry and will maintain our RAT testing stations for visitors.
We ask that visitors do not visit when unwell and if in the event they return a positive RAT, that they leave immediately.
All previous mandates related to staff, contractors and volunteers are unchanged.
In the event of a COVID-19 outbreak, we will communicate as we have always done and we will continue to utilize our control and monitoring processes. This will include bookings for visitors and a sign in procedure simply asking for visitor names, date and time of visit and who they are visiting.
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
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