COVID-19 Latest Health Advice
We are working with our entire community to keep those in our care safe during this challenging time. We invite you to watch this video of CEO, Chris Stewart updating staff on Coronavirus COVID-19 and Helping Hand’s response to date.
Helping Hand is taking a proactive approach to ensure the continued care and safety of all residents, clients and staff.
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 Australian 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 the coronavirus, Helping Hand recommends the Department of Health (Federal) website, which provides daily updates with medical advice, alerts and official reporting.
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.
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.
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
CLICK HERE for isolation guidelines from the Department of Health
CLICK HERE for the current status from the Department of Health
As you are aware, the State Government updated its Directions on the 21st December 2020. From today, the wearing of masks is no longer mandatory for people working, or visiting, health care settings, including residential care homes.
While masks remain a line of defence in minimising the risk of COVID-19, this new Direction reflects the current situation in South Australia – something we should all be proud of. It is also important that we remember SA Health’s advice around celebrations – stay home if you are sick, sanitise hands regularly, keep 1.5m apart and avoid sharing utensils.
We will continue to monitor recommendations and advice from SA Health and ask that you assist us by regularly visiting SA Health’s contact tracing and health alert webpages for up-to-date information over Christmas. We will also endeavour to notify you as soon as we can if any situation changes and ask that you talk with managers if you have any questions or concerns.
Travel restrictions and regulations are changing rapidly as conditions change interstate and overseas. Please visit the SA Health website to see current restrictions for travel into South Australia and any quarantine and testing requirements.
If a person you are living with or in close contact with has been travelling interstate or overseas as above, and is not well, you should stay home and contact your GP.
This applies to all staff and volunteers – whether they are displaying any COVID-19 symptoms or not.
CLICK HERE for information on isolation
CLICK HERE for details of your obligations as an employee if you are travelling.
It is very important that you contact Helping Hand before returning to work after travel overseas or interstate. Speak to your manager prior to returning to work (including a client’s home).
If you return from overseas travel and fall ill within the first 14 days of your return, you should not report for work, or if at work leave the workplace immediately and report to the hospital for testing. During this period you will be required to access your leave entitlements until such time as you are cleared. We will require confirmation of your clearance. Should you have any issues obtaining a clearance, please contact us.
Please advise your Manager of any forthcoming travel, contact them prior to your return to work and await advice about any action we require you to undertake.
CLICK HERE to read a letter from Senator Richard Colbeck, Minister for Aged Care, to aged care workers.
Helping Hand planning underway
Helping Hand have a comprehensive pandemic plan. We need you to keep up to date by checking your emails and communications for further information as it becomes available. It is important that you understand that the advice from health authorities is changing frequently and quickly as they learn more about the virus.
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. We cannot vaccinate ourselves against COVID-19, but we can vaccinate ourselves against the flu. From 1 May 2020, all staff and visitors entering a residential aged care facility must be vaccinated against 2020 seasonal influenza.