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.
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 the coronavirus, 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.
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
The Emergency Management (Residential Aged Care Facilities No 40) (COVID-19) Direction 2021 is now in effect.
To comply with this Direction, all staff and volunteers engaged by our residential care homes will need to provide evidence that they have received at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by 17 September 2021 and have booked in for their second dose.
We are working with staff and volunteers and supporting them to ensure we meet the requirements of this Direction. This Direction also applies to anyone we engage from external agencies to provide services in our residential care homes.
The Direction also identifies some limited exemptions and these require written evidence from a legally qualified medical practitioner. However, for most of our residential care workforce, proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be a condition of employment from 17 September 2021.
Helping Hand’s position on COVID-19 vaccination is that it is the most effective way to protect staff, volunteers and our residents against the spread of COVID-19, both in our residential care homes and in the wider community.
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 working in a client’s home).
If you return from overseas or interstate 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.
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. From 1 June 2021, all staff and visitors entering a residential aged care facility must be vaccinated against 2021 seasonal influenza.
The Australian Government has mandated that from 17 September 2021, all residential aged care staff, contractors and volunteers are required to have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination and have evidence of booking to receive, or have received, a second dose.
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