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
Update for residential care
The COVID-19 outbreaks happening in Victoria and New South Wales mean a significantly higher risk of COVID-19 cases in South Australia. The situation interstate, particularly what is occurring in aged care homes, is a daily reminder that we cannot afford to become complacent about COVID-19. South Australia does have a comprehensive plan in place. SA Health holds weekly aged care forums with CEOs from aged care providers (including Helping Hand’s CEO Chris Stewart) as well as peak bodies and advocacy groups. These forums provide a platform for consistent communications and information sharing.
Visiting our residential care homes
Thank you for your ongoing patience with the on arrival screening processes and visitor restrictions that we have in place in our residential care homes. Screening everyone who comes into our residential care homes remains our best line of defence in minimising the risk of an outbreak. As well as recording names and contact details, we are also recording phone numbers and email addresses every time you visit. If needed, this information will be shared with SA Health to help with contact tracing. Screening also helps us know how many people are in the home at the same time, so we can effectively follow social distancing guidelines.
When residents need to leave the home for an appointment or outing, please remember to let a member of staff know beforehand. We have a process in place to record who is leaving the home and we will work with residents and family members to keep them as safe as possible in the community. We continue to refine our screening processes and will keep you informed of any changes.
It is not too late for your flu shot
Spring may be around the corner, but you will still benefit from a 2020 seasonal influenza vaccination. This is also compulsory for anyone entering a residential aged care home in Australia. Please remember to bring your Helping Hand 2020 Flu Vaccination Card with you every time you visit one of our residential care homes and to keep it with you for the duration of your visit.
Need more support at home?
We can assist by:
- adding some extra visits or topping up your services
- delivering meals to our North Adelaide retirement living clients
- providing extra assistance with meals by calling our home care office on 1300 444 663
- offering respite in your home or ours
- providing assistance with setting up technology, eg Zoom or Skype.
Updated border restrictions
From Wednesday 29 July, only essential travellers will be able to enter South Australia from Victoria. South Australians will no longer be able to return to South Australia from Victoria until further notice. Travellers from the Northern Territory, Queensland, Tasmania and Western Australia are able to enter South Australia directly without restriction. Travellers from the ACT and New South Wales, other than essential travellers, will be required to:
- self-quarantine for 14 days after entering South Australia, and
- submit for COVID-19 testing on:
- the day of arrival to South Australia, and
- the twelfth day after arrival.
Stay in touch with latest government updates at www.covid-19.sa.gov.au
Let’s keep working together
Now more than ever before, we all need to work together and follow all the COVID-19 safety guidelines:
- practice good hand hygiene
- maintain 1.5 metres distance from others
- get tested for COVID-19, if you have any of the following symptoms, even if they are mild: fever, chills, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, loss of smell or a change in your sense of taste
- do not visit someone if you are unwell or awaiting the result of a COVID-19 test
- if you are waiting for COVID-19 test results – stay at home and self isolate
- if you are visiting from interstate (or have family from interstate staying with you), please follow all self-quarantine and testing requirements as detailed in this update.
A message for all our staff who have travelled interstate and/or overseas
If you have been interstate over the past 7 days or overseas in the last 14 days you will be required to self-isolate for 14 days from the date of your return.
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.
For example: If you returned yesterday, you need to self-isolate for a further 13 days. If you returned seven days ago, you need to self-isolate for seven days.
If you returned several days ago, and have gone to work, you need to immediately stop working and self-isolate until it is 14 days since you returned from interstate.
These measures are in place following the announcement by South Australian Premier Steven Marshall that South Australian borders will close effective 4:00pm Tuesday 24 March 2020.
Self-isolation measures for people returning from overseas started on 6 March 2020 relating to several countries and expanded to include all countries.
This will greatly assist us in reducing the risk of spreading the virus, so we thank you for your support.
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
As we prepare for the upcoming flu season in conjunction with the current spread of COVID-19, it is crucial now, more than ever, for Helping Hand staff to get their flu vaccine now. 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.
There are a number of ways everyone can stay informed on the current global status of COVID-19. Check the dates of what you are reading as information is being regularly updated. Department of Health (Federal) website and SA Health, have daily updates with medical advice, alerts and official reporting as the situation unfolds:
There is also a 24/7 National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. If you require translating or interpreting services, call 131 450.
Commonwealth advice has recently been updated to include more countries that are considered to pose a risk of transmission to travellers arriving in Australia.
- High-risk countries: Mainland China, Iran, Italy, Republic of Korea
- Moderate risk countries: Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore and Thailand.