For any teams required to don and doff PPE to provide care, the following video will be a great refresher on the required technique.
This page will be updated regularly to include any relevant updates on COVID-19 Restrictions, as received from NSW Health.
If you have concerns about yourself or one of your clients please speak to your Manager immediately. Click here to view the current FAQs.
Update 16 August
- The List of Local Exposure Sites continues to grow, and the occasions of exposure now exceeds 140. When you ask clients where they have been, make sure you refer back to this list. If you are unsure, speak to your supervisor immediately
- The Staff Frequently Asked Questions has been updated, including information for each team.
- Once again, please reach out to us via the COVID-19 email address if you need assistance in booking your vaccination. The email address is [email protected].
- While the State of NSW is in a lockdown this week, remember that Essential Workers can travel for work purposes. If you are asked, you can access the letter here, but please remember to carry your Staff ID with you.
Update 13 August
The list of Local Exposure Sites continues to be updated daily when Hunter New England Health make their announcements. In our region, there are more than 60 exposure sites to date, and 77 cases in the region since 5 August. Please contact your supervisor immediately if you have been contacted by NSW Health, or if you have been at any of the listed locations during the times/days noted. Please ensure you read the staff messages to your mobile device as they come through, they contain important information as we provide care during the local outbreak.
Update 6 August
The list of Local Exposure Sites has been uploaded here based on information from Hunter New England Health. Please check the list regularly to ensure you have the appropriate information.
Please remember to ask the set screening questions of each client, and keep wearing your masks, maintaining social distance, and hand hygiene.
If you have questions or concerns, contact your Supervisor to discuss.
Update 5 August
You may be aware if you have been watching or listening to media in the past 24-hours that we have had a number of confirmed COVID-19 (Delta) cases in Lake Macquarie and the Hunter.
Additional to this, COVID-19 fragments have been detected in the sewerage and NSW Health have asked residents Birmingham Gardens, Shortland, Maryland, Fletcher, Minmi, Cameron Park, Mayfield, Stockton and Fern Bay to be on high alert.
What is the current status for the Hunter, Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Port Stephens areas?
In the 11am NSW Government Media Briefing this morning, the NSW Premier (Gladys Berejiklian) announced that Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Port Stephens, Singleton, Dungog, Muswellbrook and Cessnock Local Government Areas (LGA’s) will commence a lockdown from 5pm this afternoon for a period of seven (7) days.
What are the restrictions for the Hunter, Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Port Stephen’s areas?
Although written confirmation had not been released at the time of writing this memo, we know through this morning’s Media Briefing that the restrictions to be put in place from this afternoon will be consistent with those already in place for Greater Sydney.
The restrictions can be accessed here.
Are we considered Essential Services/Workers?
Yes. We provide critical care to our residents in Singleton and our clients in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Port Stephens and the Hunter. Given you will continue to be moving about our community for essential work purposes, we recommend that you retain a copy of your essential worker letter from us to show any Police or other authorities who may stop you and ask you to present it. An up-to-date letter was circulated to all staff today via web text. If you have not received this, please let your immediate Manager know as soon as possible.
How does this affect the area I work in?
||All Day Centres will cease to operate from when they finish work today. Discussions will take place with Day Centre staff towards re-directing them to conduct welfare checks for our clients via telephone and to assist with other work within the Home and Community Care space so that we can maintain their contracted hours.
|Lawn and Garden Care
||Lawn and Garden Care will continue to operate with appropriate PPE and social distancing measures in place.
|Home and Community Care
||Community Nursing will continue with the RN’s working from home for administrative duties and only coming into the office for restocking of supplies. They will continue upholding all COVID-19 safe working practices when seeing clients in the community.
||Unfortunately, one of our Community Transport employees has been identified as a close contact of one of the local positive COVID-19 cases. Accordingly, in consultation with NSW Health, our Nurse Practitioner (Jo Mutamba) has undertaken contract tracing for our employees who have been in contact with this Community Transport staff member and all identified staff immediately went home today to undergo COVID-19 testing, isolating until they receive a negative result. Once a negative result is achieved, those staff members can return to work. As a consequence of this, many clients have had their transport services cancelled or reorganised with private taxi’s and hire cars being organised for today and tomorrow. Given tomorrow is Friday, it is likely that many services will resume on Monday, providing the identified staff members all return negative COVID-19 testing. Obviously, given the restrictions in the local area, only essential transport will be in place while the region is experiencing these lockdown restrictions.
|Singleton Residential Aged Care
||Singleton Residential Facility will operate as usual, however, the facility will be in lockdown and all COVID-19 appropriate protocols will be in place.
|Alcohol and Other Drug Team
||This team will continue services via the tele-health model of care and work from home. All group programs will be suspended while the current restrictions are in place.
|Administration and Support Team
||All work that can be done remotely will be done remotely from home. Only staff who cannot do their work in this manner are to continue to come to the offices. Those staff members continuing to come into the office must wear appropriate PPE and apply appropriate social distancing measures. This means only one (1) staff member per office area. Please speak to your manager so that working from the office can be monitored and managed properly when your work cannot otherwise be conducted from home.
||All volunteering will cease while the restrictions in the local area are in place.
What about COVID-19 Vaccinations?
Many of our staff have already received their first COVID-19 vaccination and quite a few have already received both! We are so grateful to the staff who have had one or both vaccinations as well as those staff who are currently booked to commence the vaccination process in the coming weeks. We strongly encourage all staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and can assist facilitate appointments towards vaccination given our priority status as essential workers. Please reach out to us via the COVID-19 email address if you need assistance in booking your vaccination. The email address is [email protected] and goes to Tony Bidstrup, Corrina Routh and Caitlin Burke.
For workers in Singleton Residential Aged Care, it has been mandated that all staff are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and they must have had their first vaccination shot by 17 September 2021.
We understand that discussions are taking place currently within Government and the Aged Care and Community Sectors about making COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for all workers. If this is passed, all staff will need to be vaccinated.
Who can I talk to if I have Questions?
We have put together a list of questions and answers that came up last year and some others which you might have currently. Please have a read of these and should you have any further questions please do not hesitate to talk to your Manager, Head of Department, People and Culture or myself. This is a developing situation across the region and we will be monitoring it very closely and complying with whatever protocols that we are required to comply with.
Whatever actions we take or precautions that we put in place, will be for the safety and wellbeing of not just our staff but our clients and residents who are most at risk.
Please ensure you are regularly checking your emails each day as I am certain we are going to have to communicate with you further as this situation unfolds.
Update 4 August
NSW Health have noted that there have been fragments of COVID-19 detected at the Belmont Sewage Treatment Plant. Belmont sewage treatment plant serves about 225,800 people in suburbs including Belmont, Belmont North, Belmont South, Bennetts Green, Blacksmiths, Cams Wharf, Cardiff South, Caves Beach, Charlestown, Croudace Bay, Dudley, Eleebana, Floraville, Gateshead, Hillsborough, Jewells, Lakelands, Little Pelican, Marks Point, Mount Hutton, Murrays Beach, Nords Wharf, Pelican, Pinny Beach, Redhead, Speers Point, Swansea, Swansea Heads, Tingira Heights, Valentine, Warners Bay, Whitebridge, Windale.
Shortland sewage treatment plant (sampled 2 August)
Shortland sewage treatment plant serves about 60,000 people in suburbs including Birmingham Gardens, Callaghan, Cameron Park, Fern Bay, Fletcher, Fullerton Cove, Hexham, Kooragang, Maryland, Mayfield West, Minmi, North Lambton, Sandgate, Shortland, Stockton, Wallsend, Warabrook, Waratah West.
Please continue to take appropriate precautions (wear a mask, practice social distancing, and hand washing/hygiene) to minimise the risk of transmission of COVID-19. If you have symptoms, please get tested and isolate immediately until your negative results are received. To read the update on the NSW Health site, click here.
Update 7 July
Following updated health advice from the Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant about the growing risk to the community, the stay-at-home orders will apply to all people in the Greater Sydney area including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong.
Everyone in Greater Sydney must stay at home unless it is for an essential reason.
The reasons you may leave your home include:
- Shopping for food or other essential goods and services;
- Medical care or compassionate needs (people can leave home to have a COVID-19 vaccination unless you have been identified as a close contact);
- Exercise outdoors in groups of 10 or fewer;
- Essential work, or education, where you cannot work or study from home.
Community sport will not be permitted during this period. Weddings will not be permitted from 11.59pm, Sunday 27 June. Funerals will be limited to one person per four square metres with a cap of 100 people, and masks must be worn indoors.
In all other parts of NSW the following restrictions will apply:
- People who have been in the Greater Sydney region (including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong) on or after June 21 should follow the stay-at-home orders for a period of 14 days after they left Greater Sydney.
- Visitors to households will be limited to 5 guests – including children;
- Masks will be compulsory in all indoor non-residential settings, including workplaces, and at organised outdoor events;
- Drinking while standing at indoor venues will not be allowed;
- Singing by audiences and choirs at indoor venues or by congregants at indoor places of worship will not be allowed;
- Dancing will not be allowed at indoor hospitality venues or nightclubs however, dancing is allowed at weddings for the wedding party only (no more than 20 people);
- Dance and gym classes limited to 20 per class (masks must be worn);
- The one person per four square metre rule will be re-introduced for all indoor and outdoor settings, including weddings and funerals;
- Outdoor seated, ticketed events will be limited to 50 per cent seated capacity;
People across NSW should only enter Greater Sydney for essential purposes.