The following information has been cleared by the Australian Government Department of Health.
People who have returned from anywhere overseas, or have been in close contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19, must self-isolate for 14 days.
If you develop symptoms, including a fever and cough, immediately and urgently seek medical attention.
This information sheet should be read in conjunction with the ‘What you need to know’ and ‘Isolation guidance’ information sheets on the Australian Government Department of Health website.
Can I go to work?
Like others, people working in the disability services sector need to stay at home for 14 days after returning from overseas or being in close contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19. Employees who are in isolation cannot go to work and should alert their employer. Depending on the type of work, and provided the employee is well, they may want to discuss alternative arrangements such as working from home. See the ‘Isolation guidance’ information sheets on the Department of Health website.
Lifestyle Support Workers should not attend work if they have a fever, or symptoms of a respiratory illness.
Is training available?
The Australian Government Department of Health has developed a free online training module: Infection prevention and control for COVID-19.
This training module is for all support workers, including those in disability and aged care. It covers the fundamentals of infection prevention and control for COVID-19, including:
COVID-19 – what is it?
Signs and symptoms
Keeping safe – protecting participants and your workforce
At the end of this module, you should be able to:
Understand the basics about the COVID-19 virus, including how it is spread
Describe what you can do to protect participants and your workforce
Know what to do if you develop symptoms
Know what to do if the person you are supporting develops symptoms
Tell the difference between myths and facts of COVID-19.
If you have any technical questions relating to the training portal, please email email@example.com
The Department of Health has also developed a webinar on COVID-19 preparedness for in-home and community aged care. This webinar is also relevant to all providers and workers in the disability sector.
Should Lifestyle Support Workers wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?
If you are working with people with disability, continue to practise good hygiene – wearing gloves where required, washing your hands frequently and so on.
There is no need for disability or health workers to wear surgical masks unless you are working directly with clients or patients who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.
Further guidance on the use of surgical masks is on the Department of Health website.
For the latest advice, information and resources, go to www.health.gov.au
Call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you require translating or interpreting services, call 131 450.
The phone number of your state or territory public health agency is available at www.health.gov.au/state-territory-contacts
If you have concerns about your health, speak to your doctor.