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Coronavirus information for SACARE clients, staff, families and friends

As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread, we want to take a moment to let you know what SACARE is doing to respond. We feel it is important to connect directly with you to share more about the steps we are taking across our facilities and other parts of the business (i.e. community support) to help keep clients, employees and our community safe and healthy.

For any clients that are unwell and have been exposed to anyone with the coronavirus to please advise our co-ordination team by calling 1300 145 636 or your support worker immediately to ensure that we can manage any further risk to your team and other clients within our SACARE community.

The health of both clients and our team are our priority. You will need to follow SA Health recommendations in relation to testing and self-isolation. If your test result is positive and you are unable to self isolate due to your disability, it is imperative that we assist you to present to a hospital setting that can manage your needs until you have recovered. 

To demonstrate this, we have outlined what measures we currently have in place:

  • Our facilities are cleaned and sanitized daily as part of our normal course of business.
  • We have increased the frequency and extent of those cleanings to twice daily.
  • We’ve increased resources including hand sanitizers, medical-grade soap and surface cleaner throughout all accommodation settings.
  • We have restricted all visitors to accommodation that are not essential
  • We have increased availability of hand sanitizers and gloves for our community workers.
  • We're also ensuring our employees have the information they need to stay healthy or stay home if they aren't feeling well with regular updates via email, telegram, and social media.
  • We are monitoring all travel of our support workers and ensuring they meet the requirements to self–isolate.
  • We have created an online program that requires all Support Workers to complete on Principles of Infection Prevention & Control – this is compulsory training and will be monitored

All of these practices and our business decisions are informed by guidance from the Department of Health, NDIS and WHO.

Please help us maintain this service to our clients by adhering to the following advice:

Practicing good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene:

  • Please use the hand sanitisers provided upon entry and exit of our facilities.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with soap upon arrival and when leaving a client’s home, before and after eating, and after going to the toilet.
  • Cover your cough and sneeze, dispose of tissues, and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
  • If unwell, avoid contact with others (stay more than 1.5 metres from people).


Image source: BBC.
 

Seek guidance if unwell with COVID-19 symptoms:

  • If you are severely unwell, such as having difficulty breathing, call 000 (Triple Zero) or go directly to a hospital emergency department, we will assist you to attend the hospital if necessary.
  • If you have travelled anywhere overseas in the past 14 days and have COVID-19 symptoms (especially fever or cough), seek testing at an official COVID-19 clinic or alternatively contact your GP (call ahead so your GP is prepared and aware of your travel history) and isolate yourself.
  • If you have NOT travelled overseas recently, but have symptoms or are feeling unwell, visit your usual health care provider as you normally would.
  • Avoid contact with others if you are unwell.

Travel restrictions

The following special restrictions apply to travellers:

  • If you have traveled overseas in the last 14 days, you must self-isolate yourself for 14 days.
  • If you have been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus, you must isolate yourself for 14 days after the date of last contact with the confirmed case.

Isolation and restriction

Cases will generally be managed in hospital. If clinically indicated, cases may be managed at home only if it can be ensured that the case and household contacts are counselled about risk and that appropriate infection control measures are in place.
Healthcare workers and others who come into contact with suspected and confirmed cases must be protected according to recommended infection control guidelines. Visitors should be restricted to close family members.
A risk assessment should be undertaken for suspected cases who initially test negative for SARS-CoV-2. If there is no alternative diagnosis and a high index of suspicion remains that such cases may have COVID-19, consideration should be given to continued isolation and use of the recommended infection control precautions, pending further testing.
While recommendations on isolation and PPE for management of suspected and confirmed cases initially took a deliberately cautious approach, emerging evidence and expert advice now supports requirements commensurate with the risk in particular clinical circumstances.In addition to standard precautions, interim recommendations for the use of PPE during clinical care of people with possible COVID-19 are:

  • Contact and droplet precautions are recommended for routine care of patients in quarantine or with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
  • Contact and airborne precautions are recommended when performing aerosol-generating procedures, including intubation and bronchoscopy, and for care of critically ill patients.

Other recommended infection control measures include:

  • When a patient who meets the suspect case definition presents to a healthcare setting (GP, hospital ED, or pathology collection centre) and whether or not respiratory symptoms are present, the patient should immediately be:
    • given a surgical mask to put on, and
    • directed to a single room. If the patient has severe symptoms suggestive of pneumonia, they should be directed to a negative pressure room, if available, or a room from which the air does not circulate to other areas.
  • If a patient with confirmed COVID-19 needs to be transferred out of their isolation room, the patient should wear a “surgical” face mask and follow respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette.

Where can I get more information?

  • For the latest advice, information and resources, go to www.health.gov.au
  • Call the National Coronavirus Health Information Line 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 each state or territory public health agency is available at www.health.gov.au/state-territory-contacts

 

For any clients that are unwell and have been exposed to anyone with the coronavirus to please advise our co-ordination team by calling 1300 145 636 or your support worker immediately.

Kind regards,

The SACARE Team


Main image source: Change.org.

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