NEWS

COVID-19 news and resources for managers and leaders

This page will be continually updated. Last update: 31 March 2022
For news and resources specific to frontline workers and their clients, click here.
For members’ frequently asked questions, click here.

News and events

31 March 2022
Ministry of Health: COVID future scenario planning
In this recorded webinar, Dr Jan Fizzell (Senior Medical Advisor, Office of the Chief Health Officer) shares how Omicron is affecting the community and what the projections are, how and when to use RATs for service providers, planning for different service settings (e.g. residential vs non-residential care), roles and responsibilities of various Health stakeholders when it comes to COVID management, and more. Also learn about learn about the ‘COVID-19 management and risk assessment toolkit’.

21 March 2022
COVID-19 healthcare practices in the community – Risk assessment matrix [PDF]

2 February 2022

Changes to COVID-19-related incident reporting for NSW Health-funded NGOs

The number of current COVID cases in NSW increases the possibility of your service having COVID positive staff and clients. Serious Clinical Incident reporting has previously required submitting an incident report to your contract manager for confirmed single COVID positive cases. To reduce reporting burden on your service, you are no longer required to provide a full incident report for single instances of COVID positive cases in staff or clients.

New reporting requirement for single instances of COVID positive case:

  • Notify your contract manager by email, without identifying personal information. The email should contain the date of a positive test result, type of test (RAT or PCR) and if you anticipate any service interruptions as a result of that case.

An incident report will be required where your service becomes aware of a COVID outbreak, defined as when:

  • 2 or more cases that have clinical indicators of COVID-19 (fever, an acute respiratory infection (this includes a cough, sore throat or shortness of breath), a runny nose, loss of smell or loss of taste) in staff or clients that occurs within 3 days (72 hours) AND
  • at least one of these cases is confirmed as COVID-19 by a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) or PCR test.

Non-residential services are not required to submit an incident report unless a connection is made between the cases; such as two cases visited the same physical location (even if at different times) and/or linked by an in-person meeting (even if full personal protective equipment was used).

Please contact your contract manager if you have any questions.

 

19 January 2022

COVID-19 information and resources
Did you miss the webinar (18 January 2022) with Dr Jan Fizzell and Dr Tony Gill? Watch it here. Passcode: i0$6hz4z

Health worker safety
Please use the Health care worker COVID-19 exposure risk assessment matrix [PDF] to assess the level of risk for exposed staff members (clinical and non-clinical) and client/patients and carers exposed in a clinical setting. This includes staff to staff contact in common areas and meal break rooms.

Resources to help health workers keep safe in the workplace.

 

1 November 2021
Adjusting our practice to keep everyone safe: NADA COVID-19 FAQs [PDF]
NADA members have demonstrated incredible resilience through maintaining the support and contact with clients throughout the ups and downs of COVID-19. Now with vaccination rates increasing and lockdowns easing, we acknowledge that COVID-19 is here to stay and so we adapt again. To further support members, NADA has developed a new FAQ document, designed to adjust face to face service delivery with COVID-safe practices in mind. Take a look, and if there is anything else you feel would be helpful – reach out.



7 October 2021
Mandatory vaccinations
Ministry of Health:
Information for NGOs
Mandatory vaccination for Non-Government Organisation health care workers – Frequently asked questions

Justice Connect
Managing vaccines in the workplace


27 September 2021
Rapid antigen testing: Some NADA members have implemented the use of rapid antigen testing to help support staff and clients. Rapid antigen testing is a screening tool to help detect COVID-19 in people without any symptoms of COVID-19. Rapid antigen testing involves a nasal swab (using a small cotton bud) that is placed into a chemical solution The result displays within 15 to 20 minutes. Learn more.

Vaccination: Vaccination clinics and participating general practices across the state are open for bookings. To check your eligibility and book an appointment at a location near you, use the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility checker.
Case locations: NSW Health is regularly updating the case locations as new venues visited by confirmed cases of COVID-19 emerge.
COVID-19 testing: For up to date information on opening hours and to find your nearest COVID-19 testing clinic, please visit COVID-19 testing clinics.
Current risk levels: are monitored by NSW Health on the COVID-19 risk monitoring dashboard and are updated each week. Please refer to the COVID-19 infection prevention and response framework for information on the amber and red risk ratings.

Legal advice: If you do have any legal concerns, please contact Justice Connect.

Webinar: NGO Community of Practice: Update on COVID 19 issues for NSW Health funded NGOs. Check out the webinar from August 2021 here.

Controlling the NSW outbreak
28 June 2021
You can check current restrictions for both Greater Sydney and regional and rural NSW here.

The current risk levels are monitored by NSW Health on the COVID-19 Risk Monitoring Dashboard and are updated each week. Please refer to the COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Response Framework for information on the amber and red risk ratings.

COVID-19 vaccination in NSW
NSW Health landing page
FAQs

COVID-19 vaccine roll-out
Notice #1 from AADC [PDF]

COVID-19 screening at NSW Healthcare facilities
Please see continually updated screening advice on these pages:
Healthcare facilities
Residential aged care facilities
Residential disability care facilities
Home care service providers facilities


COVID-19 response plan template

NSW Health has developed the COVID-19 response plan template [PDF]. This template is designed to complement the recently released incident action plan [PDF] and to support services that do not have a COVID-19 preparedness plan in place and wish to create one, or who may have hastily created their COVID-19 preparedness plan at the start of the pandemic and wish to update their plan with the latest information. 

It is essential that AOD services maintain infection control protocols, including COVID-19 screening and testing. Make sure you know local testing clinics and how you can support your clients to access them. Learn more.

How to wear a maska visual guide
NSW Health has developed a two-page visual guide for how to wear a mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Please click here [PDF] to access the resource.

 

Recorded webinars

COVID-normal: preparing for a new world
Associate Professor Adrienne Torda, Associate Dean, Education and Innovation at UNSW Medicine and Health, hosts an online panel of senior health and community leaders, to discuss what the future looks like as we all prepare to live with COVID-19. Will it always be this way? Will we need ongoing boosters? And they discuss the challenges of increasing access for vulnerable people or who are in remote communities. Watch the video.

CMHDARN: Evaluating service changes due to COVID-19
Presented by Professor Anthony Shakeshaft, Deputy Director of the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre
Watch the video

Reporting Minimum Data Set: Data entry during COVID-19
Watch the video
Download the flowchart [PDF]

COVID-19 infection control: A focus on residential AOD treatment (30 April)
Watch the video
Webinar slides [PPTX]
Q&A from the webinar [PDF]

Participate in the opioid overdose response and take home Naloxone program (21 April)
Watch the video

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Ministry webinar (1 April)
Watch the video
Slides from the webinar
[PDF]
Q&A from the webinar [PDF]

Justice Connect
Privacy law and cyber security Watch the video
Workplace health and safety for not-for-profits with front line workers Watch the video


Resources

For non government AOD services

NADA
Check the Policy Toolkit for documents to support human resources changes during this time.
Essential worker template letter [DOCX]
Human resources policy template [DOCX]
Privacy and confidentiality agreement: Working from home WHS [DOCX]
Working from home WHS—report and agreement [DOCX]

Ministry of Health
It is essential that AOD services maintain infection control protocols, including COVID-19 screening and testing. Make sure you know local testing clinics and how you can support your clients to access them. Learn more.

COVID-19 infection prevention and control: Advice for cleaning and disinfection in the workplace [PDF]
COVID-19 infection prevention and control: Primary, community and outpatient settings [PDF]
FAQ pages for AOD treatment services and opioid treatment program patients
Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for NSW Health funded NGOs
Guidance: Process for NSW Health funded non government organisation providers to request personal protective equipment
Guidance for AOD services about COVID-19

COVID-19 checklist for AOD services [DOCX]
It is important that all AOD services prioritise the development of a preparedness plan for how you will respond to service disruption caused by COVID-19. The Ministry has prepared a checklist highlighting important considerations for your service in developing this plan. If you need support, please contact your contract manager directly, or email the AOD branch using the safety and quality email address.

Factsheet with considerations for business continuity [DOCX]

Department of Health
Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidelines for outbreaks in residential care facilities

Department of Communities and Justice
Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for service providers

Workforce matters
The best sources of information are:
Fair Work website
Safe Work Australia website
Justice Connect COVID-19 response briefing note
Australian Government support for individuals and households
Businesses and employment: Support and financial relief for businesses, employees and jobseekers, to help manage the impact of COVID-19.

General resources
As a direct client service provider, you should be implementing infection prevention and control measures. There are resources available about 2019-nCoV and about how to prevent the spread of respiratory illness.

From the NSW Government
Please visit the NSW Health 2019-nCoV home page first for all queries (available in English, Chinese simplified and traditional).

From the Australian Government
Australian Government Department of Health factsheet for health care and residential care workers
Australian Government Department of Health 2019-nCoV home page


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