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AmeCare understands that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic could significantly affect people within our service. To make sure we are providing effective care, AmeCare will work within the directives of the Department of Health and the NDIS Commission to implement strategies and maximize the health and safety of our participants and employees.

 

Symptoms of COVID-19 usually present 5-6 days after contact with a person who has tested positive for the virus. However, signs and symptoms can present as early as 1 day after exposure, or as late as 14 days after exposure.

Common symptoms include: 

  • Fever 

  • Dry cough

  • Shortness of breath

  • Fatigue

  • Lack of appetite

  • Loss of taste and/or smell 

Less common symptoms include:

  • Sore throat

  • Headache

  • Myalgia

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhoea

  • Increased confusion 

  • Worsened chronic lung conditions 

 

 

Company Responsibilities 

  • Key Management Personnel 

    • Ensure employees have necessary skills and knowledge about infection control

    • Provide infection control training (e.g., specific COVID-19 training)

    • Keep all AmeCare employees and personnel informed of changes to restrictions and guidelines

    • Provide all accommodation and housing units with an adequate supply of anti-bacterial wipes, sprays, and disinfectant processes that staff can practicably manage

    • Keep a centralized registry of all COVID tests that have been conducted, as well as logs of all visitors and staff that may have been in contact with an affected person

    • Maintain connections with local pharmacy to receive adequate supplies of PPE, masks, and relevant equipment

    • Ensure all of our houses, services, facilities, and head office keep logbooks and attestations for adequate contact tracing

  • Support Workers 

    • Maintain good hand hygiene, as well a cough and respiratory etiquette

    • Follow and adhere to company directives, processes, and procedures

    • Reporting any suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 as it becomes known to them 

    • Following government and Department of Health guidelines about social/physical distancing and self-isolation, to protect AmeCare participants

    • Monitor participants’ health and document observations in their progress notes.

    • If employees have serious concerns, they need to contact the head office immediately.

    • Report to head office any instances of poor hand hygiene, absence of physical distancing, or poor cleaning practices that put participants, employees, or other members of the community at risk. 

Social distancing and self-isolation 

  • Self-screening and self-isolation for anyone who develops respiratory signs and symptoms of COVID-19 is critical.

  • If any employee, participant, or associate of AmeCare have concerns that they have been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19, or are experiencing symptoms, they must immediately:

    • Notify a member of AmeCare’s management team

    • Seek medical advice and assistance

    • Not work or have contact with any AmeCare participants until a medical certificate is obtained to deem clearance

  • All AmeCare employees should maintain social/physical distancing wherever possible. This means employees should activate principles of person-centered active support:

    • Minimise assistance if it is documented that the participant can complete the task independently

    • Prompt the participant from a distance to complete tasks and to give them an opportunity to complete it (where safe and reasonable to do so)

    • Demonstrate the task from a distance, to teach the task (where safe and reasonable to do so)

    • Where it is necessary to provide personal support, adhere to hand hygiene

    • Educate and encourage social/physical distancing to participants through verbal instructions and role modelling

    • Report to management for investigation, any breaches of physical distancing, self-isolation, or other concerns about implementing covid-safe processes.

    • At all times, maintain obligations under the NDIS Code of Conduct

    • Report any application of restrictive practices that are not authorised as part of a behaviour support plan (e.g., environmental restraints)

When COVID-19 is suspected:

  • Due to a exposure of a confirmed case and/or presentation of signs and symptoms

    • Contact a member of the AmeCare management team

    • Complete progress notes

    • Monitor the participant’s general health and wellbeing

    • Support all follow ups with the participant’s GP

    • Continue to comply with infection control practices, and increase the level of infection control measures as required

    • Continue to comply with and practice physical distancing requirements

  • Where the client presents as significantly unwell, or has difficulty breathing, employees must call 000 for an ambulance and disclose potential COVID-19 to the switchboard

  • Where instructed by a participant’s GP to receive a COVID test, employees can provide support to do so. Once and if testing has been initiated, employees must:

    • Notify a member of the AmeCare management team

    • Complete an incident report

    • Implement/continue to comply with social distancing and isolation practices

    • Implement/continue to comply with cleaning practices for confirmed cases

Where COVID-19 is confirmed: 

  • Someone with acute symptoms may remain in hospital. If they reside in AmeCare’s accommodation, a pandemic clean of the room needs to occur prior to the participant’s return.

    • If they do not resident in AmeCare’s accommodation, AmeCare will advise the participant, their delegate, caregiver, advocate, or next of kin of the importance of a deep clean to avoid further spreading the virus.

  • Where signs and symptoms are not immediately acute, the participant will likely be asked to monitor their health whilst quarantining for 14 days.

    • If the person resides independently in their own home, AmeCare will provide support via phone/video calls and emails to ensure they are adequately supported during quarantine. 

    • AmeCare will not conduct any unnecessary face-to-face support until written confirmation is received that the participant and any affected persons have medical clearance.

Cleaning practices – for suspected or confirmed cases

 

  • Complete a clean at least 3 times daily and, where possible, at the beginning and end of each shift

  • Use appropriate detergents to clean each surface first, then go over with disinfectants.

    • Alternatively, clean each item once using a combined detergent and disinfectant

  • At a minimum, the following must be cleaned daily:

    • Light switches

    • Doorknobs

    • Benches

    • Toilets

    • Basins/sinks

    • Aids and equipment

    • Remote controls

    • Bedroom surfaces

  • Use gloves to gather any used clothes and linen, and transport them for cleaning in a plastic/disposable bag

  • The affected person’s clothes and linen are to be washed separately to other members of the household, on the warmest possible setting (more than 65 degrees for at least 10 minutes)

  • Wash all cutlery and crockery in the dishwasher, where possible. Items used by the affected person do not need to be washed separately.

  • An external agency can be used to conduct a deep clean, e.g.:

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