Information for Participants, Families and Carers

The following information is provided for the broader DSA community of families, carers and visitors. We are here to support you during this time and to work together to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community. We provide regular updates in this section of our website as new information becomes available.

Thank you for your understanding and continued support.

Visitor restrictions

NSW Health has provided a specific update regarding the restrictions on residential disability care facilities which are effective immediately.

The key points of note for DSA Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA)/ Supported Independent Living (SIL) sites are detailed below:

Until Sunday 31 January 2021:

All service locations in:

  • Northern Beaches LGA
  • Canterbury LGA suburbs – Ashbury, Belfield, Campsie, Canterbury, Clemton Park, Croydon Park, Earlwood, Hurlstone Park
  • Cumberland City Council
  • Mount Druitt area suburbs – Bidwell, Blackett, Doonside, Dharruk, Emerton, Hebersham, Lethbridge Park, Minchinbury, Mount Druitt, Shalvey, Tregear, Whalan, Wilmot
  • Rooty Hill

All SIL locations within these footprints:

  • must exclude all visitors, except those performing essential caring functions or for compassionate reasons. 
  • should avoid participants leaving the location unless the visit is essential (for example, a medical appointment) or for exercise.
  • provide participants access to appropriate information about required PPE and relevant DSA Infection Prevention Control protocols if they need to leave the location.
  • must conduct enhanced COVID screening when participants return to the site.

Greater Sydney (including Blue Mountains and Central Coast Local Government Areas):

  • A maximum of two visitors per day may be admitted per participant.

·       It is recommended that wherever possible, participants avoid events where there is anyone present who, during the last 14 days has been:

Regional NSW:

  • There are no specific restrictions on visitors to this area. 
  • It is recommended that wherever possible, participants avoid events where there is anyone present who, during the last 14 days has been:

All SIL locations in Greater Sydney and Regional NSW should exclude visitors who:

  • have COVID-19 symptoms –  fever (37. 5°C or higher) or symptoms of COVID-19 (acute blocked nose congestion has been added to the list of symptoms)
  • have been to any of the latest COVID-19 locations in NSW (including casual contacts) at the times and dates listed during the last 14 days, except for the monitor for symptoms list
  • to the interstate areas and times of concern
  • live in a household with a person who is currently self-isolating
  • are a close contact of a person confirmed with COVID within their self-isolation period
  • are waiting for a COVID-19 test result.

All participants should have access to appropriate information about required PPE and relevant DSA Infection Prevention Control protocols if they need to leave the location.

It is recommended that participants should be encouraged to change their non-essential planned activities, however if they do leave the site, enhanced COVID screening should be completed on their return.

It is vital that we all continue closely monitoring the circumstances and what they mean for our participants, ourselves and our loved ones.

Our focus and priority remains the health, safety and wellbeing of our participants and employees.

All DSA staff continue to be on high alert as the situation develops and it is essential that we are vigilant in monitoring for symptoms.

The number of venues and locations which are deemed either ‘immediate testing and isolation’ or ‘monitoring for symptoms’ is changing rapidly. It is important to check for new case locations and areas of increased testing each day at https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/latest-news-and-updates#latest-covid-19-case-locations-in-nsw.

All non-essential visitors are requested to postpone their visit until further notice, regardless of where they live or have visited.

We have plans in place for any potential worsening of the situation.

On site measures

It is still recommended that participants do not leave sites unless it is essential and should be encouraged to change their planned activities, however if they do, there will be enhanced COVID screening on their return.

COVID-19 precautions and protocols are in place across all our services and sites, to help keep our participants, their friends and families, our employees and the communities we work in safe.

The measures include:

  • Site access measures (temperature checking, visitor registers and illness/travel history questioning) and strict additional hygiene and cleaning.
  • All staff and visitors must wear a face mask at all DSA sites or in the community if it is located in an area with increased testing
  • Infection Control Leads ensure enhanced cleaning and hygiene measures are in place at all sites. 
  • Updated site access controls and visitor guidelines
  • Additional training and support for our staff

We continuously ensure that all our sites have sufficient supplies of face masks on hand. 

We have developed procedures to enact should we have a close exposure or confirmed diagnosis of infection.

All our sites continue to limit access to non-essential visitors, enhance strict personal hygiene and infection control measures and implement social distancing.

These are important measures that can help protect our participants and employees as well as reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

We all play a role in keeping ourselves, our families, participants and communities safe.

Additional training and supports for staff

Our COVID Response Team meets regularly to consider the current health advice and the impact on our services, and ensuring the best response in keeping people safe and infection free.

Each DSA site now has nominated Infection Control Leads, responsible for ensuring all infection control measures are being followed.  They monitor compliance with DSA policies, protocols and NSW Health directives in supporting team members, participants and visitors at our sites to be COVID safe.

To ensure our offices remain COVID safe, all DSA/METS offices have allocated COVID Champions responsible for supporting the site-specific infection prevention control protocols.

We continue to follow procedures and protocols developed in the early days of the pandemic. Our clear focus is to keep our community, participants and people as safe as possible, and provide essential supports as needed. It is important that we all remain vigilant and mindful of site access controls, social distancing and enhanced hygiene requirements.

DSA has a suite of COVID-19 specific training for staff including the Department of Health’s Infection Control module. 

Staff have access to the latest information and useful resources through a dedicated COVID-19 section on our intranet, as well as receiving regular email and SMS updates.

Further information

For the latest Australian Government updates, visit: www.health.gov.au or www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19

Useful resources and guidance

COVID-19 information for people with disability

Department of Social Services’ Information and Referrals for people with disability

Staying safe from Coronavirus

Coronavirus and mental health

NDIS Talking Points about Coronavirus

About Coronavirus – the NDIS

The Department of Health has also produced a series of simple explainer videos around Coronavirus, which are short but highly informative.

Stay Informed

Good hygiene starts here

Help stop the spread

Social distancing

Keep your mob safe

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