Latest Updates

Latest update

With the positive trend of zero locally acquired COVID-19 cases, our collective efforts, both at DSA and while in the community, continue to contribute to the safety and wellbeing of our participants, employees and local communities.

We continue to remain vigilant and are carrying out necessary infection prevention controls that align to NSW Health directives  regarding  restrictions on residential disability care facilities.

It is still recommended that participants do not leave sites unless it is essential however if they do, there will be enhanced COVID screening on their return.  

Our focus and priority remains the health, safety and wellbeing of our participants and employees and we appreciate your continued support and understanding.

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.

NSW Health has now added new COVID-19 symptoms to be mindful of:

  • Fever (37.5°C or higher)
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Runny nose or acutely stuffy nose
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Loss of taste or loss of smell.

Other reported symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Loss of appetite.

Opening Community Access

DSA is working hard to ensure our participants are able to engage in their regular activities as much as possible  with necessary precautions. We re-commenced transport and community access to Community Solutions participants with measures in place to ensure we do this as safely as possible for our participants and employees.

Enabling social connection is a vital part of supporting our participants’ wellbeing. We continue to monitor circumstances to ensure we get the balance right between safeguarding our people from the virus and supporting their overall wellbeing.

On site precautions

Implemented additional COVID-19 precautions across all our services continue to help keep our participants, their friends and families, our employees and the communities we work in safe. 

In line with the latest NSW Health advice, we have increased our access control measures at our sites.

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, ensure enhanced strict personal hygiene and infection control measures and implement social distancing. Until further notice it is mandatory for all DSA staff and visitors to wear a surgical face mask on site. 

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.

Visitors to DSA supported accommodation sites

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

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.

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

Ongoing protocols such as site access measures (temperature checking, visitor registers and illness/travel history questioning) and additional strict hygiene and cleaning are continuing at each of the sites.

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

NSW Health has a page dedicated to Easy Read resources for people with disability. 

If you are unsure of the current hotspot locations, please visit www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19 for the latest updates.

 

Staying Connected

We are following guidelines issued by NSW Health at our Supported Independent Living /Specialist Disability Accommodation sites. We have communicated clearly with our participants and potential visitors regarding these guidelines.

Measures such as phone or video calls continue to be utilised to help people keep in touch with family, friends or others and to assist in limiting visits to premises at this time. 

As always, feel free to call your key contact person if you would like assistance accessing these resources or have any concerns about your family member or the service.

Additional training and supports for staff

The procedures and protocols DSA developed in the early days of the pandemic have served us well so far and it is really important that we remain vigilant and mindful of our site access controls, social distancing and enhanced hygiene requirements:

  • External visitor guidelines
  • Staff and visitor declaration form of symptoms and potential exposure
  • Enhanced strict infection control, cleaning and strict hygiene practices
  • Maintaining physical distancing, where possible
  • Mandatory staff training, where applicable
  • Staff shortage and employee mobility policies
  • Special leave arrangements during COVID-19
  • Temperature checks at specific sites
  • Staff wellbeing and support process

Each site now has nominated Infection Control Leads, responsible for ensuring all infection control measures are being followed.  They monitor  compliance with DSA policies and NSW Health directives and 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.

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.

Our top priority and focus is safeguarding our participants and our employees and we continue to closely follow the guidance of the Department of Health and NSW Health as we navigate the challenges COVID-19 brings. 

Please call your key contact person if you would like assistance accessing these resources or have any concerns about your family member or the service. Alternatively you can call our Connections team on 1300 372 121.

If you are concerned that you or someone you know may be infected:

  • Please notify us ASAP so we can support you.
  • There is a national 24/7 telephone service for people who are concerned about contact with a possible Coronavirus case. If you think you may be infected you can call the hotline on 1800 020 080.
  • Suspected Coronavirus patients can present in person to a GP clinic, a dedicated respiratory clinic or to a hospital Emergency Department if they call ahead. Find a COVID-19 testing clinic

Previous DSA Updates

Update 7

Update 6

Update 5

Update 4

Update 3

Update 2

Update 1

Further information

For the latest Australian Government updates, visit: https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert

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 produced a series of easy read posters and simple explainer videos around Coronavirus, that are short but highly informative.

Stay Informed

Good hygiene starts here

Help stop the spread

Social distancing

Keep your mob safe

Scroll to Top