Latest DSA update
As government advice about COVID continues to be updated daily, it’s 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 and we appreciate your continued support and understanding.
There is some indication that border restrictions may soon be eased, hotspots emerge and change frequently and the daily list of places requiring self-isolation and testing continues.
NSW Health has now added new COVID-19 symptoms to be mindful of:
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.
Opening Community Access
As restrictions continue easing, DSA is working hard to ensure our participants are able to engage in their regular activities as much as possible. To support this, we are re-commencing transport and community access to Community Solutions participants for the first time in over six months. Measures have been put 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.
The measures include:
- Site access measures (temperature checking, visitor registers and illness/travel history questioning) and strict additional hygiene and cleaning.
- Support staff wearing a medical grade face mask in all our services
- 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 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.
Visitors to DSA supported accommodation sites
Following the latest guidelines from NSW Health, the following measures continue to be implemented at our Home Solutions and Mentoring Services sites:
- All our Supported Independent Living sites within the areas deemed to be “Areas with increased testing’ will continue to have visitor access restricted to decision makers and by appointment only.
- All our Supported Independent Living sites will restrict access to any visitor who has been to any location requiring self-isolation and testing or who resides in any area deemed “Increased Testing”.
These locations and LGAs change frequently depending on the COVID situation in the community so adjustments are made at every site following daily checks of latest updates from the NSW Government.
Guidance has also been issued on managing visitors at sites:
- Designated room or outdoor area where the resident and their visitors can keep apart from other residents. The visitor must go directly to and from the room and remain within the designated room or area for the duration of the visit.
- No more than two visitors per resident are allowed at a time – this does not mean only the same two people can ever visit a resident.
These visitors will be asked to wear a mask during their visit, regardless of where they live or where they have visited.
All non-essential visitors are requested to postpone their visit until further notice, regardless of where they live or have visited.
Visitors are requested to view the NSW Health. If a visitor has attended a COVID-19 hotspot, they are requested to postpone visits to DSA sites and reschedule for a later date.associated with confirmed COVID-19 cases. This advice changes frequently, so visitors should ensure they monitor these lists and follow the advice outlined by
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.
We are following new guidelines issued by NSW Health which allows us to support increased visitor access, where it is safe to do so at our Home Solutions and Mentoring Services 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.
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
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
The Department of Health has produced a series of easy read posters and simple explainer videos around Coronavirus, that are short but highly informative.