Our Response to COVID-19
There is no doubt the current circumstances the global community is facing with the outbreak of COVID-19 has changed our way of life and will do so for the foreseeable future.
Our priority, as always, is safeguarding our people – participants and employees alike.
An internal working party established specifically in response to the challenges of the Coronavirus is taking a proactive approach in line with the Australian Government’s health advice and guidance.
Our people are our priority
DSA has policies and procedures in place to maintain high standards of infection control at our sites at all times. This helps to avoid the potential spread of Coronavirus and other infectious diseases for our participants and also provides a safer workplace for our employees.
We have developed procedures to enact should we have a close exposure or confirmed diagnosis of infection including:
- COVID-19 Case Management in Supported Accommodation
- COVID-19 Case Management in Community
- COVID-19 Confirmed Case Framework
We are also working hard with our suppliers to ensure we have sufficient stocks of personal protective equipment on hand at all operational sites.
Visitor restrictions are in place
In order to protect our participants and our employees, we introduced new protocols for access to our Home Solutions and Mentoring Services sites. Any visitors to DSA homes and sites must wash their hands with soap and water or use a hand sanitiser before or upon entering the premises.
Our staff will ask visitors a number of screening questions on arrival and at some sites, temperature checking will be conducted prior to entry.
These are simple but important measures that can help protect our participants and employees as well as reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community.
Easy read information for participants
We have developed story boards and gathered a range of easy read fact sheets for our participants. Resources have been shared to our frontline teams so they can display information on good hygiene and effective handwashing, knowing the symptoms and preventative measures for COVID-19 at all DSA sites.
Impact on services
Supports at many DSA sites are continuing with additional precautionary measures in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. This includes all Home Solutions and Mentoring Services sites. DSA Packaging Solutions operations are continuing at all sites. Employment support in our SLES and DES programs and most of our clinical supports through Enhance Health Services are now being delivered remotely.
We made the difficult decision in March to suspend services at all of our Community Solutions day programs and wherever possible have made arrangements to provide alternate supports to maintain continuity of service. We are very pleased to be trialling the return to service at three Community Solutions sites (Taren Point, East Hills and Blacktown).
Be assured that our team is doing everything possible to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of the people we support and our employees, safeguarding our people is vital.
We are taking a very considered approach in planning for a gradual return to a ‘new normal’ in the coming weeks and months.