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Disability Accommodation Services

Disability Accommodation Services Direction (No. 3)

This content was last updated on 24 September 2020.

Overview

Due to recently announced cases in Queensland extra restrictions have now been put in place for shared disability accommodation services in listed Local Government Areas.

To protect our most vulnerable, the ONLY people who can enter a shared disability accommodation service located in the listed Local Government Areas are:

  • disability accommodation service staff (including administration staff, cleaners, tradesman, gardeners and maintenance)
  • volunteers
  • persons delivering goods and services (including food deliveries)
  • health care workers (including doctors, nurses, allied health and pharmaceutical staff)
  • people the operator of a disability accommodation service has granted permission to enter to provide support to a resident
  • people providing essential disability support
  • people providing social work services
  • emergency workers and police
  • a visitor who is providing end-of-life support
  • students under the supervision of an employee or contractor

Disability accommodation service operators must make sure, as much as possible staff do not work across multiple care facilities.

Anyone entering a restricted shared disability accommodation service must wear a single use face mask.

You may wear a face shield instead of a face mask in limited situations:

  • if wearing a mask will cause distress to a resident
  • if the visibility of your mouth is essential for communication with a resident

Further guidance about the use of face shields is available in Pandemic Response Guidance Personal protective equipment in Residential Aged Care and Disability accommodation services.

For shared disability accommodation services located in all other regions the following measures apply

Visitors should:

  • wash your hands before entering and leaving the facility
  • stay 1.5 metres away from residents where possible
  • stay away when unwell.

Visitors should not be anyone who:

  • in the last 14 days has returned from overseas
  • in the last 14 days has had contact with a person with COVID-19
  • in the last 14 days has visited a COVID-19 hotspot
  • has a fever (37.5 degrees or more)
  • has COVID-19 symptoms

If you work or volunteer at the service, you can enter if you:

  • are well
  • have not travelled overseas or had contact with a person with COVID-19 in the last 14 days

Whether you are a visitor, worker or volunteer, if you have visited a COVID-19 hotspot in the last 14 days, you must not enter a disability accommodation service.

For full details read the Disability Accommodation Services Direction (No. 3).

Questions and Answers about this Direction

Restrictions for disability accommodation services in listed Local Government Areas

What Local Government Areas are listed?

Local Government Areas where restrictions apply to disability accommodation services are listed on the Queensland Government website.

How do I find out whether a disability accommodation service is in a listed Local Government Area?

You can search the address of a disability accommodation service here to find out if it is within one of the listed Local Government Areas.

Questions about visitors

Who can enter a restricted disability accommodation service?

To protect our most vulnerable, the ONLY people who can enter a shared disability accommodation service located in the listed Local Government Areas are:

  • Disability accommodation service staff (including administration staff, cleaners, tradesman, gardeners and maintenance)
  • volunteers
  • persons delivering goods and services (including food deliveries)
  • health care workers (including doctors, nurses, allied health and pharmaceutical staff)
  • people an operator of a disability accommodation service has approved as necessary to enter to provide support to a resident
  • people providing essential disability support
  • people providing social work services
  • emergency workers and police
  • a visitor who is providing end-of-life support
  • students under the supervision of an employee or contractor

Anyone entering a disability accommodation in the listed Local Government Areas must wear a single use surgical mask.

You may wear a face shield instead of a mask:

  • if wearing a mask will cause distress to a resident
  • If the visibility of your mouth is essential for communication with a resident

Additional guidance about the use of face shields is available in the Pandemic Response Guidance: Personal protective equipment in Residential Aged Care and Disability Accommodation Services.

Can I visit a loved one in a disability accommodation service?

No personal visitors are allowed to visit disability accommodation services located in the listed Local Government Areas. While we understand that this places a great strain on many families who have loved ones in these services, the protection and welfare of people in these services is a priority.

Who CANNOT enter a disability accommodation service?

You must not enter any disability accommodation service in Queensland if:

  • in the last 14 days you have returned from overseas
  • in the last 14 days you had contact with a person with COVID-19
  • in the last 14 days you visited a COVID-19 hotspot
  • you have a fever (37.5 degrees or more)
  • you have COVID-19 symptoms.

What should I do when I enter a disability accommodation service to work, volunteer, or to provide end-of-life support?

You should:

  • stay for a short time in the resident’s room or outside
  • avoid communal spaces
  • make sure the resident has no more than two visitors at a time, including doctors
  • wash your hands before entering and leaving the facility
  • stay 1.5 metres away from residents where possible
  • stay away when unwell.

Can a resident of a disability accommodation service leave the facility?

A resident may leave the service for any reason. However, residents should exercise caution when out in the community particularly restricted areas. This means:

  • keep at least 1.5 metres away from other people (two big steps)
  • wash your hands regularly with soap and water or use alcohol-based sanitiser
  • avoid hugs, kisses and handshakes.

My loved one doesn’t understand what’s happening.

Talk to the disability accommodation service and discuss ways you can safely support your loved one

Questions about staff

Why do staff need to limit working across multiple care facilities?

Limiting staff working across multiple facilities, including those run by the same provider where possible helps to limit the possible spread of COVID-19 across these facilities.

What happens if I have to work across multiple care facilities?

Disability accommodation services must try to limit staff working across multiple care facilities wherever possible. If you are required to work across multiple care facilities, you must wear a single use surgical face mask when you are in a restricted disability accommodation service.

You must also change masks when moving between facilities.

You must stay at home if you are sick, tell your employer if a COVID-19 case is confirmed at your other workplace and should get the flu vaccine if you can.

What about casual staff who normally work across multiple care facilities? Will they lose their jobs?

No, they will not lose their jobs.

Disability accommodation services must try to limit staff working across multiple care facilities wherever possible. If you are required to work across different care facilities you must wear a single use surgical mask and change masks when moving between facilities.

Guidance about recommended PPE use is available in the Pandemic Response Guidance Personal protective equipment in Residential Aged Care and Disability accommodation services.

All staff must stay at home if they are sick. Tell your employer if a COVID-19 case is confirmed at their other workplace.

Can I work across multiple care facilities?

It is recommended that staff should only work at one facility where possible. However, if you need to work across multiple care facilities you must wear a single use surgical face mask and change masks when moving between residences.

What is a care facility?

Care facilities include, but are not limited to, hospitals, retirement villages and residential aged care facilities.

Questions about face masks

When should I wear a mask?

Anyone entering a restricted disability accommodation service is required to wear a single use surgical mask at all times.  In limited situations, you may use a face shield. A face shield may be used:

  • if wearing a mask will cause distress to a resident
  • If the visibility of your mouth is essential for communication with a resident

Why do I have to wear a face mask if I visit a restricted disability accommodation service?

Wearing a face mask at a disability accommodation service is another measure to help protect the more vulnerable Queenslanders from the potential spread of COVID-19. The face mask will help to stop any germs that you may be carrying from being passed onto residents and staff in the accommodation service. You will not be permitted to enter a disability accommodation service without a face mask.

You may wear a face shield instead of a mask:

  • if wearing a mask will cause distress to a resident
  • If the visibility of your mouth is essential for communication with a resident

Will the disability accommodation service provide me with a face mask or do I have to bring my own mask?

You are responsible for providing your own mask when entering a disability accommodation service. Masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) will only be provided to staff and volunteers.

Do I have to wear any other PPE?

Essential visitors to restricted disability accommodation services are all required to wear a single use surgical face mask.

Employees, contractors, students and volunteers who work across different care facilities must wear single use surgical masks and change masks between facilities. Additional guidance about recommended PPE use is available in the Pandemic Response Guidance Personal protective equipment in Residential Aged Care and Disability accommodation services.

Why can’t I wear a reusable masks?

Single use surgical masks are designed for medical settings and are most applicable for health care scenarios. Re-using a cloth mask without washing it between residents is risky, because it can become contaminated and may not be as effective in protecting you or residents.

Questions and answers about visiting Queensland disability accommodation services not in Listed Local Government areas

Who can visit a disability accommodation service?

Any person may continue to visit residents in disability accommodation services that are not located in the listed Local Government Areas unless:

  • you have returned from overseas in the last 14 days
  • you had contact with a person with COVID-19 in the last 14 days
  • you visited a COVID-19 hotspot in the last 14 days
  • have a fever (37.5 degrees or more)
  • have COVID-19 symptoms at the time you are seeking to enter a service.

Can I visit a loved one in a disability accommodation service?

Yes. There are no limits to visitors to disability accommodation services not in the listed Local Government Areas.

Restrictions for all disability accommodation services

What is considered essential disability support?

Essential disability support is support provided to a person with a disability including:

  • bladder and bowel management
  • medication management
  • behaviour management
  • respiratory management
  • Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastromy (PEG) Changes
  • pressure relief/turning and wound care
  • assistance with feeding and hydration
  • assistance with basic personal hygiene

What is a common area?

A common area includes shared living spaces like kitchens, bathrooms and living rooms where people congregate for longer periods of time. Common areas do not include spaces like entryways or hallways where people may pass each other.

How can we support our loved ones if we are unable to visit them?

It’s important to stay connected with residents. If you are unable to visit your loved ones for any reason, you can keep in touch by:

  • phone calls
  • video calls
  • sending letters and postcards
  • sending artwork
  • sending home videos.

What should I do if I am concerned about how restrictions will impact my disability services?

If you are concerned these arrangements may impact your support arrangements, please contact your support provider in the first instance.

If a provider has withdrawn services you should contact the NDIS Quality and Safeguard Commission by phoning 1800 035 544.

If you are a NDIS participant and have immediate concerns about not receiving essential supports due to border closures, contact the NDIA on 1800 800 110 and select option 5.

In the event of an emergency please call 000.

If you are in need of urgent essential disability care and you have been unable to access alternative services through your usual provider or an alternative provider, please contact the community recovery hotline on 1800 173 349.

Are there penalties if I don’t comply?

Yes. If you don’t comply with any part of the Direction you may be given an on-the-spot fine of $1,334 for individuals and $6,670 for corporations, a court-imposed penalty of up to $13,345 or 6 months imprisonment.

What happens if there is a spike of COVID-19 cases in the community?

If there is a spike in cases in the community, the disability accommodation service may need to limit when residents can leave the facility and restrict visitors such as hairdressers or allied health professionals.  These measures will be needed to protect the health of our most vulnerable.

Collection of contact information – operators of residential aged care facilities

Why do I have to collect the contact information of visitors?

When a person is diagnosed with COVID-19, the local public health unit commences contact tracing. Public health officers will assess the movements of the person with COVID-19 while they were infectious and determine who in community are considered ‘close contacts’.

That’s why it’s important to provide accurate and legible contact information, so we can contact you if you are affected, helping us respond quickly and effectively to the spread of COVID-19 in the community, and to minimize potential for you to spread the disease to others.

Who needs to provide contact information?

All visitors to disability accommodation services need to provide contact information. This includes visitors, volunteers, contractors and registered NDIS providers. It does not include employees of the service.

What contact information do I have to collect?

A person operates a disability accommodation service must keep contact information about all visitors, including contractors and volunteers, for contact tracing purposes for a period of 56 days. If asked, this information must be provided to public health officers within the stated time.

For each visitor, this information must include:

  • Full name
  • Phone number
  • Email address (residential address if unavailable)
  • Date and time period of the visit