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Disability Accommodation Services

Disability Accommodation Services Direction (No. 16)

What’s changed from 6am AEST 15 April 2021

  • There are no restricted Local Government Areas. You can now enter a disability accommodation service if you comply with visitor requirements.

Overview

Visitors, staff or volunteers at a disability accommodation service should not be anyone who:

  • is unwell
  • has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or asked to quarantine
  • has returned from overseas in the last 14 days (excluding safe travel zone countries)
  • has had contact with a person with COVID-19 in the last 14 days
  • has visited a COVID-19 hotspot in the last 14 days or since the hotspot was declared (whichever is shorter)
  • has been tested for COVID-19 and are waiting for the result (except for tests due to surveillance testing obligations)
  • has COVID-19 symptoms of fever (37.5 degrees or more), cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, loss of smell or taste, runny nose, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting or fatigue.

You may enter a disability accommodation service if you do not fit into any of the above categories.

Visitors should:

  • wash their hands before entering and leaving the facility
  • stay 1.5 metres away from others where possible
  • stay in the resident’s room, outside or in a specific area (avoiding communal spaces)
  • stay away when unwell
  • follow requests from the facility to help keep staff and residents safe.

For full details read the Disability Accommodation Services Direction (No. 16).

Questions and Answers about this Direction

What Local Government Areas are restricted?

There are currently no Local Government Areas where increased restrictions apply to disability accommodation services.

Certain restrictions continue to apply to disability accommodation services under the Disability Accommodation Services Direction.

Questions about disability accommodation services

Who can visit a disability accommodation service?

Visitors, staff or volunteers at a disability accommodation service should not be anyone who:

  • is unwell
  • has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or asked to quarantine
  • has returned from overseas in the last 14 days (excluding safe travel zone countries)
  • has had contact with a person with COVID-19 in the last 14 days
  • has visited a COVID-19 hotspot in the last 14 days or since the hotspot was declared (whichever is shorter)
  • has been tested for COVID-19 and are waiting for the result (except for tests due to surveillance testing obligations)
  • has COVID-19 symptoms of fever (37.5 degrees or more), cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, loss of smell or taste, runny nose, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting or fatigue.

You may enter a disability accommodation service if you do not fit into any of the above categories.

Visitors should:

  • wash their hands before entering and leaving the facility
  • stay 1.5 metres away from others where possible
  • stay in the resident’s room, outside or in a specific area (avoiding communal spaces)
  • stay away when unwell
  • follow requests from the facility to help keep staff and residents safe.

Can I visit someone who is near their end of life in a disability accommodation service if I have been overseas in the last 14 days?

Visitors who have been overseas (other than a Queensland safe travel zone country) in the last 14 days must be granted an exemption by the Chief Health Officer for an end of life visit. You must comply with all the conditions given under the exemption.

The disability accommodation service must also take reasonable steps to manage your visit in line with the conditions of the exemption. For example, this could mean:

  • the operator needs to ensure the resident you are visiting is in a single room
  • you wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • you are escorted to and from the room
  • you avoid common areas and contact with other residents.

To apply for an exemption for an end of life visit, complete the form online using the COVID-19 Services Portal. Call 134 COVID (13 42 68) if you need help making your application.

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 communal space / common area?

A communal space / common area includes shared living spaces like kitchens, bathrooms and living rooms where people congregate for longer periods of time. These 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 current restrictions, 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.

Questions about staff

What happens if I have to work across multiple care facilities? If I am casual staff, will I lose my job?

Casual staff will not lose their jobs. It is recommended that disability accommodation services try to limit staff working across multiple care facilities wherever possible. This is to limit the potential spread of COVID-19 across facilities with vulnerable Queenslanders. If you work across multiple care facilities, you must:

I am a social housing provider/landlord of a disability accommodation service, but don’t provide the supports – do I need to enforce the Direction?

The Disability Accommodation Services Direction covers operators or owners who have day-to-day control or responsibility of the service, such as coordinating supports and visitors for residents.

It’s not intended that an operator of a service would include social housing providers or landlords, as they have no ownership or control of the service being provided.

Collection of contact information – operators of disability accommodation services

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 minimum of 30 days and a maximum 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:

  • name
  • phone number
  • email address (residential address if unavailable)
  • date and time period of the visit

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Questions and Requests for exemptions

If you are seeking clarification on a Direction or have any questions, please call 134 COVID (13 42 68).

You can apply for an exemption to a Direction online.