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Protecting aged care residents from 1 December

Aged Care Direction (No. 14)

What has changed from 1am AEST 1 December 2020

  • The two person visitor limit has been removed. Visitor numbers are now determined by the normal visitor rules at each aged care facility
  • You can now enter an aged care facility without having the flu vaccination, as the peak of the 2020 influenza season is over, and the vaccination is no longer readily available.

A resident of an aged care facility can leave their aged care facility for reasons including: excursions, exercise, famly gatherings, to receive health care, to receive end of life or palliative care, visit another residential aged care facility, visit a service provider or attend a funeral.

  • Residents can have as many visitors as the aged care facility allows.
  • Children under the age of 16 years can visit residential aged care facilities.
  • Service providers may visit the facility, including but not limited to:
    • hairdressers
    • legal advisors
    • mental health providers (e.g. diversional therapists and music therapists)
    • allied health providers (e.g. podiatrists).
  • Residents may now leave their residential aged care facility for a range of reasons, including but not limited to:
    • exercise
    • attending private family gatherings of up to 50 people (as long as physical distancing can be maintained)
    • receiving or accessing health care
    • attending a funeral
    • visiting a service provider (for example hairdressers, beauty therapists and legal advisors)
    • going shopping
    • visiting another residential aged care facility
    • going on an external excursion with a group of residents (e.g. a day trip to the beach)
    • socialising (for example attending bingo with friends).
  • Residents who are part of a family group (e.g. couples or siblings) or close friends can leave the facility together.

A support person can provide care and support to the person they are visiting, including physical care and support.

All residential aged care facility operators, no matter where they are located:

  • Must have a workforce management plan in place that makes it mandatory for employees to:
    • Tell their residential aged care facility employer of any other places of employment at care facilities
    • Tell their residential aged care facility employer if a COVID-19 case is identified at their other workplace.

Visitors should:

  • visit a resident in the resident’s room, outdoors or a specified area in the aged care facility
  • avoid communal spaces
  • wash your hands before entering and leaving the facility
  • stay 1.5 metres away from residents where possible
  • stay away when unwell.

Visitors, staff or volunteers at the facility should not be anyone who:

  • is unwell
  • has returned from overseas in the last 14 days
  • has had contact with a person with COVID-19 in the last 14 days
  • has travelled to a COVID-19 hotspot in the last 14 days
  • has been tested for COVID-19 and is waiting for the result
  • 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.

For full details read the Aged Care Direction (No. 14).

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