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Visiting disability accommodation services - coronavirus (COVID-19)

Overview

Disability accommodation services across Queensland have visitor restrictions in place to ensure the ongoing safety of patients and staff.

Update - 13 May 2022

  • While a person is a close contact they cannot visit a shared disability accommodation service, unless in exceptional or compassionate circumstances (for example, end of life visit). If permitted to visit while a close contact, they must:
    • test negative within 24 hours prior to entering the shared disability accommodation service
    • have no COVID-19 symptoms
    • advise the operator they are a close contact and comply with any requirements they have in place
    • wear a mask and follow any PPE or protective measures required of you.
  • International arrivals should not visit a shared disability accommodation service for the first 7 days of arriving in Queensland, unless in exceptional or compassionate circumstances (for example, end of life visit). If permitted to visit in the first 7 days, they must follow protective measures including:
    • test negative for COVID-19 within 24 hours of arrival in Queensland
    • get a test within 24 hours prior to visiting the shared disability accommodation service
    • does not have COVID-19 symptoms
    • wear a mask and follow any PPE or protective measures required.
  • Students, and volunteers engaged by the disability accommodation service (and not by another organisation), should follow the requirements of the Workers in a healthcare setting (COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements) Direction.

Entering a disability accommodation service

Visitors cannot enter a disability accommodation service in Queensland if they:

  • have COVID-19
  • recently had COVID-19 and it has been 7 days or less since their isolation period ended
  • are a close contact, unless in exceptional or compassionate circumstances (e.g. an end of life visit)
  • have returned from overseas in the last 7 days, unless in exceptional or compassionate circumstances (for example, end of life visit)
  • have had a COVID-19 test and are waiting for the result (except for tests due to surveillance testing obligations)
  • have COVID-19 symptoms
  • are unvaccinated and not visiting for a permitted purpose. Permitted purposes include being:
    • under 16 years of age
    • unable to receive a COVID-19 vaccination because of a medical contraindication and have evidence of a recognised medical contraindication
    • a COVID-19 vaccine trial participant and receipt of a Therapeutic Goods Administration approved COVID-19 vaccine would impact the validity of the trial. The medical certificate must not have expired.
    • a visitor of a resident in shared disability accommodation service for one of the following purposes:
      • for an end of life visit (you do not need an exemption)
      • in an emergency
      • maintaining continuity of care to a resident, including advocacy services, that cannot be delivered by electronic or non-contact means.

If you fit into one of the above categories, you may still be permitted enter a disability accommodation service if:

  • you are granted an exemption to visit a resident at the end of life and you have the permission of the operator of the disability accommodation service
  • if in isolation, or during your post-isolation period, you are permitted to leave isolation
  • if an exemption is granted in other exceptional circumstances.

Entering for compassionate or exceptional reasons

If you are a close contact and permitted to visit for compassionate or exceptional reasons, you must:

  • test negative within 24 hours prior to entering the shared disability accommodation service
  • have no COVID-19 symptoms
  • advise the operator you are a close contact and comply with any requirements they have in place
  • wear a mask and follow any PPE or protective measures required of you.

If you are an international arrival and permitted to visit in the first 7 days, for compassionate or exceptional reasons, you must:

  • test negative for COVID-19 within 24 hours of arrival in Queensland
  • get a test within 24 hours prior to visiting the shared disability accommodation service
  • not have COVID-19 symptoms
  • wear a mask and follow any PPE or protective measures required of you.

Staying safe in a disability accommodation service

All visitors and volunteers should:

  • wear a face mask at all times while in an indoor space of the facility
  • provide their contact information on entry, using the Check In Qld app or another method of collection
  • when required, provide verbal confirmation and any relevant proof they are:
    • fully vaccinated
    • don’t have symptoms
    • aren’t awaiting a COVID-19 test result
    • aren’t subject to any other restrictions
  • wash their hands before entering and leaving the service
  • stay 1.5 metres away from others where possible
  • stay away when unwell
  • follow requests from the service to help keep staff and residents safe.

Requirements for disability accommodation service operators

Operators of shared disability accommodation services should ensure physical distancing and risk mitigation measures are in place to the extent practicable, including:

  • displaying signage for physical distancing and hygiene requirements
  • cleaning and disinfection of all surfaces, doors and high traffic areas
  • using personal protective equipment (PPE) in accordance with current health advice
  • ensuring tables and seating in common areas of are managed to provide appropriate physical distancing
  • training staff and putting procedures in place to keep family and support people informed where a resident becomes unwell or there is a diagnosed person identified in the service
  • encouraging any person entering the service to have a current up-to-date vaccination against influenza and COVID-19
  • encouraging residents to continue essential community access but exercise appropriate caution when accessing the community.

Collection of contact information

The operator must collect contact information, proof of vaccination or vaccination exemption certificate by requesting visitors, volunteers and contractors to use the Check In Qld app.

If the app cannot be used by the visitor, volunteer or contractor, the operator must register them through the Business Profile of the app. The Check In Qld app QR code must also be displayed at all entries to the facility.

What fully vaccinated means

Fully vaccinated means a person has had the prescribed number of doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine.

Getting proof of vaccination

Proof of vaccination verifies that a person is fully vaccinated.

There are 3 different types of proof available:

  • a COVID-19 digital certificate
  • your immunisation history statement (IHS)
  • an International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate for overseas travel.

Evidence of a medical contraindication

Evidence of a medical contraindication means proof that a person has a medical condition that prevents them from being vaccinated. The exemption certificate is generated when a specific form is submitted by an eligible healthcare professional. This updates the person's Australian Immunisation Register record to show that they have an approved medical reason that prevents them from getting any of the approved COVID-19 vaccines available in Australia.

This process can be started by talking to a GP or other eligible healthcare professional about whether it's appropriate to them to submit the form on the person's behalf. If they are successful, they can get the medical exemption certificate by downloading it from the Australian Immunisation Register.

Residents

The operator of the disability accommodation service must take reasonable steps to develop and document processes to ensure residents and their unique needs can be immediately identified in a COVID-19 event. This may include requiring residents to wear identification and ensuring residents’ personal preferences and needs during a COVID-19 event are documented.

Workers

The operator of the disability accommodation service must comply with all obligations under the Workers in a healthcare setting (COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements) Direction.

Visitors

Visitors includes people visiting a resident of the shared disability accommodation, and people entering to provide products or services on a voluntary basis, as part of their role with another organisation.

Employees, volunteers engaged by the disability accommodation service (and not by another organisation), and students are not considered visitors but are considered workers in healthcare, and should follow the requirements of the Workers in a healthcare setting (COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements) Direction.

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