Updated advice on Disability Day Programs is available on Disability service providers.

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New and returning residents

  • Residential disability care facilities should undertake their own risk assessment and screening of new and returning residents for COVID-19. Depending on the risk assessment, facilities may implement additional infection prevention and control measures on admission/return.
  • COVID-19 testing is not mandatory for new or returning residents unless they have symptoms or have an exposure history.
  • When a resident has been admitted to hospital and is ready for discharge back to the residential disability care facility, the hospital treating team will medically screen and risk assess the resident for COVID-19 prior to discharge. The receiving facility should undertake their own screening process when the resident is returned. Local Health District outreach teams / specialised staff should be engaged as early as possible to assist with discharge planning if required.

COVID-19 safe check-ins

It is strongly recommended that facilities maintain check-in modalities for visitors and staff. Residents are not required to check-in.

See NSW Government website for information on QR codes and check-in modalities.

Additional COVID-19 measures for staff and facilities

Until further notice, all residential disability care facilities should:

  • minimise staff working across different care facilities. Where ceasing staff movement across facilities is not practical, additional measures should be put in place, such as maintaining records of staff and work locations. Where staff working across multiple facilities poses an unacceptable risk, seek advice from the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, NDIA or MOH-NDIS@health.nsw.gov.au.
  • keep the emergency response plan up to date. Include provisions in the plan to ensure the facility has:
    • sufficient stocks of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) held on site for both business-as-usual needs and immediate requirements in the event of an outbreak
    • a designated infection control lead
    • undertaken regular infection control training with all staff
    • provide appropriate guidance to residents about COVID-safe behaviours, including:
      • practicing physical distancing (1.5m)
      • hand hygiene, and
      • use of surgical face masks

Mandatory mask wearing

  • See the NSW Government site for latest Face mask rules
  • Staff and visitors are required to wear masks in high-risk settings including in Disability Care Facilities
  • A staff member or visitor may remove their mask:
    • while communicating with another person who is deaf or hard of hearing
    • if wearing a mask creates a risk to health and safety
    • where clear enunciation or visibility of the mouth is essential
    • when the removal of a face mask is necessary for the provision of a good or service.
  • Anyone removing a mask for one of these reasons should maintain 1.5m distance from others wherever possible.
  • If a person is required to wear a mask but cannot because of a disability, physical or mental health illness or condition, they must carry either
    • a medical certificate or letter signed by a registered health practitioner (such as a doctor) or a registered NDIS provider or
    • a statutory declaration.

Staff with vaccination contraindications

  • In very rare circumstances staff will have a contraindication to a COVID-19 vaccination. Advice for staff and facilities in these occasions is:
    • If possible, deploy the staff to lower risk environments
    • During an outbreak do not allow the staff member to attend the facility
    • The recommended level of Personal Protective Equipment will be applied equally regardless of vaccination status
    • Additional testing can be considered

Further advice

If you need additional advice, see

For more information about NDIS-related issues, including any funding issues relating to compliance with these measures for NDIS participants, contact:

Additional resources

Up to date information about COVID-19 can be found at:

Go back to Advice to residential disability care facilities (RDCF)


Current as at: Tuesday 1 March 2022
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW