As of 27 January 2021

Key points

  • Until further notice all staff across NSW must wear a surgical mask during home visits.
  • Exclude staff who:
    • have a fever (37. 5°C or higher) or symptoms of COVID-19
    • have been to any of the locations on the close contact or casual contact lists at the times and dates listed
    • have been to any areas of concern in New Zealand since 14 January 2021
    • live in a household with a person who is currently self-isolating
    • are a close contact of a person with confirmed COVID-19 and are within their self-isolation period
    • are waiting for a COVID-19 test result
  • Regularly visit the NSW COVID-19 website for updates on areas of active community transmission
  • All home care service providers must maintain vigilance to prevent the introduction of COVID-19. This is because COVID-19 may still be circulating in some areas, particularly in some areas of Sydney.

 

COVID-19 safety measures for home care service providers

  • Minimise staff working across multiple settings (such as in home and residential care). Where ceasing staff movement across settings is not practical, additional measures should be put in place, such as maintaining records of staff and work locations and increasing use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
  • All staff across NSW are required to wear surgical masks during home visits for the entirety of the vist. Face shields are not accepted as a substitute.
  • Ensure staff actively ask clients about symptoms on arrival. If staff become aware of a client with symptoms, that client should be isolated from others and arrangements made for COVID-19 testing.

Guidance on staff restrictions

  • Exclude all staff from home visits who:
    • have a fever (37.5°C or higher) or any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 infection, even if mild. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, headache, fatigue, runny nose, sore throat, shortness of breath, and loss of taste or loss of smell. Other reported symptoms of COVID-19 include acute blocked nose (congestion), muscle pain, joint pain, diarrhea, nausea/vomiting and loss of appetite
    • during the last 14 days have been:
      • a close contact of a person confirmed with COVID-19 and are within their self-isolation period
      • living in a household with a person who is a close contact or is otherwise currently self-isolating
      • have been to any of the locations on the close contact or casual contact lists at the times and dates listed
      • any person who has been to any areas of concern in New Zealand since 14 January 2021
      • are waiting for a COVID-19 test result

Exceptional circumstances

In exceptional circumstances, it may be possible for excluded staff to continue to work if exclusion will result in significant compromise to patient care. This could include situations where staffing numbers are significantly impacted by exclusion criteria. Please contact your local Public Health Unit (1300 066 055) for advice as to how to appropriately manage these situations. Staff with symptoms, or who have been identified as close contacts of someone with COVID-19, should not be exempted.

Additional advice for all home care service providers

Current as at: Wednesday 27 January 2021
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW