As of 12 October 2023
NSW Respiratory Surveillance Report provides an indication of transmission of key respiratory viruses (influenza, COVID-19 and RSV) in the community. COVID-19 and influenza vaccines offer the best protection against severe illness from COVID-19 and influenza. Home care service providers should:
The advice on this page also applies to people working with the Commonwealth Home Support Programme.
In-home care service providers should maintain vigilance to prevent the introduction of acute respiratory infections (ARI), including COVID-19, RSV and influenza, into a person's home.
Providers should undertake their own risk assessments to determine safe delivery of services. These should take into consideration the prevalence of COVID-19, RSV and influenza in the community, vaccination status of both staff and clients, and types of services being provided.
Staff should ask clients about symptoms on arrival. If staff become aware of a client with symptoms, arrangements should be made for COVID-19 testing, or referral to a general practitioner as required.
Throughout this document, reference is made to Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI) Guidance.
Providers should encourage clients to meet with their doctor to develop a respiratory virus management plan, which will help to support vaccination, testing and treatment for COVID-19 and influenza.
Providers should ensure they have business continuity plans in place to support adequate staffing coverage. Staff, including students, contractors, volunteers, pathology collectors and therapists should not provide a home care service if they have:
Eligible providers can claim:
If the exposure has been
in the workplace, managers should refer to Appendix 2 of the relevant ARI Guidance to support decision making for when staff can safely return to work, particularly if they are critical to service delivery.
If the exposure has been
outside the workplace, staff should refer to the
Advice for people exposed to COVID-19 fact sheet. Providers are encouraged to determine their own advice for when it is safe for employees to return to work. Managers should refer to
COVID-19 advice for staff in high-risk community and/or private settings to support their decision making.
It is encouraged that providers provide free RATs to staff to promote testing as required but regular surveillance testing is not required when there are low levels of COVID-19 in the community. Please note that staff with respiratory symptoms should not attend work even with a negative RAT result.
Staff and participants should not attend if they have tested positive to COVID-19, have any acute respiratory or influenza-like symptoms, or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.
In arranging activities, day program providers should: