As of 25 February 2021

Key points

  • Staff are not required to wear a surgical mask in NSW. Currently there are no cases of community transmission of COVID-19 in NSW or areas of increased testing, however there have been recent cases in Auckland, New Zealand.
  • Exclude staff who:
    • have a fever (37. 5°C or higher) or symptoms of COVID-19
    • have been in Auckland, New Zealand in the last 14 days (in exceptional circumstances contact the Public Health Unit for advice).
    • have been to any of the locations on the close contact or casual contact lists at the times and dates listed for 14 days after they visited the location. Advice can be sought from the Public Health Unit for allowing entry for essential staff in exceptional circumstances who have been to a casual contact location and received a negative result.
    • 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.  While there are currently no cases of community transmission of COVID-19 in NSW or areas of increased testing, there have been recent cases in Auckland, New Zealand.

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).
  • Staff are not required to wear a surgical mask during home visits.
  • 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.

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: Thursday 25 February 2021
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW