South Australia and Victoria update emergency directions for aged care homes

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Both states have issued new directions for aged care providers in light of the declining number of COVID cases in the community.

South Australia has updated the requirements on wearing masks in aged care homes, directing any person entering an aged care home to wear a single use surgical mask at all times when in the presence of other people.

Home care recipients and their carers are also required to wear a mask unless they can be exempted under certain conditions by a professional providing care.

The Emergency Management (Residential Aged Care Facilities No 15) (COVID-19) Direction 2020 does however allow people travelling from other areas with low community transmission – including SA, ACT, NSW, NZ, NT, QLD, TAS, VIC, and WA – to enter aged care homes provided they:

  • Have not been in a place other than a Low Community Transmission Zone for the previous 14 days;
  • Have received the 2020 seasonal influenza vaccine (unless exempt as per the Direction);
  • Don’t have a temperature higher than 38 degrees Celsius, have a history of fever or chills in the preceding 72 hours, symptoms of acute respiratory infection or loss of taste and smell; and
  • Are not awaiting a COVID-19 test result (other than in accordance with routine surveillance testing of asymptomatic persons).

Staff working at an aged care home with a confirmed case of COVID-19 must also not attend any other place of employment during that time.

Victoria has also relaxed its restrictions on visitors, with no limits now on the number, reason or duration of visits.

People of any age can also visit facilities, though masks are still mandatory.


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