South Australia updates its emergency COVID-19 directions for aged care providers again

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The state has been forced to clarify its advice on what constitutes an aged care facility – plus its requirement on wearing a mask and contact tracing – as its COVID situation continues to ease.

The Emergency Management (Residential Aged Care Facilities No 15) (COVID-19) Direction 2020 was revoked on 3 December and replaced by the Emergency Management (Residential Aged Care Facilities No 16) (COVID-19) Direction 2020.

The definition of an aged care facility has been redefined as:

  • A facility with accommodation where personal care and/or nursing care is provided to a person who a received a residential care subsidy or flexible care subsidy under the Aged Care Act 1997 Cth;
  • The aged care portion of a Multi-purpose Service (MPS) in which accommodation and personal care and/or nursing care is provided to aged care residents in aged care beds; or
  • A section of a regional hospital which provides State funded residential aged care beds.

The requirement for all staff and visitors (aside from children aged under 12) to wear a mask has also been clarified to include some exceptions, such as medical conditions and when it may impact on care being provided.

The rules for contact tracing in residential care have also been revised, with providers required to maintain a register of all visitors, volunteers, visiting healthcare professionals and contractors at the point of entry.

The details will include the date and time of the visit and departure, name, telephone number and the resident or area the person visited.

Staff records will also be required to be immediately available for inspection by contact tracers.

According to data from the Department of Health, there have been no recorded cases of COVID-19 in aged care homes in South Australia.

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