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COVID-19 Mandates Have Ended - So What Are Your Obligations When Working With Clients?

Australian Government health mandates about COVID-19 have ended but COVID is still circulating in the community and vulnerable NDIS and Aged Care Home Care Package and private clients are still at risk from severe illness.

So what can you do as an aged care and disability support worker to ensure your clients stay safe?

  1. Stay home if you are sick. If you feel unwell, please stay at home to reduce the risk of passing your illness on to others. You should stay at home until your symptoms are gone.

  2. Take a test. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, please get tested. From 13 May, 2023 you will need a pathology referral to get a PCR test for COVID-19 in New South Wales. You can use a rapid antigen test - there are also RAT tests available now that will test for both COVID-19 and Influenza.

  3. Vaccination, staying up to date with your recommended vaccinations for both COVID-19 and flu will help to protect yourself and your clients.

  4. Wear a mask when out and about if you have symptoms and in crowded indoor places.

  5. Practice excellent hand hygeiene. Make sure you are regularly washing your hands or using an alcohol based hand santizer throughout the day. Especially after using the bathroom, before eating, before and after providing care and support services.

What to do if you are exposed to COVID-19?

If you live with or have recently spent time with a person who has tested positive to COVID-19, you are at a higher risk of getting infected. There are steps you can take to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 to others.

  1. Monitor for symptoms - if you develop cold or flu symptoms you should stay at home and get tested for COVID-19.
  2. Wear a mask indoors and whilst on public transport.
  3. Maintain physical distancing where possible.
  4. Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations.
  5. Regularly wash your hands.
  6. Take a RAT test before visiting high risk individuals.

Health advice states that you should test regularly for 7 days following exposure, even if you don't develop symptoms. This is very important if you are in contact with people at higher risk of severe illness.

It is extremely important to let your clients know if you test positive for COVID-19. If you have recently been in close contact with someone who tests positive, please let your clients know and allow them to make the decision about proceeding with the service.

If your clients do allow you to proceed with the service, make sure you complete a RAT test before each service and wear a mask at all times when delivering care and support.

After being exposed to someone with COVID-19, you are at risk of getting COVID for up to 14 days. Most people who contract COVID will get symptoms in the first 7 days, however some people will develop symptoms up to 14 days later. Some people with COVID-19 will not develop any symptoms but may still infect others.

Please remember, you are supporting vulnerable people and what may be a mild illness for you, can have serious health consequences for them. Before attending any service you should consider your responsibilities to ensure quality and safe care for your clients.

For information from the Department of Health click here.

Thank you for helping to keep your clients safe.

To find aged care services, please visit www.careseekers.com.au/services/aged-care-workers

To find disability support services, please visit www.careseekers.com.au/services/disability-support-workers

To become a care or support worker, please visit www.careseekers.com.au/carer

To make a referral, please visit https://www.careseekers.com.au/referrals