Due to the COVID – 19 virus we will be reviewing our practices and service delivery daily. As per our Epidemic/Pandemic Policy and Procedure, we will endeavour to keep all clients, staff and volunteers updated regularly to reflect advice and changes.
Laverton Community Integrated Services makes a firm commitment to ensuring we continue delivering essential community services for as long as we have sufficient resources. In assessing how we modify the delivery of these services, we take into account the health, safety and wellbeing of our clients, volunteers, staff and wider community.
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Plaese click on the following links to download a copy of the Epidemic/Pandemic Policy and Procedure
Date: 30th March 2020
Time: 8.32 am
General advice from Department of Health
Developments in the outbreak
- As of 1pm, 29 March 2020, Victoria has 769 total confirmed cases, 26 people are in hospitals including four people in intensive care. Four people have died. Almost two thirds of cases are directly linked to overseas travel, and 21 were locally acquired with no know link to overseas travel or another confirmed case. In total, 193 people have recovered.
- Of the total 769 cases, there have been 611 in metropolitan Melbourne and 139 in regional Victoria. A number of cases remain under investigation.
- Doctors, nurses, midwives and mental health professionals can deliver temporary Medicare Benefits Schedule and Department of Veterans’ Affairs items via telehealth, provided those services are bulk billed.
- Doctors are encouraged to remind all patients that they should stay at home unless going to medical appointments or performing essential tasks.
- This week, Australia’s total exceeded3000 cases. That is expected to increase significantly in coming weeks unless people stay at home.
- Up-to-date epidemiological data is available on our website.
- Physical (social) distancing measures should be consistently applied, if at all possible, including in clinical settings. The rule of 1 person for every 4 square metres must be maintained to ensure a safe physical distance.
Current directions arising from the declared state of emergency
- A direction to detain all people arriving in Victoria on or after midnight was signed on 28 March 2020. This direction allows anyone arriving from overseas to be placed in mandatory quarantine for 14 days in a nominated accommodation facility. This direction supersedes the previous airport and cruise ship directions, which have now been revoked.
- A direction for non-essential activity (No 2) was signed on 26 March 2020. This direction prohibits the operation of non-essential businesses and undertakings to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). These directions update the non-essential activity direction from 25 March.
- A prohibited gatherings directions was signed on 25 March 2020. This direction replaces the direction given on 22 March, adding two new categories, namely social sports gatherings and weddings and funerals.
- An isolation (diagnosis) direction was signed on 25 March 2020. This direction requires anyone diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19) to isolate at home or another suitable location to slow the spread of the disease.
- A direction for hospital visitors was signed on 23 March 2020. This direction prohibits non-essential visits to hospitals.
- This follows a direction for aged care, which was signed on 21 March 2020. The Aged Care Directions make provision for restricted access to residential aged care facilities to limit the spread of COVID-19 within a particularly vulnerable population.
Quarantine for Australians arriving in Melbourne from overseas
- As of midnight, 28 March 2020, all travellers arriving into Melbourne from overseas will be quarantined for two weeks in hotel rooms and other accommodation facilities after submitting an Isolation Declaration Card.
- Interstate travellers can return to their home states after fulfilling the mandatory 14 day quarantine requirements.
Supporting healthcare workers
- It’s everyone’s responsibility to support essential healthcare workers – such as doctors and nurses – to stay at work during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
- Healthcare workers may need extra help to ensure their children have care so they can work during this period.
- Where possible, partners of essential healthcare workers – who are not healthcare workers themselves – should support them to continue working by taking care of children.
- Older people – such as grandparents – and other at-risk groups should not be engaged as carers to reduce their risk of infection.
- Victoria has expanded its dedicated contact tracing services. From 26 March messages to close contacts are sent via a new platform called Whispr, which requires the person to respond back to the contact tracing team confirming they are isolating at home.
- Any healthcare or residential aged care worker with a fever or respiratory symptoms must be tested.
- Additional personal protective equipment and testing equipment are due to arrive in the coming weeks.
New Orders for Pharmacists and Prescription medications
Two public health emergency orders came into effect on 26 March and can be found here:
- Pharmacists can supply prescription medications without a prescription for one month in emergency circumstances except for Schedule 8 medicines.
- Doctors prescribing Schedule 8 medicines for non-drug dependent patients will not be required to apply for a Schedule 8 treatment permit for the next six months, but instead check SafeScript.
- Practitioners will need to apply for Schedule 8 treatment permits for drug dependent patients, including opioid replacement therapy.
- During the pandemic, health practitioners should take all reasonable steps to access SafeScript, as it is a very effective in providing up-to-date information about a patient’s prescribing and dispensing history.
One way to slow the spread of viruses is physical distancing. For example:
- staying at home when you are unwell
- avoiding large public gatherings if they’re not essential
- keeping a distance of 1.5 metres between you and other people whenever possible
- minimising physical contact, especially with people at higher risk such as older people and people with existing health conditions
Surgical masks in the community are only helpful in preventing people who have coronavirus disease from spreading it to others.
If you are well, you do not need to wear a surgical mask. There is little evidence that widespread use of surgical masks in healthy people prevents transmission in public.
If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, you must stay at home to prevent it spreading to other people.
You might also be asked to stay at home if you may have been exposed to the virus.
Staying at home means you:
- do not go to public places such as work, school, shopping centres, childcare or university
- ask someone to get food and other necessities for you and leave them at your front door
- do not let visitors in — only people who usually live with you should be in your home
You do not need to wear a mask in your home. If you need to go out to seek medical attention, wear a surgical mask (if you have one) to protect others.
You should stay in touch by phone and on-line with your family and friends.
Coronavirus Health Information Line
Call this line if you are seeking information on coronavirus (COVID-19). The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.