Protecting Older Australians-COVID-19 update 24 June 2022

Date published:

24 June 2022

Intended Audience:

Health sector

Thank you for continuing to stay up to date with the latest information.

Please share this newsletter with your colleagues and workforce, particularly your communications teams and encourage them to subscribe for future updates. You can view past editions of the Protecting Older Australians Newsletter as well as other announcements for the aged care sector on the department’s website.

Anyone living in an aged care facility, their family or representative who needs support should contact the Older Person’s Advocacy Network on 1800 700 600.

Extension of Australian Defense Force (ADF) support for residential aged care

The Australian Government has extended ADF surge workforce support to COVID-19 impacted residential aged care facilities (RACFs) for a further eight weeks (until 12 August 2022). This will provide ongoing access to ADF Medical Augmentation Teams and a small support, planning and coordination team in the ACT.

This is in addition to the Commonwealth’s civilian surge workforce resources, and will ensure that impacted facilities continue to be supported to manage COVID-19 outbreaks throughout winter 2022.

Requests for ADF surge workforce assistance can be made through the case management team within the relevant Commonwealth Department of Health office in each state or territory.

Extension of the COVID-19 Aged Care Support Program Extension Grant (GO4863)

The Australian Government continues to support approved aged care providers with the additional costs associated with managing COVID-19 and has extended the COVID-19 Aged Care Support Program Extension grant to 31 January 2023.

For more information please see the updated Grant Opportunity Guidelines (Grant Opportunity – GO4863) and responses to frequently asked questions available on GrantConnect.

Last chance to apply – Support for Aged Care Workers in COVID -19 (SACWIC) Grant Opportunity

The SACWIC Grant Opportunity reimburses approved providers for eligible expenses associated with implementing single site worker arrangements in the hotspots / high-risk locations (published in Appendix 1 of the Grant Opportunity Guidelines on GrantConnect).

Applications for the grant close at 2:00 pm (AEST) on 30 June 2022.

HealthDirect helpline for RACFs managing COVID-19

A reminder that the HealthDirect COVID-19 helpline is available to all workers in RACFs to support you to manage COVID-19 in your facility.

The phone number is 1800 131 330 and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A registered nurse will be available to provide information and advice on issues including:

  • what to do if one of your resident tests positive to COVID-19
  • ways to limit the spread to other residents, including quarantining and isolating
  • whether a resident is a candidate for oral antiviral treatment, noting that the nurse cannot prescribe treatments
  • information about COVID-19 vaccinations.

Please note that this service does not replace the role of the General Practitioner, who will continue to make clinical decisions together with the resident, their family and representatives.

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