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COVID-19 Update

HomePlace response to COVID-19 pandemic

While this has been a very difficult time for us all, we are very fortunate that South Australia is doing so well in managing the Coronavirus and, to date, no HomePlace participant or staff member has contracted COVID-19.

As we continue towards a COVID Safe Australia and states and territories ease physical distancing measures, it’s vital we continue to protect participants and others from coronavirus. This includes continuing with:

  • good hygiene
  • physical distancing
  • avoiding public gatherings
  • if sick, staying home
  • if you have cold or flu-like symptoms, get tested

 

Some participants are now returning to out of home activities and it is pleasing to see visitors visit family members again at their homes.

We have made some minor modifications to our update on the 15th May and a summary is below:

As of June 19 the following apply:

  • Visitors are welcome to shared homes and the precautions to ensure safety remain in place. Please refer to Appendix 1; Guidelines: Visiting family members in shared households
  • At our last update we were discouraging, but not preventing, participants from returning to out of home activities. We are no longer actively discouraging a participant from returning to out of home activities that are acceptable under current Health Guidelines. However, we continue to require an individual risk assessment to be undertaken. This risk assessment also includes risks to HomePlace staff who may accompany the participant. Please refer to:
    • Appendix 2; Guidelines: Participants returning to out of home activities shared households or
    • Appendix 3; Guidelines: Participants returning to out of home activities individual/community support

 

We will be reviewing the guidelines on or before 24th July 2020.

We trust that these guidelines provide the flexibility to respond to participant wishes and ensure the safety of all our participants and their support team.

These are difficult times and decisions are made on the best advice possible at the time.

We thank you for your support as we seek to steer HomePlace participants and staff through this health crisis.

If you have any queries, please feel free to email either Shirley shirley@homeplace.com.au or Denice dwharldall@homeplace.com.au or call the HomePlace office on (08) 8445 9900.

Shirley Paterson
Executive Director

Denice Wharldall
Executive Director

 


 

Appendix 1

Guidelines: Visiting family members in shared households

Visitors are welcome, however, to minimise the risk of infection, visiting includes strict safety precautions in line with the government advice.

This means:

  • Please organise your visit ahead of time to ensure we can support social distancing and that we do not have too many visitors at one time.
  • Please answer the Coronavirus questionnaire, this applies to any visit. If you answer yes to any of the questions, please do not visit (see at the bottom of the article).
  • All visitors will have their temperature checked (anyone with a temperature of 37.4°C or above will not be permitted to visit).
  • Hand hygiene upon entry and exit.
  • Social distancing (1.5 metres).
  • A maximum of two people visiting at one time.
  • No children under 16 years to visit please, except on compassionate grounds.
  • Visits should take place in a room large enough to help with social distancing. Please note some rooms will not allow for more than one visitor at any one time. Please talk to the support staff before your visit so they can arrange a space for you.
  • Please have your flu vaccination.

 

Please do not visit if you:

  • Have a fever or any (even mild) symptoms of acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath).
  • Are waiting for COVID-19 test results.
  • Returned from outside of South Australia (overseas or interstate) in the last 14 days.
  • Have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days.

 

We also understand that some family and friends may choose not to visit in order to protect the health of their loved ones. Therefore, maintaining virtual connections through video calls and other electronic means will of course continue.

We trust these guidelines provide flexibility to respond to participant wishes and ensure the safety of all our participants and their support team.

These are difficult times and decisions are made on the best advice possible at the time.

 


 

Appendix 2

Guidelines: Participants returning to out of home activities shared living 

Some participants have returned to out of home activities, these have often been modified to ensure safety.

If a participant wishes to return to out of home activities that are acceptable under current Health Guidelines, an individual risk assessment must be undertaken. This risk assessment also includes risks to HomePlace staff who may accompany the participant.

Only the Executive Directors can give approval for HomePlace staff to support a participant access out of home activities. We believe this is preferable to having hard and fast rules as every situation is different.

Consideration should be given to:

  • Participants’ other health issues that make them more vulnerable should they contract COVID-19. If unsure, please seek advice from the participants’ GP or specialist physician.
  • The vulnerability of their co-tenant if they share their home with another participant.
  • The safeguards in place at the activity to ensure the appropriate hygiene measures, safety and appropriate social distancing.
  • The ability of the participant to maintain social distance.
  • The ability of others attending the same activity to manage social distancing and the appropriate hygiene required.

 

If appropriate, the decision should be made in consultation with the key people in the participant’s life. If there is a formal guardian in place, this should be discussed with them.

If the approval is given, then the following guidelines apply:

  • If HomePlace is transporting the participant, the vehicle used must be cleaned before and after the transport as per HomePlace Guidelines.
  • On returning from the activity, the participant must go straight to their room and change clothes and shoes, wash their hands and all surfaces the person has touched should be wiped down.
  • If at any time a staff member, participant or family member has concerns about safety, the activity will cease until a review occurs.
  • If any respiratory symptoms occur, no matter how mild, the person must stay home and organise testing.

 

We trust these guidelines provide flexibility to respond to participant wishes and ensure the safety of all our participants and their support team.

These are difficult times and decisions are made on the best advice possible at the time.

 


 

Appendix 3

Guidelines: Participants returning to out of home activities individual/community support 

If a participant wishes to return to out of home activities that are acceptable under current Health Guidelines, an individual risk assessment must be undertaken. This risk assessment also includes risks to HomePlace staff who may accompany the participant.

In order to ensure consistency, only the Executive Directors can give approval for HomePlace staff to support a participant access out of home activities. We believe this is preferable to having hard and fast rules as every situation is different.

Consideration should be given to:

  • The safeguards in place at the activity to ensure the appropriate hygiene measures, safety and appropriate social distancing.
  • The ability of the participant to maintain social distance.
  • The ability of others attending the same activity to manage social distancing and the appropriate hygiene required.

 

If appropriate, the decision should be made in consultation with the key people in the participant’s life. If there is a formal guardian in place, this should be discussed with them.

If the approval is given, then the following guidelines apply:

  • If HomePlace is transporting the participant, the vehicle used must be cleaned before and after the transport as per HomePlace Guidelines.
  • If at any time a staff member, participant or family member has concerns about safety, the activity will cease until a review occurs.
  • If any respiratory symptoms occur, no matter how mild, the person must stay home and organise testing.

 

We trust these guidelines provide flexibility to respond to participant wishes and ensure the safety of all our participants and their support team.

These are difficult times and decisions are made on the best advice possible at the time.

 


 

COVID-19 Visitor Questionnaire

Visitor’s name:

Staff member’s name:

Date and time:

I/we confirm I/we:

  • do not have a fever or any (even mild) symptoms of acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath)
  • have not returned from outside of South Australia (overseas or interstate) in the last 14 days
  • have not been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days

 

Temperature check

  • temperature is below 37.4°C

 

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