Coronavirus (Covid 19) - Update 6-1-22

Quality and Compliance
Coronavirus (Covid 19)  - Update 6-1-22

Thank you for being a Helper on the Five Good Friends platform.

COVID-19 continues to evolve as our community enters the phase of 'living with the virus'. This shift, along with the emergence of the Omicron variant, is seeing an increase in community transmission.

In the last week of December, the Commonwealth and State Governments implemented a significant change by redefining the types of contacts and the required actions, including isolation. This now guides our response. You can find this information as it's related to your state below.

Please take a moment to read this information:

National Cabinet Update, January 5th

At yesterday's National Cabinet meeting, it was announced that a confirmation PCR test will not be required after returning a positive Rapid Antigen Test. In this case, individuals are to treat themselves as a confirmed positive case and follow isolation protocols.

How else are Five Good Friends responding?

Since the pandemic began in February 2020, our goal and commitment has been to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our Members, Helpers and staff. This commitment has not changed.

Five Good Friends are proactively monitoring the situation. We are following the advice of authorities, peak bodies and expert panels including, Commonwealth and State Health Departments, Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), and the Australian Health Protection Principle Committee (AHPPC). In addition, below are key actions we are undertaking to help ensure the safety and wellbeing of our Members, Helpers and staff:

  1. We continue to follow updated testing and quarantining protocols.
  2. In December, we commenced sourcing of Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT's) for use by Members, Helpers and staff. As has been well documented, RAT's are in short supply and the Commonwealth Government is prioritising Residential Aged Care Facilities for distribution. We continue to work hard to secure these tests and anticipate that we will have supplies available in the next 4 weeks.
  3. To respond to the changes in definitions of contacts and health advice, we continue to review and update our Standard Operating Procedure.
  4. Vetting, verifying and recording mandated requirements for Helper vaccination in all states. Evidence of vaccination is published in your Helpers profile in the app.
  5. We are maintaining records and monitoring the wellbeing of all reported confirmed cases and close contacts.
  6. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) remains an important and effective measure to reduce transmission. We have supplies of PPE for Helpers and staff to access.

If you have a confirmed diagnosis, are a close contact or have signs and symptoms.

If you are required to enter a mandatory period of isolation because you are a confirmed case, close contact of a diagnosed case, or are awaiting the outcome of a COVID-19 test, please contact Five Good Friends immediately on 1300 787 581. You can call this number 24/7.

Directing Members to report

If a Member tells you that they are a confirmed case, close contact of a diagnosed case, or are awaiting the outcome of a COVID-19 test, please advise them to contact Five Good Friends immediately on 1300 787 581.

Personal Protective Equipment during visits

To reduce the risk of transmission, all Helpers are required to follow Scenario 2c of the Standard Operating Procedure. This means masks are mandatory for all visits at this time. This may be reviewed on a case by case basis based on individual circumstances.

We have asked Members for their understanding and support.

We have written to all Members and their Authorised Representatives asking for their understanding and support if you cancel a visit on short notice because of testing requirements. We are also urging all Members and Five Good Friends staff to be vigilant with their management of COVID-19 through this period of increased community transmission. Your wellbeing is our priority.

Once again, thank you for being a Helper on the Five Good Friends platform. You are providing an incredibly important service to the community at an incredibly important time. Your kind and generous help makes a real difference to the lives of your Members and their families.

Kind regards

Sally Burrows

Workforce Manager