COVID-19 Update January 14th 2022

Helpers Health Care
COVID-19 Update January 14th 2022

Through this period of the COVID-19 pandemic and Omicron surge, we will be increasing our frequency of communication to keep you informed of Five Good Friends ongoing response and actions.

Monitoring and managing reported COVID-19 cases

We continue to follow all reporting, testing and isolation requirements as defined by the relevant State Public Health Orders. Omicron has high levels of transmission and is affecting all businesses from retailers to home care organisations. This is causing a significant spike in reporting of potential and confirmed cases.

Currently, we have 82 Helpers who are absent and following isolation requirements. This represents 13% of all vetted, verified and active Helpers. 30 Members are isolating. Of both these groups, 40 are confirmed cases. We have robust systems and a dedicated team in place to monitor and support Members and Helpers with regular wellbeing check-in's.

Pandemic Leave Disaster Payments

The Commonwealth Government is offering a payment to people who can't earn an income because they are required to self-isolate or are caring for someone with COVID-19. Details of eligibility and how to apply for the payment can be found here. If you’re eligible, the Commonwealth Government will pay you $750 for each 7 day period you’ve been told to self-isolate or quarantine, or are caring for someone who has COVID-19. You must make a new claim for each 7 day period.

Can you provide additional hours?

We are doing our best to ensure that we maintain our Members regular schedules and visits.

With a significant number of Helpers absent due to COVID-19, this is a challenge. If you have additional availability to help at this important time, please ensure you have updated your profile in the app and indicated that you are 'open to new opportunities'. This will let the team know that you are available. Also, make sure that you have enabled notifications so we can immediately let you know of Members requiring additional help.

COVID-19 Attending Work Guidelines

With the surge in Omicron, we have updated our Attending Work Guidelines in line with the new definitions of contacts and the relevant State Government Public Health Directives. Please ensure you are understand and follow these guidelines. We will advise you of ongoing updates. If you have any questions, please contact the Five Good Friends Helper hotline immediately on 07 3532 0796 or text 0488 849 331.

Reporting booster doses

As with the initial vaccination programme, it is a requirement of Five Good Friends to report to the Commonwealth Government on the number of Helpers who have received their booster dose. Under Public Health Directives in South Australia and Victoria, it is mandatory for essential workers to receive a booster shot. We expect other states to make booster doses mandatory shortly. We strongly urge all Helpers to follow the health advice and to book in for their booster dose when they become eligible.

Please email a copy of your updated immunisation record recording your booster dose to recruitment@fivegoodfriends.com.au as soon as possible. You can get your immunisation and vaccination history statement using either:

Updated Standard Operating Procedure

Through the pandemic, the Standard Operating Procedure has been a guiding document to help ensure the safe delivery of supports and services. This has been recently updated to align with the new health directives and definitions of contacts.

  • Queensland: All Helpers providing services to members in Queensland must follow scenario 2e which includes wearing protective eye wear and mask
  • Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia: Helpers in these states must follow scenario 2c.

Personal Protective Equipment during visits

PPE is readily available in the community. You can also order PPE including protective eyewear from Five Good Friends here. We now have stock of protective eyewear.

Rapid antigen tests

In our communication last week, we advised that we have been working since December to secure Rapid Antigen Tests for our Members, Helpers and Staff. These are in short supply and the Commonwealth Government is prioritising Residential Aged Care for distribution. We anticipate receiving an initial quantity of 3,000 in the next three weeks. We will keep you updated.

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 the Five Good Friends Helper hotline immediately on 07 3532 0796 or text 0488 849 331.

Once again, thank you for being a Helper on the Five good Friends platform. We are grateful for your kind, dedicated and committed work.