Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update 3

Quality and Compliance
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update 3

The health and wellbeing of Helpers and Members is of the utmost importance to Five Good Friends.

Following on from our previous updates and communication around the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) we would now like to provide further information and be clear about the position of Five Good Friends in this very important area, and ensure we all know our responsibilities.

We want to assure our Helpers that we are taking this very seriously. We have set up a response team who will meet weekly, and as required, to monitor the situation closely and coordinate our response. We are linked in to the advice of the Department of Health (DoH) and our peak body Leading Aged Services Australia to guide our activity.

It is important to note that this is a changing situation and communication may become more regular. We will all have responsibilities we need to understand and meet.

All advice contained in this notice has come directly from government authorities.

What is a coronavirus and COVID-19?

Coronaviruses can make humans and animals sick. Some coronaviruses can cause illness similar to the common cold and others can cause more serious diseases, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). This new coronavirus originated in Hubei Province, China and the disease outbreak is named COVID-19.

How is this coronavirus spread?

The coronavirus is most likely to spread from person-to-person through:

  • direct close contact with a person while they are infectious
  • close contact with a person with a confirmed infection who coughs or sneezes, or
  • touching objects or surfaces (such as door handles or tables) contaminated from a cough or sneeze from a person with a confirmed infection, and then touching your mouth or face.

How can we help prevent the spread of coronavirus?

Practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene is the best defence against most viruses. You should:

  • wash your hands frequently with soap and water, before and after eating, and after going to the toilet
  • cover your cough and sneeze, dispose of tissues, and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser and if unwell, avoid contact with others (touching, kissing, hugging, and other intimate contact).
  • Please view and download the information sheet for appropriate hand washing technique.
  • Please view and download the information sheet for appropriate cough etiquette.

Who needs to isolate?

To help limit the spread of coronavirus, you must isolate yourself in the following circumstances:

  • If you have left, or transited through, mainland China in the last 14 days you must isolate yourself for 14 days from the date of leaving mainland China. This is even if you are well.
  • If you have left, or transited through Iran on or after 1 March, you must isolate yourself until 14 days after leaving Iran. This is even if you are well.
  • If you are travelling from the Republic of Korea, on or after 5 March, you must isolate yourself for 14 days from the time you left the Republic of Korea. This is even if you are well
  • If you are arriving in Australia from Italy, you must present for health screening at the border as directed. Unless you are instructed to, you do not need to isolate at home.
  • If you work as a healthcare worker or as a residential aged care worker, you cannot attend work for 14 days after leaving Italy.
  • If you have been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus, you must isolate yourself for 14 days from the date of last contact with the confirmed case.

The Australian Government considers the following countries to be at moderate risk for COVID-19:

  • Cambodia
  • Hong Kong
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • Singapore
  • Thailand

If you have recently travelled to these countries, monitor your health for 14 days after leaving that country. If you develop a fever or cough, seek medical advice and isolate yourself.

You should telephone the health clinic or hospital before you arrive and tell them your travel history or that you may have been in contact with a potential case of coronavirus. You must remain isolated either in your home or a healthcare setting until public health authorities inform you it is safe for you to return to your usual activities.

Please view and download the information sheet from the Department of Health on signs of COVID-19.

If you fall into any of these category please contact our Member Services Team on 1300 787 581 Option 1 so we can discuss your care and services with Five Good Friends

Who needs to isolate?

To help limit the spread of coronavirus, you must isolate yourself in the following circumstances:

  • If you have left, or transited through, mainland China in the last 14 days you must isolate yourself for 14 days from the date of leaving mainland China. This is even if you are well.
  • If you have left, or transited through Iran on or after 1 March, you must isolate yourself until 14 days after leaving Iran. This is even if you are well.
  • If you have been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus, you must isolate yourself for 14 days from the date of last contact with the confirmed case.

Please note also:

  • If you have recently returned from Italy or South Korea you should not attend your regular work for 14 days.

If you fall into any of these categories you must contact your Helper Co-ordinator immediately on 07 3532 0796

What does isolate in your home mean?

People who must isolate need to stay at home and must not attend public places, in particular work, school, childcare or university. Only people who usually live in the household should be in the home.

Do not allow visitors into the home. Where possible, get others such as friends or family who are not required to be isolated to get food or other necessities for you. If you must leave the home, such as to seek medical care, wear a mask if you have one.

What about our Members?

Each and every day we work with people, our Members, who are at greater risk than many of us to the impacts of this virus, and we must all take our responsibility seriously.

We are contacting all of our Members and Authorised Representatives via email at this time also. We are doing so via email so we can do this as quickly as possible and provide updates as regularly as required.

The same isolation requirements noted above are relevant for ALL members of the community, including our Members and their families.

If any of your Members are in isolation you must contact your Care Manager who will report this to our Coronavirus Response Team. We will then need to review the safety of the Member and the provision of care and services during this time in line with DoH advice.

If any of your Members do not have access to email please let them know their nominated representative will be receiving this information if we have been provided with an email address.

If any Member would like to check we have a current email address for them, they, or you on their behalf, can contact our Member Services Team on 1300 787 581 Option 1 to update details.

Personal Protective Equipment

Commonly known as PPE this equipment includes:

  • disposable gloves
  • surgical (P2/N95) masks
  • goggles
  • plastic aprons
  • plastic shoe covers.

Accompanying equipment also includes:

  • hand sanitiser/hand wash
  • plastic rubbish bag.

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.

If you are being self-isolated (see above), then you should use a surgical mask (if you have one) in the following circumstances:

  • You need to leave your home for any reason and be in public areas.
  • You are visiting a medical facility.
  • You have symptoms and other people are present in the same room as you.

Helpers on the Five Good Friends platform are responsible for ensuring they have these items with them as equipment required to provide safe and high quality services to our Members.

With the coronavirus alert in place Five Good Friends wants to support all of our Helpers in the great work they do each and every day. We are currently seeking to source more of these items for you. As you can imagine these are in high demand.

With the importance of responding in a timely manner during this time if you are able to source these items you can purchase these, and if for work purposes, submit your receipt to the Workforce Team on recruitment@fivegoodfriends.com.au for reimbursement. Items such as face masks may be found at hardware stores.

Please view and download the information sheet for how to apply common PPE items and the video at this link below for the fitting of a suitable mask: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/factsheets/Pages/face-mask.aspx

Further Resources The Department of Health provides a range of resources we should all be familiar with, for more information please visit: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/collections/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-resources

This is an important time for all of us. While the impact of coronavirus in Australia is limited at this stage, authorities do predict that this will evolve.

Being informed, aware, and responsible is an important part of supporting our Members, and each other.