COVID-19 (coronavirus) Update: October 2021
Nobility Care Australia (NCA) will maintain a full-service capacity and will continue to serve our participants. Our priority is to focus on preserving the health and safety of the people we are responsible for including our participants, our staff and their families.
The development of this plan to ensure NCA is well prepared to engage in the national response to COVID-19. We recognise the possibility that some participants and staff members may contract the virus.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses known to cause respiratory infections. These can range from the common cold to more serious diseases. This new coronavirus is named COVID-19.
COVID-19 is transmitted from person-to-person, usually when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The common signs of novel coronavirus are:
- sore throat
- shortness of breath
It is important to note, to raise awareness and not spread fear, that while COVID-19 exhibits flu-like symptoms, it is not as simple as contracting seasonal flu. Most people have immunity to the flu, there is a vaccine, and the flu spreads more slowly through the community. There is no vaccine against COVID-19, and it is still highly unpredictable with conditions changing daily.
The latest outbreak in NSW is due to the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus.
The Delta variant is estimated to spread more than twice as easily as the original virus, which puts your family and friends at greater risk if you are infected. The Delta variant can also cause more severe illness:
- The risk of needing hospital care for people infected with the Delta variant is around double that of
- those infected with the Alpha variant.
- Compared to other variants, people infected with the Delta variant are more likely to be admitted to hospital, including to intensive care
Policy and response plan
NCA will implement our COVID-19 Response Plan to ensure all participants, staff members and external contractors are supported if a COVID-19 case is identified within, or connected to, our organisation.
NCA will advise all appropriate personnel to work from home for 14 days in the following instances:
- A NCA staff member has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
- A confirmed case of COVID-19 has been identified in a participant or staff member.
- A confirmed case of COVID-19 has been identified in the local area of NCA’ head office location or a care environment (including a participant’s home).
A staff member will also be asked to work from home for 14 days if a confirmed case of COVID19 has been identified in the staff member’s home, suburb or local area as a precaution.
Staff must not enter the facility at all if they:
- are a close or casual contact of COVID-19, prior to completing their isolation and testing requirements. (Staff who are casual contacts are no longer excluded from entry for 14 days from their date of exposure, however, should be risk assessed by the facility before returning to work.
- have COVID-19 symptoms;
- live in a household with a person who is currently self-isolating
- are waiting for a COVID-19 test result (except for surveillance purposes)
NCA will ensure that if a staff members have the capability to continue their work remotely then they could do so.
In the event a NCA participant or staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19, we will follow all appropriate and current government procedures. We will instruct all staff members who have been in contact and/or have been in the same area as the participant or staff member with COVID-19 to seek appropriate medical advice, to be tested for COVID-19, and to self-isolate for 14 days.
Good respiratory and hand hygiene
There are preventative measures staff can take to protect themselves from infection and help prevent the spread of infections and viruses to others. These measures include practicing good respiratory and hand hygiene, such as:
- cleaning hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rubs or sanitisers.
- avoiding touching your face.
- avoiding handshaking and other physical greetings.
- covering your nose and mouth with a tissue or flexed elbow when coughing or sneezing.
- avoiding contact with anyone who has symptoms such as fever, a cough, sore throat, fatigue and shortness of breath.
- staying home if you are unwell.
- wearing appropriate PPE when caring for participants.
- clean shared high-touch surfaces regularly, e.g. tables, benches, doorknobs.
As a standard precaution, stay at least 1.5 metres away from other people and avoid people with flu-like symptoms.
Social distancing in the workplace
Social distancing is critical as COVID-19 is most likely to spread from person-to-person. The following actions taken by our staff will help reduce risk in our work environment:
- staying at home if they are sick.
- stop handshaking and other physical greetings.
- all meetings are to be held via video conferencing or phone call.
- deferring large face-to-face meetings.
- holding essential meetings outside in the open air if possible.
- eat lunch outside, rather than in the office if possible.
- office will be regularly cleaned by professional cleaners.
- clean and disinfect shared high-touch surfaces regularly and use hand sanitiser.
- open windows and adjusting air conditioning to allow for more fresh air, if possible.
NCA will make sure that our management and team maintain COVID-19 safe practices including:
- encouraging all residents, staff and volunteers to be fully vaccinated
- ensuring everyone wears a mask when indoors, unless they are exempted
- encouraging regular use of alcohol-based hand sanitiser
- maintaining a distance of at least 1.5 meters from other people
- electronic check-in and QR codes - Using the Service NSW COVID Safe Check-in QR code system
COVID safe plan
Our COVID Safe Plan will set out:
- Actions to help prevent the introduction of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the workplace.
- The level of face-covering or personal protective equipment (PPE) required for our workforce.
- NCA procedure on how we will prepare for, and respond to, a suspected or confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in our workplace.
- How NCA will meet all of the requirements set out by the NSW Government.
- A COVID Workplace Attendance Register will be maintained.