COVID-19 Information for Residential Aged Care Facilities

30 August 2021

Public Health Order: RACF staff COVID-19 vaccination requirements

The Public Health (COVID-19 Aged Care Facilities) Order 2021 (Dept of Legislation PDF) commenced on 26 August 2021.

The Order requires staff (including contractors) of a residential aged care facility (RACF) and persons engaged by the operator to provide services, including health practitioners engaged by the operator, (other than students and certain maintenance contractors) to have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination in order to enter or remain at the RACF after 9am on 17 September 2021.

The Order also requires students on placement and health practitioners engaged by a resident to have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination in order to enter or remain at the RACF after 9am on 31 October 2021.

Workers will need to provide evidence of having received a COVID 19 vaccination if requested to do so by their employer. Employers will be able to request this information.

An exemption is available for a worker if they are unable to be vaccinated a due to a medical contraindication. Workers will be required to provide evidence of a medical contraindication via a certificate from a medical practitioner, in a form approved by the CHO, that specifies the medical contraindication.

There is an exemption that will apply if a person needs to do work in a medical emergency or non-medical emergency.

The Minister may exempt other persons from these requirements, but only if satisfied it is necessary to protect the health and well-being of patients in the facility.

COVID-19 vaccination for workers | NSW Government

Reporting of aged care workers and residents COVID-19 vaccinations

From 27 July 2021, providers of residential aged care facilities must report weekly, using the My Aged Care provider portal online reporting tool, de-identified data at a service level each Tuesday on the:

  • total number of residents and workers at each aged care service and, of those,
  • the number of residents and workers at each service who have received a single dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and
  • the number of residents and workers at each service who have received all required doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

 

Related: Department of Health bulletin for RACF employees Why is my in-home or community aged care employer asking me if I have received a COVID-19 vaccination?


NSW Health lockdown guidance

NSW Health advice to home care service providers during Greater Sydney COVID lockdown.

NSW Health lockdown guidance


COVID-19 guide for aged care services

This guide is for providers of residential aged care services. It provides Information and resources for aged care services including residential aged care facilities, Commonwealth Home Support Programme, assessment services, home care package providers, multi-purpose services, respite care and transition care, updated frequently.

Visit NSW Health website


Priority vaccinations

It is a priority for the Department of Health to deliver choice and flexibility in accessing COVID-19 vaccinations for aged care staff as quickly as possible in the safest way.

Residential aged care workers will be able to access a COVID-19 vaccination through GP clinics via the COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Checker, or directly through a participating nearby GP clinic through HotDoc. Bookings can be made now, subject to availability.

COVID-19 testing information for health professionals working in South Western Sydney.


Updated screening advice for healthcare facilities, residential disability and aged care facilities and home care services

The following links will take you to the NSW Health website (published May 2021):


COVID-19 aged care grief and trauma support services

The Australian Government has funded expert organisations to provide free grief, trauma, dementia and advocacy support for those living, working and caring for people in the aged care sector. In-person, phone and online help is available for aged care residents and recipients, their families, family of choice, friends, loved ones, community visitors and representatives, and aged care workers.

Find out about these Grief and Trauma Support services in your preferred language on the Department of Health website