Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources and information for the aged care sector.

The Commonwealth Government Department of Health is the funder and regulator of aged care in Australia. For more information and advice visit the Commonwealth Department of Health aged care website

Table of contents

Plan for the Victorian Residential Aged Care Sector

The Plan for the Victorian  Residential Aged Care Sector (Word) provides guidelines to assist Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACFs) to support their workers, residents, families and visitors to prepare for, prevent and manage cases and outbreaks of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Supporting residents

Older people should be able to access high quality and safe services that respond to and are appropriate for their needs. Any measures implemented by a residential aged care facility to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) must be balanced against the broader responsibilities of those facilities to the physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing of their residents.

You can find more information and resources on coronavirus (COVID-19) for older people, their family, friends and carers on the Information for older people and seniors webpage.

Visiting aged care

Visitors are allowed at all Residential Aged Care Facilities. To keep visits safe, there are some general rules that need to be followed.

To find out more, read the Visiting aged care facilities factsheet and see the Declarations section below.   

For more information about visiting care facilities go to the Visiting care facilities webpage.

Density limits

Density limits apply to communal spaces used by visitors and residents. They do not apply to a resident’s private room (even with visitors). Facilities will need to make sure that the number of people in shared visitor/resident areas, such as the reception area, waiting room, or lounges comply with density quotients set out in the Workplace Directions.

To find out more, read the Workplace Directions on the Victoria’s restriction levels webpage.

Resident outings

Aged care residents are free to leave the facility they live in just as any Victorian is able to leave their home.

When residents leave the facility, they should be reminded that they must comply with the same public health directions that all Victorians are required to comply with.

Residents should be screened upon their return, see screening tool below.

Guidance and tools for aged care facilities

Screening tool for residential aged care service to monitor residents

The COVID-19 screening tool for residential aged care services can be used daily to monitor residents for signs of clinical deterioration to allow early escalation and testing for coronavirus (COVID-19).

Cases and outbreaks

This factsheet is for residential aged care facilities who are aware that a resident, staff member or worker has symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), or who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19):

These resources and advice are for residential aged care facilities during an outbreak:

For the latest information on case locations, outbreaks, hospital admissions and deaths visit the Case locations and outbreaks webpage.

Admission and transfer

These factsheets provide information for decision making about admission and transfer for people in residential aged care: 

Declarations

Before entry to the facility, all visitors, staff and workers are required to make a written declaration that they are:

  • symptom free
  • not a close contact of a case and 
  • not currently required to self-isolate.

This is in addition to the declaration required if staff work for another employer at another site. These declarations are able to be made by any means the facility provides for (including via an app), providing it is in writing.

Translated resources

Declaration forms are available in a range of community languages, please see the Translated resources section below.

Further resources

Supporting aged care workers

Testing of asymptomatic residential aged care workers

The Workplace (Additional Industry Obligations) Directions require that employers in residential aged care facilities:

  • Conduct asymptomatic testing of all workers that are usually working on the premises in accordance with the requirements of the Department of Health and Human Services
  • Keep records of surveillance testing of workers for coronavirus (COVID-19)

For more information on asymptomatic testing of staff in non-government RACFs read the Australian Government’s Protecting Older Australians: COVID-19 update 16 October 2020.

This guidance is for public sector residential aged care services and their staff:

Students on clinical placement

Student clinical placements in residential aged care facilities are beginning again in discussion with the Department of Health and Human Services.

Placements should be conducted with strict health and safety measures in place, with optimal supervision and educational support of students, in order to protect both students and residents.

No placements may occur across multiple sites.

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

Current advice

Eye protection such as face shields, goggles or safety glasses is no longer required unless caring for a resident who has or is suspected to have coronavirus (COVID-19), or is a close contact of someone who has coronavirus (COVID-19).

This advice replaces the advice in the Coronavirus (COVID-19) PPE guidance for RACF Factsheet published on 28 August 2020.

Please note the Coronavirus (COVID-19) PPE guidance for RACF Factsheet is currently being updated. 

PPE factsheets

Online PPE and infection control training

The Commonwealth Department of Health has online training for care workers across all healthcare settings, including aged care: infection prevention and control for coronavirus (COVID-19).

In addition, Monash Health PPE training program has been developed for Victorian residential aged care workers.

Contacts

Subscribe to Victorian Chief Health Officer’s CHO alerts.

Commonwealth Department of Health is the funder and regulator of aged care.

Victoria Aged Care Response Centre brings together Commonwealth and Victorian state government agencies in a coordinated effort to manage the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in aged care facilities.

Australian Aged Care Quality Commission’s role is to protect and enhance the safety, health, wellbeing and quality of life of people receiving aged care.

Commissioner for Senior Victorians, Gerard Mansour, provides advice to the government on the needs and interests of senior Victorians.
 

Resources for home-based care

Webinars

Translated resources

Translated resources