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

Please note that for all residential aged care facilities in Victoria the following requirements apply from 11:59 pm 24 June 2021.

Visitors are allowed in aged care in line with the following requirements:

  • A maximum of two visitors for each resident at one time (These can be from different households)
  • There is no time limit on visits
  • A group may exceed the “two visitors at a time” rule if dependents of a visitor are in the group and care for the dependents cannot be arranged
  • There is a maximum of five visitors per resident per day, including dependents. This daily maximum does not apply to end of life visits

Prospective residents can visit an aged care facility accompanied by one other person.

Face mask requirements

  • All workers and visitors are required to wear face masks:
  • Indoors at all time
  • outdoors where a distance of 1.5 metres cannot be maintained

Other measures 

  • Testing residents with COVID-19 compatible clinical and/or epidemiological risk factors
  • Screening visitors and staff and continuing daily workforce attestations.  
  • Restricting visitors and staff found to have visited exposure sites until they have returned a negative test result. 
  • Tier 3 PPE for high-risk suspected and confirmed COVID-19 residents
  • Where practicable, care facility workers should be limited to working at one site. 
  • Student clinical placements permitted in all settings but restricted from providing care/being exposed to high-risk SCOVID and confirmed COVID patients. Students restricted to one site only. 

Victorian QR Code check-in app mandatory requirements

  • All RACFs are required to use the Victorian Government QR Code Service from 11.59pm on 1 July 2021.
  • RACFs must ensure that every person attending a facility (excluding residents, ambulance workers and emergencies) has checked in no matter how long they are at the premises. This includes all:
  • staff (including contractors and volunteers);
  • students; and
  • Visitors
  • Please note that this does not replace the required daily attestations and other record keeping requirements. See attachment for more details.

It is anticipated geographic locations and exposure sites will be updated in coming days. Please monitor this webpage and the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Victoria for the latest information. 

Guidance on COVID-19 risks for residential aged care facilities (RACFs) (Word)

The Australian Government Department of Health is the funder and regulator of aged care in Australia. For more information and advice visit the Australian 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 restricted at all Residential Aged Care Facilities. To keep visits safe, there are some rules that need to be followed.

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

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 no longer require that employers in residential aged care facilities conduct asymptomatic testing of employees. It is now only a recommendation. Facilities are still required to keep records of testing of workers.

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

You can view the complete industry surveillance testing requirements at Surveillance testing industry list.

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.

Please refer to advice on the Health service planning – coronavirus (Covid 19) page.

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

Current advice

Please see the Coronavirus (COVID-19) PPE guidance for RACF Factsheet - June 2021 (Word) link below for information on the PPE required for each Tier and the circumstances in which they are applied. The other factsheet provide advice on accessing, donning and doffing and disposing of PPE .

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