From 11.59pm 26 February 2021 Victoria returns to previous COVIDSafe Settings.
There are no limits on the purpose of visits, the number of visitors, or the length of visits to care facilities, but all visitors must wear face masks and density limits apply to communal areas that visitors access.
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).
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 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.
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
- Directions update - Residential Aged Care - Care facilities and workers - 26 February 2020 (Word)
- COVID19 Response Guidance - updates for residential aged care facilities (Word)
- Creating coronavirus (COVID-19) zones in residential aged care facilities (Word)
- Example Aged Care floor plan (PDF)
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:
- Managing residents in aged care during an outbreak (Word)
- Assisting patients with hygiene care during coronavirus (COVID-19) – risk minimisation for staff (PDF)
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:
- Taking a resident home from residential aged care in an outbreak (Word)
- Transfer protocol for residents in aged care who test positive to coronavirus (COVID-19) - Factsheet (Word)
- Advice for residential aged care in relation to admission and transfer into RACFs - 12 November 2020 (Word)
- Advance care planning in residential aged care services - 28 January 2021 (Word)
- Dementia Australia – Tips for residential care providers
- Engaging interpreters during coronavirus (COVID-19)
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.
Declaration forms are available in a range of community languages, please see the Translated resources section below.
- Well for life toolkit – emotional wellbeing for residents of aged care facilities
- Visiting care facilities
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:
- Guidance and FAQs for public sector residential aged care services (Word)
- FAQs for staff of public sector residential aged care facilities (Word)
- Staff asymptomatic testing - Reporting Form and Instructions (Word)
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)
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.
- Standard sequence for putting on (donning) and taking off (doffing) personal protective equipment (Word)
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) PPE guidance for RACF Factsheet - August 2020 (Word) - under review
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) Access to PPE for RACF in Victoria Factsheet - August 2020 (Word)
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Disposing clinical waste (PDF)
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.
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
- Home based aged care providers (Word)
- Dementia Australia – Tips for home care providers
- Well for life toolkit – for older people living at home
- Transcript webinar 2: COVID-19 and supporting worker wellbeing in the aged care sector 2 April 2020 (Word)
- Webinar 3: COVID-19 Caring for Vulnerable Victorians: medication planning and management (16 April 2020)
- Transcript webinar 3: COVID-19 Caring for Vulnerable Victorians: medication planning and management (Word)
- Webinar 4: COVID-19 Supporting resident emotional and psychosocial wellbeing (1 May 2020)
- Transcript webinar 4: COVID-19 Supporting resident emotional and psychosocial wellbeing (1 May 2020) (Word)
- Protecting Vulnerable Victorians: A COVID-19 webinar for Victorian residential aged care (19 March 2020)
- COVID-19 and supporting worker wellbeing in the aged care sector (2 April 2020)
- Webinar 5: COVID-19 and palliative care in residential aged care (28 May 2020 (Word)
- Transcript 5: COVID-19 Palliative care in residential aged care during the pandemic (28 May 2020) (Word)
- COVID-19 Screening tool for aged care webinar
- COVID-19 Screening tool for Residential Aged Care Services - lessons learned webinar
- Deklarasyon ng bisita - Visitor declaration - Filipino (Word)
- Deklarasyon ng mga kawani - Staff declaration - Filipino (Word)
- Δήλωση επισκέπτη - Visitor declaration - Greek (Word)
- Δήλωση εργαζομένου - Staff declaration - Greek (Word)
- Dichiarazione del visitatore - Visitor declaration -Italian (Word)
- வருகையாளருக்கான ஒப்புதல் - Visitor declaration - Tamil (Word)
- உத்தியோகத்தர்களுக்கான ஒப்புதல் - Staff declaration - Tamil (Word)
- 访客声明 - Visitor declaration - Simplified Chinese (Word)
- 訪客聲明 - Visitor declaration - Traditional Chinese (Word)
- ਮੁਲਾਕਾਤੀ ਦੁਆਰਾ ਐਲਾਨ - Visitor declaration - Punjabi (Word)
- ਕਰਮਚਾਰੀ ਦੁਆਰਾ ਐਲਾਨ - Staff declaration - Punjabi (Word)
- Caddaynta shaqaalaha - Staff declaration - Somali (Word)
- Declaración para visitantes - Visitor declaration - Spanish (Word)
- कर्मचारी घोषणा - Staff declaration - Nepali (Word)
- Tờ khai của khách đến thăm - Visitor declaration - Vietnamese (Word)
- Tờ khai của nhân viên - Staff declaration - Vietnamese (Word)
- Ziyaretçi beyannamesi - Visitor declaration - Turkish (Word)