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COVIDSafe Summer Restrictions for Community Services Sector
From 11.59pm Sunday 6 December 2020, Victoria moved to COVIDSafe Summer restrictions. This means that all community services can open with restrictions. Community services must comply with any applicable directions in the Workplace (Additional Industry Obligations) and have a COVIDSafe Plan for onsite operations.
For community services organisations funded by the Department of Health and Human Services, any issues requiring further clarification should be directed to your Agency Performance and System Support contact in the first instance.
Please refer to Industry restriction levels: Community services for advice about industry restrictions that apply to the community services sector.
The community services sector restrictions: coronavirus (COVID-19) roadmap for reopening (Word) guidance, published on 22 October 2020, is currently being updated and will be available in the coming days.
Guidance for coronavirus (COVID-19) planning in the community services sector
Guidance for coronavirus (COVID-19) planning in the community services sector (Word), published on 12 September, is currently being updated and will be available in the coming days.
If you would like further information, please email Human Services COVID Readiness and Response Centre at HSCRRC_planningemail@example.com.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Plan for the Victorian Community Services Sector
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Plan for the Victorian Community Services Sector (Word) guidance, published on 30 April 2020, is currently being reviewed.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) for community service providers
- Community services workers are no longer required to wear eye protection when providing support to people who do not currently have or are suspected of having coronavirus (COVID-19).
- Personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, gown and protective eye wear should be used when providing hands-on contact care if there is a risk of splash or exposure to blood or body fluids.
- Community service staff, contractors and volunteers in Victoria must wear a surgical mask when interacting with clients, unless outdoors and physical distancing of at least 1.5 metres can be maintained. Clients should also wear a face mask in these environments.
- Community service staff, contractors and volunteers in Victoria should wear a surgical mask in indoor non client facing roles (for example, tea rooms, meeting rooms, offices) if physical distancing of at least 1.5 metres cannot be maintained.
- For more information visit the face masks webpage.
- PPE for community service providers for prevention of COVID-19 - 15 December 2020 (Word)
If you would like further information please email Human Services COVID Readiness and Response Centre at HSCRRC_planningfirstname.lastname@example.org.
eLearning modules for Community Services Workers
The department has developed three free eLearning modules in collaboration with Anglicare Victoria and Eve Learning for the community services sector. The topics are:
- COVID-safe for Residential Carers
- PPE for Community Workers
- Use of P2/N95 masks
The three modules take about 20 minutes each to complete. They give practical guidance on how to use PPE (including face masks) correctly and reduce the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission. These files are easily accessible and interactive.
The PPE for Community Workers module is a prerequisite for the third module on Use of P2/N95 masks.
You will receive a certificate when you complete each module.
Watch this 3 minute YouTube clip showing the key features of the first two eLearning modules.
To access the eLearning modules, log in or sign up to the Eve Learning learning system.
Organisations wishing to host these eLearn modules can download the latest version of the courses as SCORM files. These files can be provided on request.
For more information, please email COVID Disability Prevention COVIDDP@dhhs.vic.gov.au at the Department of Health and Human Services.
Cleaning and disinfecting to reduce coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission
This guide provides information on the routine cleaning and disinfecting required to reduce the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission in residential care homes.
This fact sheet explains how to manage clinical waste from coronavirus (COVID-19), and arrange for collections in various workplace settings.
This document outlines the department’s key principles and changes in approach that funded agencies can expect in relation to monitoring and managing service delivery performance and continuity issues.
Community Activation and Social Isolation Initiative
Information about the Victorian Government’s new Community Activation and Social Isolation (CASI) initiative for local organisations, stakeholders and individuals. The initiative is intended to help people who might be feeling lonely or have lost their regular networks during coronavirus (COVID-19) to build social connections and networks of support in their local communities.
As part of the initiative, people can now call the coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline (1800 675 398) to receive emotional support if they are feeling lonely or disconnected as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19).
- Community activation and social isolation initiative - Information for local organisations (COVID-19) factsheet - 24 July 2020 (Word)
- Community activation and social isolation initiative - Supporting social connection Information for stakeholders (COVID-19) factsheet - 24 July 2020 (Word)
- Supporting social connection through coronavirus (COVID-19) - Information for individuals factsheet - 24 July 2020 (Word)
Engaging interpreters during coronavirus (COVID-19)
Interpreters play an essential role in ensuring that Victorians with limited English proficiency or who use sign language can access services and understand and participate meaningfully in the care they receive.
This guidance note advises Victorian Government funded agencies and services on how to safely and effectively engage interpreters during coronavirus (COVID-19).
Helping Victorians with electricity, gas and water bills
A range of programs are available to help Victorians manage their energy costs and get support if they’re having trouble paying their electricity and gas bills.
Community organisations can refer low-income and vulnerable households to these programs for help accessing the support available under the state’s Payment Difficulty Framework, including concessions, government grants and finding cheaper energy plans.
- Brotherhood of St Laurence’s Energy Assistance Program – one-on-one energy assistance and advice service.
- Financial Counselling Program (various community organisations) – free and confidential financial counselling services, including advice on paying energy bills.
- Energy Info Hub’s online events for community workers – learn simple steps to help clients with their energy bills.