MidCoast Assist COVID Safe Measures

MidCoast Assist has a number of measures in place to help keep reduce the risk of transmission of COVID 19 between staff, participants and clients.  These measures are outlined below.  Our COVID safe protocols are constantly reviewed and change according to the situation as well as government directions and guidance. 

Here is a summary of the measures we currently have in place (as at 7 February 2022).

1.  Before we Provide a Service:

  • All staff who deliver services for MidCoast Assist are fully vaccinated, that means they had had two doses of an approved vaccine.  This is in line with the Public Health Order from the NSW government which made it mandatory for employees in the ageing and disability sector to be vaccinated. It’s possible that there will be a new directive from the government also requiring our employees to have a booster shot.  We will ensure compliance with this order, when and if it happens.
  • Prior to commencing work, all staff need to answer screening questions (as recommended by the Department of Health) to help us assess if they might have been exposed to COVID 19.  We ask the same screening questions to participants and clients before we deliver services to them. If clients or participants answer ‘yes’ to any of the screening questions, we may determine to not deliver the service.  If we do this, we will always let the client or participant know the circumstances under which services will resume.  If the client or participant requires essential services, we will develop ways to deliver these safely to you and our staff.  Staff with symptoms or who are a close contact or otherwise are high risk of exposure will be unable to attend their workplace until their supervisor deems otherwise.  To guide these decisions MCA applies the following government guidance (see attached):
  • Staff (and volunteers) who provide direct services will be required to be regularly screened using RATs. Staff who provide personal care services and where social distancing is not possible (eg., in home CCP services, SIL and groups) will be required to undertake screening through a RAT prior to each shift. Staff must report the results to their supervisor as per agreed procedures and only staff who receive a negative Rapid Antigen Test can work.  These measures are in line with recommended COVID Safe guidelines for providers.
  • Sometimes we will check the temperature of clients and participants before a service is provided.  This will be done in a manner that is contact free and respecting the dignity of the person.
  • We might modify centre-based activities or offer different options for community outings in line with our Covid safe plan and the changing situation.  Modifications might include reducing the numbers of people who can attend, changing the places we go, changing or ceasing some activities (eg., singing) and setting up rooms to ensure social distancing.

2.  During Delivery of a Service:

  • Staff will use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) whilst delivering services.  At a minimum this means staff will always wear an approved face mask. There will be occasions when staff will be required to use additional PPE (such as gloves, gown, eye shield) and this will be based on individual risk assessments of each situation.
  • Clients and participants are required to also wear face masks if they are in a MCA building or vehicle (unless they have an exemption from a doctor). Staff can lower their face masks if there is a problem with communicating.  Clients are participants are encouraged to wear face masks in other situations when they are receiving a service.
  • Staff are required to use hand sanitiser frequently during their work day.  Clients and participants attending centre based activities will be encouraged to also regularly use hand sanitiser.
  • Wherever possible, staff will try to maintain 1.5 metres from each other and from participants and clients whilst delivering services. In cases when this is not possible, precautions such as additional PPE or RAT screening will be put in place to minimise risk.

3.  After Delivery of a Service

  • MCA will arrange for deep cleaning of areas used for centre-based activities at least on a weekly basis.
  • Items (where possible) and hard surfaces used for centre-based activities will be cleaned with disinfectant at the completion of each session.
  • MCA has an Emergency Management Team which meets weekly or fortnightly (depending on the situation) to review the pandemic and the measures MCA has in place to keep people safe.