COVID-19 Outbreaks in a Disability Residential/Supported Independent Living (SIL) Setting

Last Updated: 26 Apr 2022 3:28pm

Residents who are showing symptoms of COVID-19

Any resident of Supported Independent Living (SIL) services showing symptoms of COVID-19 should be supported as per the Tasmanian Coronavirus (COVID-19) Disability Service Providers Preparedness and Response Plan and the obligations under the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission.

In summary  when a resident of SIL services starts to show symptoms of COVID-19 the service should:

  • immediately implement  infection control protocols, as per your outbreak management plan
  • inform relevant staff and designate specific staff members to support the person with COVID-19 safely
  • arrange testing promptly by phoning the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738
  • increase the frequency of clinical observations and monitoring of the resident, and continue to provide routine support to the resident
  • contact the resident’s healthcare provider to arrange for clinical assessment.

Further information can be found on the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission Fact sheet: Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Outbreak preparedness, prevention and management.

A Resident who has confirmed COVID-19

  • If the individual is diagnosed with COVID-19, they must comply with the requirements of the Public Health Direction – Isolation – No. 7
  • For more info about Isolation visit: Isolation | Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
  • Isolating due to a COVID-19 diagnosis is not considered a restrictive practice under the Disability Services Act 2011, and therefore does not require authorisation by the Tasmanian Senior Practitioner.
  • Refer to the Tasmanian Coronavirus (COVID-19) Disability Service Providers Preparedness and Response Plan.
  • Follow the advice provided by Public Health and the Outbreak Management Coordination Team.

COVID-19 Safe Workplaces Framework

All workplaces are required to have a COVID-19 Safety Plan that complies with minimum COVID-19 safety standards. See Case and Outbreak Management Framework for Tasmanian Settings for more information about these requirements.

Please note that Tasmanian disability settings are exempt from the maximum gathering number, if the gathering is necessary for the normal function of the setting (eg meals). Disability settings are also exempt from the density limit requirements (two square metres per person). Physical distancing (1.5 metres) still applies, but only where practicable, so as not to put at risk a person with disability’s health if they require one-to-one support. This information is relevant for disability settings completing a COVID-19 Safety Plan.

Relevant COVID-19 Safe Workplace Guidelines provide more detail on how sectors and workplaces can meet the Minimum Standards for disability providers, including NDIS Providers and In-home Services.

NDIS Providers

NDIS providers have specific obligations under the NDIS Code of Conduct and the NDIS Practice Standards that relate to the delivery of safe quality supports and services, and the management of risks associated with supports provided to NDIS participants. Remain up to date with specific guidance by visiting the NDIS and NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission websites.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - NDIS Quality and Safeguards

Commission

The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission has developed specific advice for Disability Service Providers in relation to PPE.

NDIS providers and self/plan-managing participants who can no longer access PPE supplies through usual means can contact the National Medical Stockpile by emailing NDISCOVIDPPE@health.gov.au

The Tasmanian Government has contracted St John Ambulance to coordinate the supply of PPE to essential service providers unable to obtain their supplies through their normal supplier. Contact St John Ambulance on 1300 360 455 or ppe@stjohntas.org.au for assistance.

If you are a person with disability, the family or carer of a person with disability, or a disability service provider and have any questions related specifically to COVID-19 support for people with disability, you can email disability.eoc@health.tas.gov.au