ALARA Services during the COVID-19 period
The welfare and safety of our services users and their families and of our staff and volunteers is ALARA’s priority. This includes protecting you from coronavirus (COVID-19).
Support Worker’s when visiting your home or providing community-based support are taking all necessary measures to ensure you stay safe. This includes following advice from Australia’s Chief Medical Officer about when to use protective equipment.
Most of the time your support worker does not have to wear personal protective equipment such as masks, gloves, aprons or gowns, and protective eyewear.
Personal protective equipment must be worn by your support worker if:
- You have been diagnosed with COVID-19
- You are suspected of having COVID-19
- You are displaying symptoms of COVID-19
A support worker (or indeed any ALARA worker) displaying symptoms of COVID-19 is not allowed to work – and must have a full medical clearance to return to work.
ALARA support workers have undertaken training in Infection Control and COVID -19 and are following the best medical advice to protect you and themselves from COVID-19. We have secured adequate stocks of Personal Protective Equipment from a range of sources so that it is available to staff as required. We have developed a risk assessment for use if a service user tests positive or is suspected of having COVID-19 to inform any changes that are required to service delivery, training and the client’s support plan where essential services need to continue.
Support Workers have a letter to carry with them as well as their tablet/paper roster to prove that they are providing an essential service while on support.
Staff have new protocols for cleaning their vehicles between supports.
NEW WAYS TO RECEIVE SERVICE
All Australians are required to stay home unless it is absolutely necessary to go outside.
Australians are permitted to leave home for the essentials, such as:
- shopping for food
- exercising outdoors, avoiding contact with other people
- going out for medical needs
- providing care or support to another individual in a place other than your home
- going to work or study if you cannot do it from home.
To comply with these restrictions ALARA has adapted a number of service offerings to ensure clients continue to receive their support and both people’s physical needs and social-emotional well-being are addressed.
- ALARA has enhanced an existing unaccompanied shopping service to ensure that payment is entirely contactless (no money handling) using existing EFT capability.
- A new closed (member’s only) Facebook group for Teenage Clients has been developed ensuring that young people can continue to be connected and involved in a safe way
- Some one-one supports that do not require physical contact are taking place by Skype or Zoom or by the phone and we will continue to enhance our capacity to provide this support
- A number of existing and some new groups are commencing again using the Zoom platform.
- Staff have been supporting clients to exercise safety in their community while complying with social distancing requirements
PROTECTING YOURSELF AGAINST CORONAVIRUS
Good hygiene and taking care when interacting with other people are the best defences for you and your family against coronavirus. This includes:
- covering your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue
- disposing of used tissues immediately into a rubbish bin and washing your hands
- washing your hands often with soap and water, including before and after eating and after going to the toilet, and when you have been out to shops or other places
- using alcohol-based hand sanitisers (60% alcohol), where available
- cleaning and disinfecting frequently used surfaces and objects
- stay at home and avoid physical contact with others, except when you need assistance or care
- avoid non-essential travel
- consider having the chemist deliver your medicines or ALARA staff collecting them on your behalf
- consider having your groceries and essential items delivered to your home or ALARA staff proving unaccompanied shopping assistance
- stay 1.5 metres away — 2 arms’ length — from other people, when you can
You should keep up your regular personal care, domestic support and health care. This is just as important as protecting yourself from coronavirus.
Have regular contact with your doctor and call them if you are concerned about any of your health conditions. They may be able to provide care over the phone or via teleconference, and face to face care is still available.
If you have any concerns about your support services or carer, please contact your Coordinator or Facilitator.
To find out more about COVID-19 please phone the National Coronavirus Helpline
on 1800 020 080 or go to health.gov.au