Managing COVID-19 in our disability accommodation services

Queensland Health’s Chief Health Officer has announced new measures to protect our most at risk community members in response to the recent cluster of confirmed cases linked to the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre.

They have instructed disability accommodation facilities to implement restrictions on visitors and consider each person’s risk if they are going to any activity outside their home. This directive applies to all disability homes in Brisbane and seven other Local Government Areas effective immediately.

The Directive requires that the ONLY people who can enter a disability accommodation services are:

  • disability accommodation service staff (including administration staff, cleaners, tradesman, gardeners and maintenance)
  • volunteers
  • persons delivering goods and services (including food deliveries)
  • health care workers (including doctors, nurses, allied health and pharmaceutical staff)
  • people the operator of a disability accommodation service has granted permission to enter to provide support to a resident
  • people providing essential disability support
  • emergency workers and police
  • a visitor who is providing end-of-life support.

Anyone entering a disability accommodation service must wear a single use face mask. We have supplied stocks of masks to all our teams.

People with disability

We are seeking clarification on whether people are able to leave their home for external activities. Until that advice is clear we will work with each person in our houses and discuss the activities they have planned and any potential risk or precautions needed.

What if my family member doesn’t understand what’s happening?

We will be doing everything we can to reassure the people we support and to assist them to understand the restrictions that we are being directed to implement. We can also assist you to be in communication so you can also provide assurance to your family member.

If you have any concerns please talk to our teams in the house and discuss ways you would like us to be supporting your family member.

What is Mercy Community doing?
We are committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the people we support and our team and want to assure you of our preparedness.

Mercy Community has put in place strict protocols related to COVID-19 infection control and management within all our services. Only last week we took part in a Queensland first with our NDIS team taking part in stimulated scenarios with Mater Education to test our systems and processes to ensure staff are ready for any situation and are armed with the knowledge and confidence to keep the people we support safe.

We will continue to take advice from Queensland Health and are monitoring the situation closely.

We understand that this is a difficult and distressing time for you as families and friends of the people we support and appreciate the impact that this has.

We thank you for your support, patience and understanding as we face these restrictions. Your co-operation in these matters is very much appreciated.

We encourage you to monitor Queensland Health’s website and Facebook page and continue to follow their directives to protect yourself and others. As always, we strongly recommend everyone with symptoms to immediately get tested. Vigilance is key to keeping community transmission out of Queensland.

Staying connected

We understand that this places a great strain on many families who have loved ones in our services. You can keep in touch by:

  • phone and video calls
  • sending letters and postcards or artwork
  • sending home videos.

Again talk to the house teams if you have any concerns.

If you have any queries or concerns please contact our Director | NDIS Individualised Support, Sandra Bain on 3866 4237 or email sandra.bain@mercycommunity.org.au

Keeping informed

For more information regarding disability accommodation services go to: https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status/public-health-directions/disability-accommodation-services

For more information on the update and a list of Local Government Areas refer to this link.

For general up-to-date information on COVID-19 please go to www.health.qld.gov.au or follow their Facebook account.

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