This guide has been developed in response to Members request for quick reference when responding to the Covid 19 Pandemic, specifically the prevalence of the Omicron Variant. As a Registered NDIS Provider, we have some additional requirements to meet to ensure compliance with NDIS Practice Standards.
This guide should also be read in conjunction with the following
Prevention is better than cure:
- Ensure you implement safe work practices including regular hand washing/sanitizing, wearing masks, social distancing, other PPE requirements (as needed) and being mindful of meeting in enclosed spaces. Remember, if you want to order your own supplies of PPE, you can claim a reimbursement through our Finance team. Some PPE that is being delivered and stored with Jason includes:
- FFP2 Face Masks
- General Surgical Face Mask
- Face Shields
- Disposable Medical Waterproof Gowns
- Vaccinations have been mandated in many states in which we work. Refer to our Win-Win Strategy for more Information
- Know the symptoms of Covid 19- particularly the Omicron variant.
- Conduct regular PCR/RAT tests. If you are not able to obtain these, please contact your Coach and/or Jason (we may have some limited supplies).
- Have regular conversations with your networks and participants around individual safety plans (i.e., if you were to contract Covid, what would you like us to do? How best can we support you? etc.). See Jeder Info Guide for Participants.
- Minimise face to face contact with participants that may be at higher risk of contracting Covid and seek alternative contact methods.
- Minimise the occurrence of you having multiple face to face meetings with varying participants (after all you may be positive yourself and not know until its too late).
- Develop a plan with your family or household members should you be exposed to a close contact or test positive yourself.
- Read the Resource (Coming out of Lockdown; Resources for Support Coordinators)- SC-Pandemic-Docs-in-One-File-Nov-2021.pdf (thegrowingspace.com.au). This has some additional and great practical information
- Should you be considered a close contact (as defined by the relevant State and Federal Health Departments- please note the definition may readily change depending on the State you reside and/or the level of outbreaks within your location/state). https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/coronavirus-covid-19-self-isolation-faqs
- Follow any instructions/directions given to you by the relevant Health Department (for example Isolation, monitoring for symptoms, testing requirement etc).
- You may have to Isolate for a 7-14 day period (depending on your location/State requirements).
- There may be some exceptions to Isolating despite being a close contact. We are classified as Essential Workers and under certain circumstances (i.e., responding to critical/emergency situations where no alternative is available) you may be able to leave Isolation with an approved exemption. If you require an exemption, please contact your Coach, Cherish or Jason. NDIS Disability Workers Confirmed as Essential Workers
- If you develop any symptoms, its important you complete a PCR/RAT test. Should these tests return positive, please refer to below.
- You may be eligible (if unable to work or earn an income) during a period of Isolation. Please familiarize yourself with the relevant Federal/State program criteria (as if you do make an income or receive a payment you may be liable to pay this back).
Response- should you or others return a positive Covid test result:
- Follow any instructions/directions given to you by the relevant Health Department (for example Isolation, notifying other close contacts etc).
- Ensure you have all the relevant Health information regarding managing your symptoms and importantly what you can do should you deteriorate and require hospitalization.
- Notify your coach/Cherish/Jason of your positive result (remember you must also do this for any participant that has returned a positive result). Please complete (or have a discussion with one of the above) the following notification- Jeder COVID Notification form Template Internal Only Jason/Cherish will make the required notification to the NDIS Commission.
- Notify any close contacts (especially participants/families) that you had face to face contact with over the preceding 7 days. We acknowledge the relevant Health Department may also do this, but it’s also our responsibility to do this notification. If you do not want to complete this, a Member of Jeder can do this for you- you just need to talk with your Coach, Cherish or Jason.
- Keep yourself as well as possible by following your wellness plan or advice from Health. If you require anything, you can always reach out to any one of us at Jeder.
- Remember you can continue to work non face to face if you are feeling well enough. There is no expectation for you to continue to work (as individuals experience varying symptoms) but remember there is always an option for you to continue your work if you are well enough. Arrangements can and should be discussed with your coach and/or Cherish.
- One of our members (I.e., coach, Bored Member, other member) may check in with you regularly during any period of isolation. This is purely just a check in to see if there is anything you need.
- Before returning to face-to-face work, it is critical you have returned a negative test result and/or been cleared by a medical practitioner. You must also have completed any required isolation periods as determined/directed by the relevant Health Department.
- You may be eligible (if unable to work or earn an income) during a period of Isolation. Please familiarise yourself with the relevant Federal/State program criteria (as if you do make an income or receive a payment you may be liable to pay this back).
Returning to work (or face to face):
- You must have cleared the required isolation periods and retuned a negative test result before you commence any face-to-face contact. If you are not able to provide this, it may be best for you to continue non face to face work until a negative result is returned.
- Discuss any needs with your coach. We recognize the impact of Covid can be longer lasting than the initial infection (i.e., it can take some people longer to recover from their infection).
- Jeder Members Information – Independent Support Workers Information as 21022022
- How to Guide for Participants – How to Guide for Participants
- Claim for Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment form (EM252) https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/em252?fbclid=IwAR3fvzQz2tujkULvo2mqyn-SWSrKsnEsgm3jonPNjltAUNBlm-3vX6OL5bA
- DSC- Providers’ legal responsibilities. We also put questions to the NDIA about the legal responsibilities of providers. The Quality and Safeguards Commission responded that “Registered NDIS providers are responsible for ensuring they have plans in place to ensure business continuity and continuity of critical supports for participants, including during the COVID-19 pandemic. “It also directed providers to support material on its website and to the Emergency and Disaster Management Practice Standard.
- Importantly, if the COVID pandemic substantially impacts a provider’s ability to continue to deliver services, the provider needs to notify the Commission using this form.
- Late last year, a group of top-notch Support Coordinators published a kit of COVID resources that we cannot recommend highly enough. It includes a practical checklist, tools for record keeping, state-based emergency information, and more. While it is targeted at Support Coordinators, many of the resources will be useful for all providers.