GoCo is continuing to review health advice regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and has put in place changes to meet guidelines for public safety. Due to the vulnerability of GoCo’s client and volunteer base, all staff, volunteers and clients are required to note and follow the below information to protect the safety of our community.
The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner stated the following in a recent newsletter “While Australia’s containment strategy has to date proven to be very effective, it is generally expected that over time the number of people with the viral infection in Australia will increase. Given that the virus seems to have more serious consequences for older people with chronic illness, all aged care providers should be on high alert and taking steps now to reduce the risks to their consumers and staff” .
The Chief Medical Officer has recently suggested considering the following factors in relation to emergency planning:
- “first steps if infection is suspected or identified (e.g. seeking medical assessment, diagnosis and contact with local public health officials, if needed);
- arrangements to ensure adequate care of the infected individual (e.g. staffing, isolation/quarantine within the facility, medical care, further liaison with public health officials);
- protection measures for other residents, visitors and staff
- notification advice to families, carers and relevant authorities”.
- Ensure adequate cleaning/sanitisation of the workplace, including wiping/sanitising of all surfaces in offices including desks, keyboards/eftpos machines, handrails, door handles, toilets, kitchen and sink areas. This includes GoCo vehicles after client and volunteer use.
- Cancel all social groups until further notice.
- Prioritise transport for GoCo clients to attend supermarkets in Gunnedah being opened for one hour specifically for the elderly.
- Display health warning information in all offices and bathrooms to ensure hand washing procedures are followed adequately by all staff and volunteers
- Provide hand washing detergents & paper towels in all GoCo offices and bathrooms.
- Ensure volunteers delivering GoCo services such as meals, providing transport or social support are required to wash their hands upon entry into the office, before leaving the GoCo office and after each client visit
- Make every attempt to prioritise essential services for vulnerable clients who require additional support, including personal care, nursing, medication and meals.
- Commence performing wellbeing phone calls, where possible, to check in with vulnerable clients if they are safe and well.
- Encourage delivery of a number of meals to Meals on Wheels clients (frozen) to limit the number of visits to the same home
- Provide open disclosure to volunteers and staff regarding notification of coronavirus or self-isolation regarding client services.
- Determine the most appropriate volunteer or staff to deliver services to clients and ensure they are comfortable to do so
- Provide up to date information and updates on our website and directly to clients and other stakeholders in a timely manner
GoCo asks you to do the following:
- All staff, clients and volunteers are required to sign into GoCo offices when presenting for work or volunteer duties.
- All staff, volunteers, clients and broker partners are requested to notify GoCo if they are sick and to self isolate at home. This will be noted and staff will follow up accordingly.
- All staff, volunteers, clients and broker partners to notify GoCo if they may be at risk of COVID-19 (visited countries that are identified at risk, been in contact with someone who is at risk etc.) and to self isolate for a minimum of 14 days
- Staff and volunteers delivering all GoCo services such as meals, providing transport or social support are required to wash their hands upon entry into the office, before leaving the GoCo office and after each client visit
- If you are at risk or have health concerns and would prefer to be left off the volunteer roster, please let us know as soon as possible
Additional requirements for Meals on Wheels Volunteers:
- Where possible, ensure the meals are delivered to an agreed safe place where the client can see the meal and contact is restricted/minimised with the client. If possible do not enter the home.
- After delivery is made, knock on the door and call out to the client or contact client via phone after a delivery has been made to ensure they have received the meal
Additional requirements for Transport Volunteers:
Provided by Transport for NSW
- Drivers do not need to wear a mask if you are healthy
- Wash hands often with soap and water
- The use of alcohol-based hand sanitiser is advised between hand washes and after opening and closing doors, moving luggage, exchanging payment and after personal contact
- Drivers should employ standard cleaning practices at the end of each shift, as part of good hygiene practice by wiping down surfaces with disinfectant
- In the event of a passenger spreading droplets (such as sneezing, coughing or vomiting), clean surfaces with appropriate disinfectant wipes so that the potential spread of infection can be minimised
- For cash payments it is advised to wash hands or use hand sanitiser to limit the spread of viruses
GoCo asks its community to take precautions with your health and the health of loved ones by following these guidelines from the www.health.nsw.gov.au website:
- clean your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based sanitiser with at least 60% alcohol.
- cover your sneeze or cough with your elbow or with tissue.
- avoid close contact with people who are ill
- avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- stay home if you are sick.
To find out more, visit www.health.nsw.gov.au
GoCo is committed to protecting its community and will continue to update these guidelines as the situation evolves and advice from authorities changes.