[UPDATED] Coronavirus update: CentacareCQ is well prepared
Posted on March 16th, 2020
The CentacareCQ team wish to update you on our response and preparation for the impact of the Coronavirus on Community Care Services.
The outbreak of the Coronavirus will present a number of risks and challenges to continuing to provide you with services over the next six months.
These challenges include:
- Minimising the spread of the virus
- Disruptions to public gatherings
- Availability of staff due to illness
As a Community Care Provider, CentacareCQ recognises the vital role our staff and services play in ensuring the health and wellbeing of people such as yourself. In response to the Coronavirus, our team has developed a comprehensive plan to ensure services that are essential to you can continue.
This plan has four key phases to help make sure our response is tailored to the current situation.
Level 1 responses were implemented immediately, so that we could act before the virus becomes active in our communities. This involves protection measures to ensure the risk of transmission is minimised.
- All staff are now required to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when providing services. You will see our staff wearing gloves, washing and disinfecting their hands more often than before, and they will also be disinfecting vehicles between each service.
- Our staff are being actively advised to stay home if they are feeling unwell or are concerned that they may have been exposed to the virus.
Level 2 response has now commenced as the virus has been detected within our communities.
Measures include increased access to PPE for our workers and an increased focus on ensuring workers minimise the risk of exposure, both for you and themselves. This will include:
- Ensuring workers keep a safe distance from people and minimise close contact to only when necessary.
- Continued encouragement for staff to stay home if they feel unwell.
- Restricting all non-essential travel outside the region and to all public areas.
Level 3 responses will occur once “person to person” transmission is active within our communities.
This represents a greater risk to our clients and our response will focus on minimising this risk to you. This will include:
- Activities with multiple clients will cease. This includes group activities and public transport. Alternative services will be implemented with one-on-one services where possible.
- Staff will be issued additional PPE, including face masks to wear during services.
- CentacareCQ offices will be closed to members of the public and where possible our staff will be asked to work from home. Contact with our clients will be maintained via phone or video.
Level 4 response will occur when services are being impacted due to our staff being unavailable to work as a result of the virus.
In this situation all services will be assessed and prioritised with non-essential services being delayed or cancelled depending on how many staff we have available. Other staff within the organisation will be asked to take on roles that are different to their everyday work, to support essential services. This is so that we can minimise the impact for our clients.
This plan is being put in place to help ensure we can provide services to you throughout this outbreak and to minimise disruptions to your services as much as possible. At this stage, we don’t know how much the outbreak will affect our communities and ask for your support and patience.
As the situation evolves, we will continue to provide updates through our website, Facebook page and other sources. If you have access to these electronic media platforms, we recommend checking every few days to keep up to date.
We will, of course, continue to use other communication methods including phone calls, letters and conversations with support workers to keep you informed.
In the meantime, I ask all our clients to continue to assist us by doing the following:
- Regularly wash your hands.
- Seek medical assistance if you develop symptoms.
- If you have respiratory symptoms or you are concerned about contact with a possible COVID-19 case please call the National Hotline 1800 020 080
- Minimise your exposure risks.
- Keep us informed by letting us know if you might be impacted by the virus.
- Follow the advice from the Department of Health.
If at any time you have questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact your local CentacareCQ Regional Manager or call 1300 523 985:
- Central Region (Rockhampton, Yeppoon, Central Highlands) – Monica Laws
- Bundaberg Region – Jenny Tree
- Mackay Region – Kathy Maker
- Gladstone Region – Joanne Aitchison
Thank you for your ongoing support through this time.