When to contact the Public Health Unit
Please contact the Public Health Unit if 2 or more residents test positive for COVID-19 OR Influenza or are unwell with an Acute Respiratory Illness in 72 hours (as per flow chart below).
You can also contact the Public Health Unit for exposure advice if staff or visitors test positive for COVID-19 who have been at the facility during their infectious period.
Disability care facilities with up to 6 residents can be considered and managed as households OR choose to follow the ARI guidelines (see Guidance for Disability Care Facilities on the public health management of Acute Respiratory Infections (including COVID-19 and Influenza for more information).
Source: Guidance for Disability Care Facilities on the public health management of Acute Respiratory Infections (including COVID-19 and Influenza)
Guidelines and Resources
Disability service providers - COVID-19 (Coronavirus) (nsw.gov.au) Information and resources for Disability service providers.
Australian Government, Department of Health
- Communicable Disease Network Australia (CDNA) National Guidelines for Influenza Outbreaks in RCFs
- Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA) National Guidelines for COVID-19 Outbreaks in RCFs
- First 24 Hours: Managing an Outbreak of COVID-19 in a Disability Group Home
- Advice to residential disability care facilities (RDCF)
Support for NDIS Providers
- National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) providers should direct all COVID-19 outbreak queries and requests (excluding public health guidance) to firstname.lastname@example.org
- In addition to use of commercial suppliers, NDIS Providers should continue to request COVID-19 outbreak supports including for workforce and short-term PPE supply from the National Disability Insurance Agency at: email@example.com
- RATs should be the first line of testing for newly symptomatic residents or clients, including during a COVID-19 outbreak.
- People who are a higher risk of severe disease from COVID-19 and have new respiratory symptoms, but who are RAT negative should get a respiratory PCR (COVID-19, influenza & RSV minimum).
- PCR testing remains available through the usual Medicare referral pathways with a signed form provided by a doctor or nurse practitioner.