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 Acute Respiratory Illness in 72 hours (as per flow chart below).
You can also contact the Public Health Unit for exposure advice in the event that staff or visitors test positive for COVID-19 or Influenza who have been at the facility during their infectious period.
Source: Guidance for Residential Aged Care Facilities on the public health management of Acute Respiratory Infections (including COVID-19 and Influenza)
Resources and Guidelines
COVID-19: Advice for aged care services - COVID-19 (Coronavirus) (nsw.gov.au) Information and resources for aged care services including residential aged care facilities, Commonwealth Home Support Programme, assessment services, home care package providers, multi-purpose services, respite care and transition care.
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 COVID-19 in a residential aged care facility describes the steps you should take in the first 24 hours following identification of a COVID-19 case.
Please note that Aged care providers in NSW can now order free rapid antigen tests (RATs) for their residents, staff and visitors from NSW Health using the Aged Care Form (jotform.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.