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).
Please ensure that you 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.
Please note: Providers of Residential Aged Care Facilities are reminded that:
- All COVID-19 outbreak enquiries and requests (excluding public health guidance) should be directed to the Commonwealth Case Management Team at NSWCOVIDCaseManagement@health.gov.au. This includes requests for pathology testing (Sonic), workforce, infection prevention and control support and short term supply of PPE.
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.
- ISLHD's Infection Management and Control Service (IMACS) is available through TWH switch on 4222 5000 for advice and guidance on specific infection prevention and control matters such as hand hygiene, cleaning and disinfection, sterilisation, etc.
Pathology testing and supplies
- Pathology testing (Sonic): You must request support through the Commonwealth Case Management Team at: NSWCOVIDCaseManagement@Health.gov.au
- In addition to use of commercial suppliers, Aged Care Providers should continue to request COVID-19 outbreak supports including for workforce, PCR testing, infection prevention and control support and short term PPE supply from the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care at: NSWCOVIDCaseManagement@Health.gov.au and through the My Aged Care COVID-19 Support Portal and agedcareCOVIDPPE@health.gov.au.
General practices offering alternate face-to-face care for COVID-19 positive patients
COORDINARE’s home commissioned visits (South Eastern NSW Primary Health Network) is a program to facilitate face-to-face service provision by GPs and practice nurses to patients who are managing COVID-19 at home, including in residential care facilities, when their regular GP does not have the capacity to manage them during their isolation period.
The service can be accessed through referral from the resident’s regular GP, and include:
- Review of COVID-19 positive residents in relation to prescription of anti-viral agents, where appropriate
- Review and management of chronic conditions, wound care, a fall etc. if required while COVID-19 positive
- Review and management of exacerbation of COVID-19 symptoms
To find the referral details for Illawarra Shoalhaven General Practices offering this alternative care, click on COVID-19 Requests (part of Illawarra Shoalhaven Community HealthPathways) then click on General practices offering alternate care for COVID-19 positive patients
The NSW COVID-19 at home support line also provides symptom support and advice for COVID-19 positive people and can be contacted on 1800 960 933.