Yesterday afternoon, the NSW Government announced that it was expanding mandatory vaccinations to Aged Care Home and Community Care. You can read the Public Health Order here.
What does this mean for you? All home and community care workers in NSW will be required to:
have received at least 1 dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by 25 October 2021
have received at least 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine by 29 November 2021
The vaccination requirements do not apply to a person who is unable, due to a medical contraindication, to be vaccinated against COVID-19, and has a certificate, in the form approved by the Chief Health Officer, issued by a medical practitioner, specifying the medical contraindication that makes the worker or provider unable to be vaccinated.
The Health Services Union has serious concerns about the timeframes and implications this order has on staffing as members try to get vaccinated in time. We are raising these concerns with the NSW Government. If you are having difficulty getting a vaccination appointment, or have a question about the Public Health Order, please contact the HSU Member Services Division on 1300 478 679 or [E-Mail not displayed].
Single Site Program
As NSW continues to open up, aged care facilities allow visitors, and with increasing levels of vaccinations across the community, the Department of Health is undertaking a review of the Single Site Program in residential aged care. This could mean that some areas come out of this arrangement sooner than others. At this stage, a firm decision or date hasn’t been made. However, once these have been confirmed, workers and providers will have a minimum two-week transition period.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been very hard on frontline workers. It hasn't always been easy to access COVID vaccines, or information about vaccination. But HSU members have been pushing to get vaccinated anyway, because we know it helps keep each other safer.
The Health Services Union is in support of vaccination, but we are in favour of education and encouragement as the approach that should be adopted by governments. If you have been vaccinated or you're booked to get vaccinated, we want to show our appreciation for taking this vital step to protect our community. If you have received your first or second dose of a COVID-19 vaccination, or have an appointment, you can enter our 50,000 reasons draw to win 1 of 50 prizes of $1,000 each.
Finally, I want to thank you for your continued hard work in keeping our most vulnerable safe. The next few weeks pose a challenge in aged care. I know that while opening up and the freedoms this brings is a great relief to many, there is also anxiety and fear about what this means for older Australians. If you or your colleagues feel unsafe or need support and advice, please contact our Member Services Division on 1300 478 679 or email [E-Mail not displayed].