COVID Update for Aged Care members

I just wanted to bring you up to date with some of the latest information coming from State and Federal Governments about residential aged care.

In great news, Sydney’s Northern Beaches today was officially taken off the Federal Government’s COVID hotspot list. We are still on alert in parts of Sydney and Brisbane and there are still restrictions in place as below, but thanks to the incredible work of the community we are managing.

Here’s the latest health advice for:

These continue to be updated and, as has been the case throughout the pandemic, some employers have maintained tighter restrictions, so check in with your local manager if you have any questions.

Ending the Pandemic

The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) which regulates vaccines has indicated that it is close to approving a COVID vaccine for the Australian public. While other countries have already started rolling out a vaccine, the TGA has its own separate approval process.

In response, the Federal Government has now published its COVID Vaccine National Rollout Strategy.

You can see a copy of it here:

https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2021/01/australia-s-epidemiology-and-covid-19-vaccine-roadmap-australia-s-covid-19-vaccine-national-rollout-strategy.pdf

The strategy would see health, aged care, and disability workers as part of the first group to receive access to the vaccine, along with residents of aged and disability homes.

There are still some big questions about the strategy which need to be answered. Will a vaccination be mandatory for aged care workers? What does this mean for families and visitors? What does this mean for residents?

I don’t have the answers for these yet, but I wanted to let you know that we have taken these to the Federal Minister for Health and Aged Care Greg Hunt. I want to make sure that you and your colleagues have access to all relevant information when it’s available. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the rollout, email agedcare@hsu.asn.au.

Finally, and as always, I want to thank you for the work you do every day. As we try to bring this pandemic to an end, over the coming months we will also be fighting for a 25% pay rise for aged care workers through our HSU Work Value Case. You and your colleagues have kept our most vulnerable safe and it’s time your work is properly valued.