Coronavirus fact sheet
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory infections. Respiratory infections affect the parts of the body used in breathing: the nose, throat and lungs. The illnesses caused by coronaviruses range from the common cold to more serious illnesses, like COVID-19.
Some coronaviruses cause illness in humans and others cause illness in animals. Rarely, coronaviruses that usually only affect animals change to infect and spread among humans. These new coronaviruses can cause severe disease in humans.
That is what happed with SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19. It started as a coronavirus that infected animals but changed to infect and spread among humans. This also happened with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which emerged in 2002; and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), which emerged in 2012.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources and information for the aged care sector
The COVID-19 Case and outbreak management framework for Tasmanian settings provides regulatory guidelines to RACFs to support their healthcare workers, residents, families and visitors to prepare for, prevent and manage cases and outbreaks of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Plus, the COVID-19 Outbreaks in Residential Aged Care Facilities Toolkit to support planning, preparedness and response is a practical ‘how to’ guide for aged care providers to meet the regulatory requirements.
These documents are updated regularly. Updates are highlighted in yellow throughout the Plan.
Additionally, there is COVID Safe Workplace Guidelines AGED CARE INDUSTRY.
There are several factsheets available for residential aged care providers, staff, workers, visitors and contractors. This information aligns with Tasmanian Government directions and Commonwealth Government recommendations regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) for the residential aged care sector.
- Health and Residential Care Service Standard Operating Procedure for Entry Screening.
- Staff/Visitor Screening Tool for Residential Aged Care Services available at Aged care facility visits | Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) – National aged care guidance – visitation recommended actions by tier.
For information on managing COVID-19 cases in residential aged care facilities, please visit High risk settings | Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
This fact sheet describes the steps you should take in the first 24 hours following the identification of a COVID-19 positive case.
We wish to advise that the Outbreak Management Planning guidance has been published on the Commission’s website. The following link Outbreak management planning in aged care will direct you to the document. The guidance also forms part of the brief of information that has been provided to Ministers Hunt and Colbeck that will be tabled in Parliament in response to the Royal Commission.
PPE stock levels estimator for RACFs
The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC), the Infection Control Expert Group (ICEG) and the Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA), have developed information emphasising the importance of correct PPE usage during a COVID-19 outbreak. While these resources provide valuable information, there is little to assist RACFs in estimating and/or understanding the amount of PPE they should keep on hand in preparation for, or for use in, an outbreak.
The Aged Care Emergency Operations Centre (ACEOC) has developed a PPE Estimator Tool to assist in planning and preparing for a COVID-19 outbreak.
PPE and infection control training for residential aged care workers
Workers are encouraged to complete an online training course before attending face to face training.
The Commonwealth Department of Health has online training for care workers across all health care settings, including aged care. This training covers the fundamentals of infection prevention and control for coronavirus (COVID-19).
Additionally, the Tasmanian DoH has produced a series of short, self-directed educational videos on basic infection prevention and control topics and principles.
These videos are available:
- at eLearning Infection, Protection and Control Series (access external to DoH)
- how to put on and remove PPE safely when using standard and transmission based precautions, these are available at Personal Protective Equipment Demonstration Videos
Resources for residential care
- Have you been outside Tasmania? – Poster.
- Staff and Visitor Screening Tool for Residential Aged Care Facilities available at Aged care facility visits.
- Use of masks by care workers in areas of significant community COVID transmission.
- COVID guidelines for infection prevention and control in residential care facilities.
- COVID outbreaks in Australian residential aged care facilities.
- Newmarch House COVID-19 Outbreak Independent Review.
- St Basil’s and Epping Gardens Aged Fare Facilities Independent Review.
- Dorothy Henderson Lodge COVID-19 Outbreak Independent Review.