Alert from the Director of Public Health for disability residential settings
This COVID-19 alert updates the alert provided on 13 October 2022.
Tasmania COVID-19 Risk Level raised to Moderate
On Friday 25 November the COVID-19 Risk Level in Tasmania was raised to Moderate as the state continues to experience increases in COVID-19 cases and hospital admissions.
Rising case numbers are being experienced in in all areas of the state. The rise is likely due to a combination of factors, including decline in immunity after vaccination or infection, and the emergence of new variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2).
When the risk level is Moderate, it is important high-risk settings, including Disability Residential Settings, take additional precautions to protect those that are at risk of severe disease. It is recommended facilities:
- Review your Work Health and Safety Plan, including your COVID-19 risk assessment and identify any additional measures that may be needed to protect residents and staff.
- Screen all staff and visitors for symptoms of COVID-19
- Staff who test positive to COVID-19 should not attend the workplace for 7 days
- Staff or visitors who are identified as contacts of a case of COVID-19 and must attend the premises should be required to provide a negative RAT before entering the facility
- All staff and visitors should be required to wear a mask while in the facility
- Maximise ventilation.
- Review your case and outbreak management plan
- Ensure anyone with symptoms is isolated from others and tested for COVID-19
- Ensure plans are in place for eligible residents who test positive to COVID-19 to access antiviral treatments
- Identify and manage outbreaks quickly to minimise risk to others
- Ensure all staff are aware of infection, prevention and control processes when dealing with positive cases.
These controls will then make up your COVID-19 Safety Plan. COVID-19 Safety Plans should also be reviewed to help ensure the safety of staff, patients, and visitors.
For more information about workplace risk assessments and COVID-19 Safety Plans visit Create your COVID-19 Safety Plan.
When the risk level is Moderate, we all need to do more to protect ourselves and others from illness
Public Health recommends:
- wearing a facemask in crowded indoor spaces, on public transport, and when visiting people who may be at risk of severe illness
- staying home and get tested if you have any cold or flu symptoms, no matter how mild
- do not visit high risk settings if you have cold or flu symptoms, including hospitals (unless in need of care), aged care or disability care settings
- do not visit family members or friends who may be at higher risk if they have cold or flu symptoms
- workplaces should review their measures and plans to protect staff and visitors.
For more information visit Managing the current COVID-19 risk
Remaining up to date with vaccination remains the best protection against severe disease. Eligible people can receive the booster dose three months after their first booster or three months after being infected with COVID-19 if the infection occurred since the last dose. Ensure all residents and staff have had all eligible doses.
Access to free COVID-19 vaccinations is available through in reach services and through participating GPs, pharmacies, GP respiratory clinics and Aboriginal Health Services (ACCHS). Find a vaccine provider and book an appointment.
Thank you for your ongoing support.
Dr Julie Graham
Deputy Director of Public Health
Public Health Emergency Operations Centre