Alert from the Director of Public Health for residential aged care providers
This COVID-19 alert updates the alert provided on 13 October 2022.
Updated Aged Care Toolkit and Guidance documents
The Tasmanian definition of a COVID-19 outbreak in residential aged care has changed to align with the National Guidelines to ‘two resident cases in 72 hours’.
Previously the Tasmanian COVID-19 outbreak definition for residential aged care facilities was two or more resident cases in 5 days OR five or more cases (staff/residents/visitors) in 7 days.
An updated Toolkit for the management of outbreaks of COVID-19 and other acute respiratory infections in residential aged care facilities, and an updated Guidance document for managing COVID-19 in residential aged care, are now available.
Together these documents are intended to provide residential aged care facilities with guidance on what to do in response to a COVID-19 case or outbreak in their facility as well as inform ongoing prevention and preparedness activities for future cases and outbreaks.
The latest versions of these documents highlight there is no requirement to report single cases of COVID-19 to Public Health. Advice and support can still be accessed from the Aged Care Emergency Operations Centre and Public Health if needed and outbreaks once identified should still be reported.
Public Health and the Aged Care Emergency Operations Centre will continue to provide ongoing support to residential aged care facilities if they need to discuss a case, outbreak, or any other COVID-19 related concerns.
Isolation of cases
Mandatory isolation of cases is no longer required but is still strongly recommended. Resident cases should ideally isolate away from others for 7 days from their positive test date and until their symptoms have significantly improved.
Staff cases are strongly recommended to not attend the residential aged care facility until 7 days after they test positive.
What to do
- Download the updated Toolkit and Guidance documents.
- Continue to monitor all residents and arrange testing if they develop any COVID-19 symptoms.
- It is recommended to continue to screen all visitors and staff to ensure they do not have any COVID-19 symptoms or have recently been released from isolation.
- Stay up to date with important community updates – check www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au regularly.
- Get in touch with the Aged Care Emergency Operations Centre via email at [email protected] if you have any questions.
- Call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 and ask for the PHEOC Clinical Nurse Consultant on call for any urgent queries.
- ATAGI recommend a winter dose (second booster) of COVID-19 vaccine, four months after a booster, for those at risk, those aged 65 years and over and those that are immunocompromised or are residents of aged or disability care.
- Latest information about COVID-19 vaccination is available at www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au/vaccine or call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.
- Details on boosters can be found at www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au/vaccination-information/covid-19-vaccination/boosters-and-third-primary-doses
- Ensure your work is set up to reduce risk of transmission events occurring through the use of physical distancing, personal protective equipment, hand hygiene and ventilation.
Thank you for your contributions to the Tasmanian COVID-19 response.