DCP is following the advice issued by SA Health and the federal Department of Health.
Remember: most people displaying symptoms such as a fever, cough, sore throat or tiredness are likely suffering with a cold or other respiratory illness – not coronavirus.
The online carer platform has information for family-based carers about what to do if a child or carer is sick.
SA Health has also produced a decision-making flow chart that outlines when and how to seek medical attention.
Family and non-family-based carers can consent to routine medical treatment, such as visiting the GP. The child or young person’s case manager should be contacted immediately if:
- the child is referred for coronavirus testing
- their carer is diagnosed with coronavirus
- someone else with close contact with the child is diagnosed with coronavirus.
SA Health has confirmed that children and young people in care who are diagnosed with coronavirus will be hospitalised as a first step. SA Health will provide advice regarding any other people in the home or facility, and information about any contact tracing or further isolation that needs to occur.
Staff should use SA Health’s decision-making flow chart to decide when and how to seek medical attention.
In line with advice from SA Health and the Department of Health, anyone being tested for coronavirus should be directed away from the workplace until the results of their test is confirmed.
If coronavirus is confirmed, you will need to work with SA Health regarding contact tracing and further isolation requirements. It is worth keeping your contract manager in-the-loop if this occurs.
The Department of Health has produced a fact sheet with information for employers.
Managing coronavirus cases in residential facilities is very important, with children and staff living in close contact and staff members rotating through the facility.
If a case is confirmed, DCP and the residential care service provider (where applicable) will work closely with SA Health on what is required. This may include contact tracing, isolation of staff, cleaning the facility, isolation of children and young people and safety measures for additional staff who enter the facility to care for the children.
Within DCP, we prepared a service delivery plan with more guidance on this topic, and have alternative housing options ready if we need to temporarily empty a facility for forensic cleaning.
If a carer is diagnosed with coronavirus, they should immediately notify the child’s case worker.
The department has procedures in place for when a carer is unwell and unable to continue their caring duties because of their symptoms.
Such scenarios will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis and may include plans such as respite or alternative placements.
The Australian Government has made changes to telehealth eligibility to help protect the most vulnerable members of our health care workforce, while allowing them to continue to provide much needed medical care and advice to their patients.
You can find out more about these changes on the Department of Health’s website.
Discussions and concerns around the coronavirus outbreak and practising self-isolation can be stressful and impact our mental health and wellbeing. Many existing mental health service providers are providing information and support for COVID-19. The Department of Health’s Head to Health website is a good place to start.