Coronavirus Update — Copy

Tuesday 28 July 2020

Good afternoon all,

Please find the following information providing staff with an update on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Border Restrictions:

The additional tightening of the Victorian / NSW border (effective from Wednesday 22 July) has created further challenges for our participants and staff. This includes the issue of some front-line / corporate office staff being unable to enter NSW, due to their home residences being located outside of the redefined Border Zone.

To that end, we have been actively lobbying with relevant politicians, the National Disability Insurance Agency, and local media outlets to resolve these ongoing matters. I remain optimistic that we will receive a favourable response in the near future, so our staff can continue to provide support to people in need to live fulfilled lives.

Nonetheless, staff should now be fully aware of the redefined Border Zone, and that entry to New South Wales from Victoria is restricted, and exemptions for NSW residents travelling from the Victorian side of the Border Zone have been limited further.

The entire board zone map is available here: https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-07/entire-border-zone-covid-19-nsw-border-entry-permit.pdf

At this time, we strongly recommend that local residents do not travel outside this Border Zone.

Staff are reminded to regularly check updated governmental COVID-19 guidelines and health advice from Service NSW https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/ and NSW Government https://www.nsw.gov.au; particularly on any changes to COVID-19 travel restrictions. Importantly, staff who do travel to a known COVID-19 ‘hot spot’, or an area with increasing COVID-19 cases, will be required to seek COVID-19 testing and will not be able to work until a negative test result has been confirmed. This conservative approach is being taken for the health the safety and wellbeing of all Mercy Connect’s participants and staff.

Our Mercy Connect COVID-19 Safety Plan (attached) (please see your personal / work email) has also been updated, which we recommend staff print out and have available to present if requested by the Border Zone inspectors.

Pandemic Restrictions:

We are continuing to assess our disability programs during the pandemic.

Please note the following updates for Albury and Orange-based services:

Albury 

  • Day Program activities continue within participant homes.
  • Families and guardians are still able to visit outside the home.
  • Participants are still able to have day-only outings with family members / guardians.

Orange

  • Day program has returned to the Central West Office, but will return to participant homes if required.
  • Families and guardians are still able to visit outside the home.
  • Participants are still able to have day-only outings with family members / guardians.

Finally, please remember that the confidential AccessEAP service is available to any staff seeking support or help: 1800 818 728.

This remains a difficult period of time for all our participants and staff, however I remain confident that we will get through this together.

Together we grow.

Trent Dean
Chief Executive Officer