At Australian Unity, our biggest priority is the health, safety and wellbeing of our customers and our people who care for them.
We are actively monitoring the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) public health situation in Australia and are acting on all advice from federal and state governments.
While the situation is developing rapidly and changing daily, please rest assured that we have systems in place to respond to any outbreaks that affect our business and are taking all precautionary measures. Some of these include:
- Additional training for personal protective equipment, infection control and hand hygiene for all customer facing staff
- Securing additional essential equipment, including fast distribution throughout our branch network
- technology to support service delivery
We have shared clear guidance and communication to our teams that they must not come to work if they are experiencing any flu-like symptoms (such as fever, cough, sore throat and shortness of breath) or have had close or casual contact with someone who has been confirmed as having COVID-19 or close contact with someone currently being tested for COVID-19.
If you think you have symptoms, phone the Australian Government’s Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080 or your GP who will be able to provide you with further advice. Please also call your local Aboriginal Home Care branch to let them know.
We will continue to wear the correct personal protective equipment (PPE) based on government and medical advice – so you can rest assured that we are taking all possible precautionary measures.
We will continue to closely monitor all relevant advice and advise you if anything changes.
If you have any questions, please contact your local Aboriginal Home Care branch team. Thank you for your support and understanding.
Advice from the Australian and NSW Government
24 March 2020
The NSW Minister for Health and Medical Research has issued public health orders to manage the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). While this will affect certain ‘non-essential’ activities and businesses such as pubs and restaurants, it will not impact your Aboriginal Home Care service as it is considered an ‘essential service’.
We know from statements made by government that ‘essential services’ includes homecare for those who are elderly and have a disability. This means that we expect to continue delivering these services to our customers, and will let you know if anything changes.
Current advice from the Australian Government Chief Medical Officer states there is no need for care workers, or the public, to wear masks if you don’t have any symptoms.
What does this mean for Aboriginal Home Care Customers?
What if I think I have symptoms?
Please seek medical advice urgently, put on a face mask and avoid close contact with anyone for 14 days, or until you have been cleared by your doctor or other health professional. Please then call your local Australian Unity Aboriginal Home Care branch. Aboriginal Medical Services, GPs, community health workers and emergency departments in Australia have been provided with updated advice and guidance on how to diagnose and manage this condition.
What is Australian Unity doing about the coronavirus to protect employees and customers?
Our pandemic management teams have been working on making sure we’re as ready as possible to respond to COVID-19 related issues. We are acting daily to monitor and address the situation, including being informed by State and Australian Government public health advice.
As an organisation that supports customers in the community and their homes, it is important that we are well across this issue. Many of the people we care for are our older members of the community, and those who suffer respiratory conditions, who are at higher risk. The Australian Government has identified that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people may be at greater risk due to the higher levels of chronic disease experienced in this community.
Therefore, it is critical to follow careful hygiene measures and to access medical treatment if you or your loved ones show any symptoms of COVID-19.
Additional training for care workers?
All frontline staff will undertake additional training for PPE, infection control and hand hygiene.
How is Australian Unity communicating with customers about coronavirus?
We'll be keeping customers up to date by phone, through our website, in our Flourish magazine and information alerts as inserts in their monthly billing. We will also work on a flyer for care workers to leave with customers during their service.
The Australian Government Coronavirus Health Information Line can also answer questions about COVID-19 - please call 1800 020 080. It is now open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
For more information from Australian Unity about symptoms and protecting yourself with hygiene please visit australianunity.com.au/about-us/covid-19