Take Action

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information for Members

The ANMF is providing support and advice to any members seeking information regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). ANMF members are fortunate to have an understanding of infection control principles through their education and the accreditation standards by which their health facilities are measured. The community will be looking to nurses, midwives and personal carers to provide guidance and reassurance.


ANMF COVID-19 Resources

Resources including evidence briefs are being developed and regularly revised by the ANMF Federal Office National Policy Research Unit covering essential information for nurses and midwives during COVID-19.

ANMF COVID-19 Response Guidelines

ANMF Information/Fact Sheets

  • Retention Bonus Information Sheet (Updated 19 November) Specific information on the Aged Care Workforce Retention Bonus.
  • Aged Care Support Information Sheet (Updated 1 December) Direct support measures announced by the Federal Government for aged care providers including key points for aged care workers and a summary of the Federal Government information.

Surge Workforce Fact Sheets


COVID-19 Vaccination Information

The latest news and information about COVID-19 vaccines in Australia from the Department of Health: COVID-19 vaccines information hub

State information about the COVID-19 vaccine

The Australian Aged Care Collaboration –  Vaccination Implementation Principles

Aged care providers and unions are strong supporters of vaccination and immunisation, including COVID-19 vaccination. We understand how important it is that workers, and the vulnerable people they care for are afforded the protection that vaccination offers. We have therefore been committed to working cooperatively with the Government since the commencement of the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out to ensure its success. We remain committed to working cooperatively with the Government to achieve high rates of vaccination across the community, most particularly in high-risk sectors such as aged care.

Information for residential aged care workers about COVID-19 vaccines

This video explains the importance of COVID-19 vaccination for residential aged care and disability workers. Annie Butler, Federal Secretary of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation and Professor (Practice) Alison McMillan, Commonwealth Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer guide you through what the vaccination program means for you and how you can access a COVID-19 vaccine.

Mandatory COVID-19 vaccination in residential aged care

From 17 September 2021, COVID-19 vaccination will be mandatory for all residential aged care workers. Residential aged care workers will be required to have received a minimum first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by this time.  It will be a condition of working in a residential aged care facility through shared state, territory and Commonwealth authorities and compliance measures.

State and territory public health orders and directions

Priority access for residential aged care workers

New South Wales

Aged Care workers are invited to book a priority appointment at your closest vaccination centre. Keep up to date with the latest information on the NSW Health website - Authorised worker priority appointments.

Please see the Invitation for authorised workers in affected Local Government Areas and vaccination poster for aged care workers to book a priority appointment at their closest vaccination centre and share these with your aged care colleagues.

Australian Capital Territory

Residential aged care workers have priority access at ACT Vaccination clinics. Book your appointment by calling the booking line on 02 5124 7700 (7am to 7pm daily). Identify yourself as an aged care worker. You’ll be asked to confirm your employment to be prioritised for an appointment. All residential aged care workers are eligible for priority access, including those without a Medicare card and those who hold an immigration visa.

Victoria

The Victorian Government website provides information about the local 1a and 1b vaccine rollout to hotel quarantine workers, nurses, personal care workers and midwives. The Pfizer vaccine is available for all nurses, midwives and personal care workers - regardless of age - at Victorian Government vaccine hubs.

To make a booking - Read the information about the booking process and the vaccines on the Victorian Government website.
then
Make an online booking via the Victorian Government’s website – the booking system allows you to access appointments as part of a priority group.
or
Call the Victorian Government Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398 and tell the hotline operator you are part of the health care worker or aged care worker priority group.

South Australia

From 17 September 2021, all RACF staff, contractors and volunteers are required to have received at least one dose of a TGA approved COVID-19 vaccine and have evidence of a booking to receive, or have received, a second dose. The Information for Residential Aged Care Facilities fact sheet has been updated to cover some of the more specific questions that have been raised by the sector.

RACF staff, contractors and volunteers can receive their COVID-19 vaccine at any of the South Australian vaccination sites. To ensure priority access to COVID-19 vaccination, additional vaccination clinics for all RACF staff, contractors and volunteers have been set up, including:

When attending your appointment, you must complete a declaration of eligibility to verify that you are currently employed or contracted to work or volunteer at a RACF. All RACF staff are eligible, including health practitioners, personal care workers, kitchen staff, cleaners and administrative staff. For more information please visit the SA Health website and read the FAQs.

Queensland

All aged care workers are encouraged to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as a priority. To support the aged care sector, the Queensland Government is taking a more active role in the vaccination of residential aged care workers. The Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is now available to all Phase 1a and 1b frontline workers in Queensland regardless of age via Queensland Health vaccination clinics. This includes residential aged care workers.

Residential aged care workers are able to walk in to any Queensland Health (QH) vaccination location to be vaccinated. If unable to be accommodated for Pfizer vaccination on the day they walk in to a QH vaccination location, they will be booked for the next available appointment.


Information for nurses wanting to assist during the COVID-19 pandemic

Individuals wanting to come back to assist during the COVID-19 pandemic or those in the workforce wanting to access information should visit the AHPRA website and their COVID-19 updates page. Information about the pandemic response sub-register is available on the Pandemic sub-register page.

Telehealth guidance for practitioners

Registered health practitioners are playing a vital role in treating and containing the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. This is an unprecedented situation and we know you are working hard to keep people safe in a demanding and fast-changing environment. AHPRA and the National Boards have developed the following information which outlines their expectations of how registered health practitioners will use telehealth in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Mental Health Support

While the pandemic has changed so much about the way we live and work, maintaining good mental health is very important. There are a range of resources available to to help support individual's mental health and wellbeing during this pandemic.

COVID-19 mental health campaign - ‘How’s your head today?'

The national COVID-19 mental health campaign aims to help Australians experiencing mental health impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic by helping them to:

  • make their mental wellbeing a priority
  • recognise the signs of poor mental health
  • know where they can get help if they aren’t feeling like themselves
  • seek support when they need it.

Department of Health coronavirus (COVID-19) information and resources

Find out how the Department of Health are monitoring and responding to the outbreak, how you can help slow the spread of COVID-19 in Australia, and what to do if you have symptoms. | Coronavirus (COVID-19) health alert

Updates, information and resources about coronavirus (COVID-19) are available on the Department of Health website.

Guidance on use of PPE

An information sheet with advice on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) in non-inpatient health care settings, during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Resources

Aged Care

Support for Aged Care Workers in COVID-19

The Support for Aged Care Workers in COVID-19 (SACWIC) Grant Opportunity is designed to support eligible aged care providers located in hotspots or high risk locations with eligible costs associated with implementing Single Site working arrangements. The SACWIC grant opportunity remains open until 31 December 2021.

To apply or find out more information about this grant visit the GrantConnect website and search for GO4215 and search for Support for Aged Care Workers in COVID-19.

If you need assistance please phone 02 6289 5600 or email Grant.ATM@health.gov.au.

Aged Care COVID-19 grief and trauma response

The Department of Health is continuing to create resources to help share information about the grief and trauma supports for those living, working and caring in the aged care sector, who have been impacted by COVID-19.

The grief and trauma support and advice services are available Australia-wide. Many people may be suffering grief and loss from the passing of a loved one because of COVID-19, or feeling the loss of their routines, visitors and important events. People may also be experiencing trauma as a response to isolation, physical distancing, COVID-19 hotspot lockdowns, and visitor restrictions in aged care.

These downloadable brochure and poster below outline the grief and trauma support services available for those living, working and caring in the aged care sector, who have been impacted by COVID-19. The intended audience includes aged care residents, home care recipients; their families, friends, family of choice, loved ones, community visitors and representatives; and aged care staff.

Webinar - Trauma-informed practice in aged care: Wellbeing and self care strategies for staff

Phoenix Australia is one of the organisations delivering trauma support to the aged care sector in the Aged Care COVID-19 Grief and Trauma Response Package. On 16 June they hosted a free webinar that explored wellbeing and self-care strategies for aged care staff who may have experienced trauma in the course of their work or are caring for people who have experienced trauma.

Updated online information for aged care during COVID-19

The Department of Health have published updated and improved COVID-19 advice for aged care providers, aged care workers and people who receive residential or home care on their website. Information includes:

  • The National COVID-19 Aged Care Plan
  • How to prepare for and respond to a COVID-19 outbreak
  • Advice for older people, carers, workers and services
  • Visitor restrictions

View the Advice on aged care during COVID-19 page.

PPE usage and sourcing

Consistently and safely wearing PPE is an essential measure to protect your health, and the health of the older Australians in your care. All aged care workers and providers are reminded of the need to ensure you are consistently following Commonwealth guidance, and state and territory government requirements and directions on PPE use. Depending on the incidence of COVID-19 in individual jurisdictions and localised areas within jurisdictions, states and territories may implement more stringent requirements on when to use PPE. It is important you remain up to date with the latest Commonwealth guidance and state/territory requirements.

If you urgently need PPE and cannot source it please submit an online application. The Commonwealth is prioritising requests for PPE from the National Medical Stockpile to aged care services that are most in need.

Residential and in home aged care services across Australia who are in a priority category can request surgical masks and P2/N95 respirator masks from the National Medical Stockpile. Requests for other PPE, will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and prioritised where there is an outbreak in a residential aged care facility.

Infection prevention and control leads in aged care facilities

All residential aged care facilities must have an ongoing dedicated infection prevention and control (IPC) lead on site. Facilities are required to have an IPC lead to ensure they are prepared to prevent and respond to infectious diseases. Approved providers need to report the details of their IPC leads for each facility through the My Aged Care provider portal. Providers should ensure that information reported through the My Aged Care provider portal is updated when changes occur and kept up to date.

Updated aged care visitation guidelines for residential aged care

Visitation guidelines for aged care are being updated to better protect senior Australians and those who care for them as the nation returns to COVID-normal. Concurrently, Visitation Guidelines during COVID-19 have also been released. The Visitation Guidelines align with the Industry Code which was also updated on 20 November 2020, to reflect the ‘three-tier’ model of escalation and de-escalation.

State advice for Residential Aged Care Facilities and Home Care Service providers

National Aged Care Emergency Response Program

The Commonwealth Department of Health has partnered with the aged care industry to develop the National Aged Care Emergency Response (NACER) Program. The initiative mobilises aged care staff from areas across Australia not experiencing community transmission, to assist in caring for people in aged care facilities impacted by COVID-19. While the initial focus is on supporting Victoria, it is a national program that can be expanded where and when it is needed.

Living well in the COVID-19 pandemic

As restrictions are easing at different rates in States, older Australians are reminded to take a risk based approach to social outings. It is recommended that older Australians consider their own risk factors, along with the number of COVID-19 cases in their area, and assess what activities are important to them and how much risk those activities carry. Resources are available to support these decisions.

Older persons COVID-19 support line

The Older Persons COVID-19 Support Line has been set up to provide information, support and connection for older Australians during the period of social distancing measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. COTA Australia, National Seniors, Dementia Australia and the Older Person’s Advocacy Network have banded together to deliver this service, supported by funding from the Australian Government.

In November, the Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, Richard Colbeck announced a $2.5 million investment to extend and expand the Older Persons COVID-19 Support Line until 30 June 2021 to ensure senior Australians get the services and assistance they need during COVID-19.

Older Australians, their families, friends and carers can FREECALL 1800 171 866 if they:

  • would like to talk with someone about the COVID-19 restrictions and its impact on them
  • are feeling lonely or are worried about a loved one
  • are caring for someone and need some information or a listening ear
  • need help with questions or concerns about residential aged care, visitation or home care services
  • need help to access new care services or essential supplies such as shopping
  • are concerned about themselves, a friend or family member living with dementia
  • would like to arrange a one-off or regular wellbeing check for themselves, or someone else.

Home care service providers can also use the number and dial option 1 to refer home care clients who would like a call from an independent organisation to check on their wellbeing.

Six Steps to Stop the Spread

The ‘Six Steps to Stop the Spread’ resource is available to remind aged care workers, families and visitors of the simple things they can do to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks in residential aged care facilities.

Information Sheets - These information sheets explain the six steps that aged care workers, aged care residents and families and visitors can follow to stop the spread and keep safe.

Supporting older Australians

This poster provides ways we can support older Australians through coronavirus (COVID-19).

Providing aged care services during COVID-19 - Resources and advice for aged care providers and workers who deliver services in residential aged care and in-home care settings. Find out when you must not go to work, getting coronavirus (COVID-19) testing, identifying symptoms in older people, and protecting yourself and the people you care for. View page on the Department of Health website here.

Reminder - notify the Commonwealth

All aged care service providers are reminded that you must immediately notify the Commonwealth Department of Health of any COVID-19 cases among residents and staff. Email the Department of Health at agedcareCOVIDcases@health.gov.au.

This notification is essential for the activation of Commonwealth support including rapid access to PPE from the National Medical Stockpile, case management, surge workforce support and supplementary pathology testing. This notification to the Department of Health is in addition to notifying your Public Health Unit.

For more information on COVID-19 outbreak preparedness and management, refer to the CDNA National Guidelines.

Reminder - Prepare your communications

Residential Aged Care Facilities are being reminded of the need to have up-to-date contact details for the authorised representative of each resident living within the facility.

As a part of your ongoing preparedness to manage a potential case of COVID-19, it is important that correct contact details, including a mobile telephone number and email address, are held for the primary contact of each resident. These details should be readily available to facilitate prompt and regular communication with residents’ families in the instance of a COVID-19 case being linked to the facility.

It is recommended you contact all authorised representatives to ensure the contact details you hold are appropriate, and to remind them that they will be the primary contact should the facility need to communicate with families about a COVID-19 case or outbreak. Authorised representatives should be encouraged to share the information they receive directly from providers about their loved one’s health and wellbeing with wider family and friends.


COVIDSafe APP

The COVIDSafe app is now available and is completely voluntary. Downloading the app is something you can do to protect you, your family and friends and save the lives of other Australians. The more Australians connect to the COVIDSafe app, the quicker we can find the virus. More information about the app can be found on the Department’s website here.


Online Training and Education

ANMF Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Online
All nurses and midwives can demonstrate leadership in infection prevention and control. Make sure you are delivering best practice using your knowledge, skill and judgment with this core competency. Our Infection Control and Prevention course is free to all ANMF members and is worth 5 hours of CPD towards your registration.

When should hand hygiene be performed? What are the correct techniques across different settings? Our Hand Hygiene course is free to all ANMF members and is worth 2 hours of CPD.

Access both courses through our new-look Continuing Professional Education portal.

Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) - COVID-19 Vaccine Webinars
The Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) have hosted COVID-19 vaccine webinars to discuss COVID-19 vaccination, provide information to help senior Australians make an informed decision about being vaccinated and to discuss the vaccine rollout to older Australians, aged care residents and the aged care workforce.

You can watch and share the webinars from the OPAN website at the links below.

You can watch the other OPAN COVID-19 Special Edition Webinars here.

Aged Care - Trauma Awareness Training
Phoenix Australia is one of the organisations delivering trauma support to the aged care sector under the Aged Care COVID-19 grief and trauma response package. They are creating a trauma informed care framework for aged care, including training for aged care staff. Their introductory module Trauma awareness training is available now. It takes around 45 minutes, and you can complete the training as an individual, in a group, or download into your organisations LMS. This course aims to help you learn more about the simple things that you can do to help improve the quality of life of older people affected by trauma, while also supporting your own wellbeing.

To access the free Trauma awareness training: Visit the workforce page on the Phoenix Australia Trauma and Aged Care Support and Information hub.

Department of Health e-Learning Modules
Five modules are available for completion as part of the Department of Health’s eLearning program for Aged Care workers. The training includes Personal Safety, Families and Visitors, Outbreak Management and PPE. Click here to register and access the training modules.

COVID-19 infection control training
This 30-minute online training module is for health care workers in all settings. It covers the fundamentals of infection prevention and control for COVID-19. Find out more and register here.

Educational Videos


COVID-19: Frequently asked questions

Answers to some of the most frequently asked questions from clinicians including Epidemiological FAQs, Clinical Care FAQs, Public Health FAQs and information for practices and patients.


COVID-19 (coronavirus) scams

Unfortunately, scammers are taking advantage of the spread of coronavirus to exploit and play on the fears of consumers across Australia. | Read more


ANMF Media Releases relating to COVID-19


Help stop the spread and stay healthy

A national campaign has launched to inform all Australians about the coronavirus (COVID-19). The campaign aims to reduce the risk to individuals and families by enabling them to make informed decisions and to take up health recommendations. Video and radio material is available here and print ads are available below.

Print Ads:

Simple steps to stop the spread

Download

Good Hygiene is in your hands

Download

Recently Travelled Overseas?

Download