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.
- COVID-19 - Changes to Federal Office operations
- ANMF Victorian Branch - Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice and information
- NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) - Latest Guidelines for Nurses: COVID 19
- Queensland Nurses and Midwives' Union (QNMU) - COVID-19 information for members
- ANMF (SA Branch) - COVID-19 updates and resources
- ANMF Tasmanian Branch - COVID-19 resources and news
- Mental Health Support
- Aged Care
- Online Training and Education
ANMF COVID-19 Resources
Resources are being developed and regularly revised by the ANMF Federal Office National Policy Research Unit covering essential information for nurses and midwives on how best to manage practice during COVID-19.
- ANMF COVID-19 Resources - How do the COVID-19 vaccines work?, Safety and reactogenicity of COVID-19 vaccines, COVID-19 vaccines: contraindications and precautionary advice.
- ANMF COVID-19 Evidence Briefs
ANMF COVID-19 Response Guidelines
- Guideline #1 - ANMF Priorities for Nursing Workforce Surge Strategies and Principles for Redeployment of Registered Nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia
- Guideline #2 - ANMF Priorities for Midwife Workforce Surge Strategies and Principles for Redeployment of Midwives during the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia
- Guideline #3 - ANMF Principles for Safe and Compassionate Entry into Nursing Homes
ANMF Information/Fact Sheets
- Retention Bonus Information Sheet (Updated 19 November) Specific information on the Aged Care Workforce Retention Bonus: $234.9m will be dispersed as payments to eligible workers in residential care and home care during COVID-19 to help retain them in the workforce. The third payment will be paid in January 2021. The value of the third payment will be equal to the second payment, unless a variation to funding is requested.
- Aged Care Support Information Sheet (Updated 1 December) Direct support measures announced by Federal Government for aged care providers including key points for aged care workers and a summary of information from the Federal Government. The 1 December update includes the Federal Government's announcement of an additional $132.2m as part of its response to the Aged Care Royal Commission’s recommendations on COVID-19.
Surge Workforce Fact Sheets
- COVID-19 Response Fact Sheet #1 - Pandemic Response Sub-Register
- COVID-19 Response Fact Sheet #2 - Upskilling for Registered Nurses in Critical Care
- COVID-19 Response Fact Sheet #3 - Refresher Programs for Nurses and Midwives
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.
- COVID-19 updates from AHPRA
- Pandemic response sub-register
- COVID-19 frequently asked questions
- COVID-19 health workforce
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.
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.
- Head to Health
- Digital and telephone support for mental health during COVID-19
- Beyond Blue COVID Mental Wellbeing Support Service
- Mind Your Head campaign
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.
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Caring for your mental wellbeing
- Help when you need it – supporting your mental health
- Other campaign resources
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.
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) – frequently asked questions
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources for health professionals, including aged care providers, pathology providers and healthcare managers
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.
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance on use of personal protective equipment (PPE) in non-inpatient health care settings, during the COVID-19 outbreak
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Identifying the symptoms
- Face masks: How they protect you and when to use them
- Help when you need it – supporting your mental health
.Updated online information for aged care during COVID-19
The Department of Health have recently 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
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.
- Australian Capital Territory
- New South Wales
- Northern Territory
- South Australia
- Western Australia
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
As a part of the second COVID-19 supplement, residential aged care providers are required to put in place an infection prevention and control (IPC) lead. Nominated IPC leads should now be undertaking specialist IPC training (if not previously completed) in order to complete this by 28 February 2021. Providers are strongly encouraged to support their nominated IPC lead to meet this deadline.
Residential aged care providers were required to report their IPC leads to the Department in December 2020 through the My Aged Care Provider Portal. Providers can continue to update this information in the portal to reflect any changes to nominated leads and/or progression through the training. The Department of Health will be contacting providers who have yet to report or misreported.
- Infection prevention and control leads
- Letter for approved providers from the Secretary of the Department of Health
- Letter to National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care (NATSIFAC) providers about infection prevention and control leads
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.
- National aged care guidance – aged care visitation guidelines
- Industry Code for Visiting Residential Aged Care Homes during COVID-19
NSW Health has updated its advice for Residential Aged Care Facilities and Home Care Service providers as at 21 January 2021.
Updated Queensland directions for aged care providers and visitors - Queensland Health has issued Aged Care Direction No.22 which came into effect from 1am on 22 January 2021.
Guidance for aged care facilities dealing with COVID-19 in Victoria
The Victorian Aged Care Response Centre (VACRC) has developed a number of resources and guidance for aged care facilities dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19. Resources include factsheets on establishing and maintaining ongoing communications with residents, nominated representatives, families and staff in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak and a contact details template.
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 NSW and Victoria, 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.
- Living Well in the COVID-19 Pandemic
- COVID-19 Action Plan
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Help for older Australians
Support for aged care workers in COVID-19 grant
The Support for Aged Care Workers in COVID-19 (SACWIC) Grant Opportunity is designed to minimise the risk of infection to aged care workers, residents and other consumers of aged care services. The Grant Opportunity was initially available to providers located in, or with staff located in, Greater Melbourne and Mitchell Shire until 26 October 2020. The Government has now agreed to further extend the grant period to 30 November 2020.
Approved providers can apply for funding up until 30 June 2021 to cover the costs of supporting eligible workers during the period to 30 November 2020:
- who normally work at multiple residential aged care facilities, but will be working solely at the facility being applied for
- who are not to work because they have been experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, have been diagnosed as COVID-19 positive, require testing or are subject to self-isolation or quarantine requirements
- to undertake training in the event a skills gap arises from where existing workers are not to work due to experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or are subject to self-isolation or quarantine requirements.
You can view the Grant Opportunity and documentation at Support for Aged Care Workers in COVID-19 (GO4215) Program.
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.
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) – six steps to stop the spread for aged care workers
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) – six steps to stop the spread for aged care residents
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) – six steps to stop the spread for families and visitors
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.
- COVID-19 and the Commonwealth Home Support Programme – information for clients, families and carers
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for permanent aged care residents – emergency leave
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for workers in residential aged care facilities
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for older Australians
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Restrictions on entry into and visitors to aged care facilities
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidelines for infection prevention and control in residential care facilities
- It’s ok to have home care - information sheet for older people who may have an aged care worker visiting them at home
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.
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.
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 Webinars
Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has created significant uncertainty in Australia, especially in aged care. There is a lot of fear surrounding COVID-19, and the situation is moving rapidly. The Australian Government has recently imposed new restrictions on aged care visitation, and some providers have introduced further measures to ensure the spread of COVID-19 is contained. OPAN recognises the importance of access to clear, accurate information during this time.
COVID-19 Vaccine Webinar and Q&A
The Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) hosted a webinar on 4 February to discuss COVID-19 vaccination and provide information to help senior Australians make an informed decision about being vaccinated.
You can watch and share the webinar replay from the OPAN website.
You can watch the previous COVID-19 Special Edition Webinars here.
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.
- Coronavirus video – Older Australians
- Coronavirus video – Social distancing
- Coronavirus video - Help Stop The Spread
- Coronavirus video - Recent Traveller
- Coronavirus video - Good Hygiene Starts Here
- Coronavirus video - Stay Informed
Healthcare worker education session: Skin Care and healthcare workers during times of Covid-19 - Masks, sanitisers and rashes
Saturday 27th February 9-12.30pm
The team at the Occupational Dermatology Research and Education Centre, have put together a comprehensive program for nurses and healthcare workers to address skin care concerns that may have arisen during the Covid-19 pandemic. The topics will focus on rashes related to masks and hand dermatitis. This event will run via Zoom on and will be suitable for all nurses, infection control and hand hygiene personnel. Registration to attend the Zoom session: https://www.skinhealthinstitute.org.au/
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.
ACTU Fact Sheets
- Workplace FAQs - Workplace Rights
- Psychological Health and Safety at Work
- Temporary Early Access to Superannuation
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
- Budget fails to deliver real investment in nursing, midwifery and aged care | 7th October
- Aged care staffing recommendations don’t go far enough | 2nd October
- Urgent action needed now in aged care - ANMF and AMA say Care Can't Wait | 25th September
- Government must implement ANMF’s aged care action plan | 13th August
- It's time to show aged care workers genuine respect | 7th August
- ANMF calls for paid pandemic leave for all aged care workers | 4th August 2020
- Government breaks another promise to aged care workers | 9th June 2020
- Aged care workers' inspiring efforts to keep older Australians safe despite the challenges of COVID-19 | 8th May 2020
- Aged care funding injection must guarantee the safety of all nursing home residents | 1st May 2020
- ANMF Welcomes Government’s Guarantee for Private Hospitals | 31st March 2020
- ANMF calls on the community to stay home to stop spread of COVID-19 | 23rd March 2020
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities must be protected from COVID-19 pandemic | 19th March 2020
- Nursing students are only one solution in responding to COVID-19 pandemic | 18th March 2020
- ANMF calls for immediate stop on all non-essential visits to nursing homes | 18th March 2020
- Federal Government needs to be clear on strategies to prevent spread of COVID-19 | 16th March 2020
- ANMF calls on Government to protect nursing home residents and staff | 4th March 2020
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.
Simple steps to stop the spread
Good Hygiene is in your hands
Recently Travelled Overseas?