NSW COVID-19 update: Restrictions eased in the community, but guidelines for disability services remain
What you need to know
- The NSW Government has announced changes to isolation requirements for household and close contacts from 22 April
- NSW Health guidance for disability settings has not changed and providers should continue to follow advice provided by the Chief Health Officer
The NSW Government has announced changes to isolation requirements for household and close contacts from 6pm on Friday, 22 April. Household and close contacts will no longer need to isolate providing that they comply with a number of guidelines for 7 days after the person in their household tested positive.
Guidelines include not visiting disability (and other) facilities unless an exemption applies, wearing a face mask indoors, daily RAT tests before leaving home and working from home where practical. Close contacts are still required to notify their employer.
NSW Health has advised that disability service providers should continue to follow existing advice and that the changes to isolation requirements do not apply:
- Visitor restrictions will continue in disability residential care settings. Residents can have up to two visitors a day who have been fully vaccinated and who have not been exposed to COVID
- Face masks will remain in disability residential facilities and are strongly encouraged across community (eg day program) and in-home settings
- Generally, staff and participants should not attend day based services if they have had a high-risk exposure to COVID-19
- Providers should continue to assess the risk presented by staff, residents, visitors and participants who have been exposed to COVID-19 using the matrix [pdf] provided by NSW Health
Vaccination requirements remain for aged care and disability staff but will no longer be mandated via public health orders for critical staff. Providers are reminded that NSW Health has issued an exemption for boosters for staff under certain conditions.
Critical workers (which did not include disability workers) will no longer need to apply for an exemption from isolation requirements, however, any workplace risk management measures implemented by individual organisations will need to be observed.
NDS will continue to work with NSW Health to explore the implications of this advice and to ensure that information and guidance is clear.
Providers should also continue to check the NSW Health website as information and guidance can change quickly.
Resources and Links
- Booster vaccinations including accessible vaccination clinics
- NSW Health COVID-19 Disability Service Providers webpage
- For Providers - COVID-19 | NDIS website
- Australian Government Department of Health - Disability provider Alerts
- Australian Government Department of Health - Providing disability support services during COVID-19
- NDS COVID-19 hub for information and resources including PPE