New daily staff health attestation requirements
The Victorian government has introduced requirements for the staff of disability residential services (as well as aged care and health services) to make daily attestations. From 4 September, staff must confirm that they are well, symptom-free, and not a known close contact of COVID-19 positive cases before commencing their shift. This initiative is in response to the increasing rates of COVID-19 infections acquired within work settings.
The guidance, available on the DHHS Coronavirus webpage applies to all disability residential services including:
- disability group homes
- disability respite houses and short-term accommodation and assistance houses
- services delivered in Specialist Disability Accommodation
- services delivered in Specialist Forensic Disability Accommodation.
Like all Victorians, disability residential support workers must stay home if unwell. Support is available to reduce any financial disadvantage to staff as a result of having to isolate as a confirmed case, isolate while waiting for test results, quarantine as a close contact or being restricted in the number of services at which they can work.
Disability residential service providers should implement daily attestations that staff are symptom-free prior to commencing a shift or day's work. These can be either verbal or written. Disability service providers are responsible for incorporating and recording an attestation of COVID-19 symptom status into their daily worker health checks.
The set of questions for verbal and written attestations should be consistent with the DHHS case definition and guidance.
The daily attestation process will be in place until 31 December 2020.