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Vic COVID-19 Update: Pandemic orders extended, third dose mandate and residential visitor changes

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What you need to know

  • Pandemic declaration for Victoria will be extended an additional three months from 12 January
  • Third dose of vaccination is now mandated for previously identified Victorian workers with deadline timeframe for completion to continue working outside of normal residence
  • Visitors to residential disability settings will be required to show evidence of a negative RAT result before entering, or COVID-19 vaccination status
  • NDS is currently in discussion with State and Commonwealth Governments to alleviate pressures arising from furlough, PPE supply delays, and RAT access

The Victorian Government will bring Pandemic Orders into effect from midnight 12 January and will remain in effect for three months. This extension, and the requirements identified, aim at  keeping Victorians safe and reduce the spread of Omicron.

Third dose vaccination mandated

Disability workers eligible now or before January 12 for their third dose of a COVID-19 vaccination must receive it by 12 February to continue working outside of home.

Workers who are not eligible for their third dose yet will need to have it within three months and two weeks of their eligible date in order to meet the mandate requirement.

Workers must provide evidence to their employer they have received a third dose of vaccination in order to remain working outside of home.

The mandate does not apply to any individual who has a medical exemption to COVID-19 vaccination.

Providers are required to record sighting evidence of workers' third dose vaccination for compliance with the mandate.

Disability residential visitor restrictions

All visitors to a residential disability setting, prior to entry, must provide one of the following pieces of evidence:
  • Two doses of COVID-19 vaccination as indicated on Service Victoria check-in system, or a hard copy immunisation certificate or record
  • Or a negative Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) result

Reporting RAT results

In response to sector enquires, providers are requested to inform all workers of the requirement to complete the RAT report online form for positive results or to call the Victorian Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398.  

This also applies to disability residents completing a RAT test. Workers may need to support residents with completion of this report as needed.Completion of report initiates identification with COVID-19 positive pathway supports and financial assistance options where eligible. This is additional to existing requirements for provider COVID-19 positive case notifications.

NDS will provide a news update when Pandemic Orders are updated and DFFH factsheets are posted.

NDS sector advocacy

NDS has been discussing urgent sector needs with State and Commonwealth Governments over the last two weeks, highlighting the immediate impacts on workforce and participants arising from the Omicron outbreak.

These requests include:
  • Reductions in COVID-19 isolation for worker close contacts with negative RAT results, if asymptomatic
  • Access to funded and priority RAT supplies and PCR testing when needed
  • Access to, and funding for, priority PPE supplies for infection prevention and COVID-19 positive environments
  • COVID-19 resources and testing priority be applied to all direct care workers and not limited to residential accommodation
  • Accessible and appropriately trained workforce supply for urgent continuity of services
  • Concerns with asymptomatic residents continually being identified as a close contact when workers in the residence test positive
  • Priority access to third and fourth vaccine doses for immunocompromised people, including immediate in-reach vaccination to participants and workers in residential settings

Current advocacy includes direct contact with Commonwealth and State ministers for Disability and Health.

NDS January COVID update sessions

Living with COVID-19: Information sharing and collaboration series
14 January, 12pm to 1pm AEDT
NDS is restarting Victorian provider meetings in response to the current outbreak needs.

Safer and Stronger: COVID 19 check-in
12 January at 2.30pm to 3.30pm AEDT
NDS is hosting a national webinar, which will focus on the current COVID needs, supports and emerging issues that can be taken up with Governments.

Contact information

For any enquiries, please contact Heather McMinn, Disability Sector Consultant, submit enquiry/feedback, show phone number