As a leading provider of essential services, Open Minds is committed to providing safe and high quality supports to our clients at all times.
We are continuing to monitor the developing situation surrounding the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic in Australia. We have a team of professionals meeting regularly to respond to emerging information.
We want to reassure you that the health and safety of our clients and staff is of utmost importance and we are doing everything we can to be proactive, prepared, and to work with the health authorities to prevent, detect, and contain the spread of the virus.
The situation and guidelines with regard to containment recommendations for COVID-19 are evolving and changing daily so we at Open Minds continue to be vigilant and are monitoring the situation closely
Importantly, as far as possible it is business as usual for our team supporting clients across our service areas in QLD and NNSW. Although this may change in the future, by drawing on our value of curiosity we will think and act differently to continue to support client physical and mental well-being, and to meet their goals in whatever ways we can.
To promote the safety of our clients and staff, and to reduce the spread of COVID-19, we are taking the following approaches:
For Clients, their Carers and Stakeholders:
- Continuing essential services to support all our clients according to their needs and goals, and especially those vulnerable to this virus.
- Ensuring all clients have appropriate medication available in case of isolation.
- Supporting clients to stock their pantries with essential items.
- Exploring innovative ways of providing services and maintaining relationships – this may include new activities, different locations, catching up over the phone, meeting other support workers, or safely supporting clients who must self-isolate.
- Observing high standards of handwashing, personal hygiene and cough etiquette.
- Implementing deep cleaning and, where appropriate, social distancing protocols.
- Asking clients of our headspace clinics at Taringa, Redcliffe and Strathpine, and our psychology practice at Morayfield not to attend if they have symptoms or have recently returned from a hotspot or overseas, and to utilise our Online Mental Health Support capabilities.
- Sharing Australian Government advice and guidance regarding COVID-19, and working with authorities to support our clients and staff to stay safe, well and informed.
- Ensuring our staff have the latest information relating to the vaccine rollout so that they can support clients, their carers and stakeholders to understand the COVID-19 vaccine and when they might be eligible to receive it.
- Informing our staff regularly with updates on COVID-19 and how they can keep themselves and our clients safe and well.
- Mandating that masks are worn in all common areas and where 1.5m social distancing cannot be maintained.
- Providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to be used where a client is symptomatic, diagnosed with COVID-19 or 1.5m social distancing cannot be maintained.
- Subsidising flu vaccinations for staff.
- Offering “work from home” options for staff where possible.
- Keeping our staff well informed about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout to ensure that everyone is aware of eligibility during each phase and make an informed decision about getting the vaccine.
Open Minds staff have been asked to be aware of their own health and not come to work if unwell, no matter how mild their symptoms may appear.
Staff must not attend work if they have:
- Travelled or returned from overseas as they must isolate in a quarantine hotel for 14 days from arriving back into Australia
- Travelled or returned from a mandated hotspot as they must isolate for 14 days after being in the hotspot location
- Been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus in the last 14 days (they must isolate themselves for 14 days after the date of last contact with the confirmed case)
- Have been in a reported contact tracing location; or
- Been formally instructed to self-isolate by health service providers or regulatory authorities for other reasons.
Hygiene and cleanliness
Personal hygiene recommendations have been reinforced with all clients and employees, including:
• cleaning hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rubs
• covering your nose and mouth with a tissue or flexed elbow when coughing or sneezing
• avoiding contact with anyone who has symptoms such as fever, a cough, sore throat, fatigue, and shortness of breath
• staying home if you are unwell
If you have been overseas or in a mandated hotspot area in Australia over the last 14 days and are feeling unwell, contact your GP or call 13HEALTH (13 43 25 84).
Where can I stay up to date with current information?
Why is social distancing important?
When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets which may contain the virus.
If you breathe these in, you may become infected.
- Maintain 1.5 metre distance from those around you
- Avoid visiting crowded places like shopping centres and restaurants
- Avoid crowds and mass gatherings where it is difficult to keep the appropriate distance away from others
- Avoid small gatherings in enclosed spaces, for example family celebrations
- Avoid shaking hands, hugging, or kissing other people
- Avoid visiting vulnerable people, such as those in aged care facilities or hospitals, infants, or people with compromised immune systems due to illness or medical treatment
- Always remember to practice good hygiene at this time such as washing hands regularly, especially before meals
- Don't touch your face with your hands
- Rethink any travel plans in accordance with smart traveller alerts.