What is COVID-19 (coronavirus)?
Coronavirus is similar to a common flu and can be spread to other people very easily. Everyone is talking about it because for some people with poor health or for older people, it can make them very sick. For most people who get it, they will have flue like symptoms and recover well like any common flu, however it it important to not spread any germs.
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 daily 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 and Redcliffe, and our psychology practice at Morayfield not to attend if they have symptoms or have recently returned from overseas.
- 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.
- Informing our staff regularly with updates on COVID-19 and how they can keep themselves and our clients safe and well.
- Providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) where a client is symptomatic or diagnosed with COVID-19.
- Subsidising flu vaccinations for staff when they become available.
- Offering “work from home” options for staff where possible.
Open Minds staff have also been asked to be aware of their own health and not come to work if unwell.
Staff must not attend work if they have:
• Traveled or returned from overseas as they must isolate themselves for 14 days from arriving back into Australia
• 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); 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 in 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 approx 1.5 metre distance from those around you.
- Maintain 1.5 metre distance from those around you
- Do not visit crowded places like shopping centres and restaurants
- avoiding crowds and mass gatherings where it is difficult to keep the appropriate distance away from others
- avoiding small gatherings in enclosed spaces, for example family celebrations
- avoiding shaking hands, hugging, or kissing other people
- avoiding 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
- Dont touch your face with your hands
- Rethink any travel plans in accordance with smart traveller alerts