News • 23 Mar 2020

Open Minds COVID-19 Updates

Open Minds COVID-19 Updates

The health and safety of our clients and employees are of the highest importance to us. As such, Open Minds is treating COVID-19 as a top priority and is taking all possible steps to reduce the risks to our clients, their families, our employees and the wider community. We have a Business Continuity Team and Plan. The Team meet daily, to ensure service delivery is maintained and planning for next phases are continually planned for.

Advice for staff, clients and families

    Last updated: 21 March 2020

    From Monday 23rd March, we will begin transitioning our teams to become a mobile workforce and limit physical meetings, as much as possible. 

    This is in line with the advice from the Department of Health on Social Distancing and the importance of reducing the possibility of exposure and the spread of COVID-19. 

    We are working to limit any attendance at our Hubs and very soon they will not be attended by staff.  If you have any meetings scheduled at one of our locations, please reach out to your contact.

    Our response

    Last updated: 17 March 2020

    To ensure that our clients are as safe as possible, we are:

    •    Supporting clients to identify medication needs’ Ensuring all clients have at least two weeks medication available in case of isolation.
    •    Stocking pantries with essential items (particularly important for any specific dietary requirements, such as allergies or intolerances).
    •    Advising Support Workers of Woolworths opening hours between 7-8am daily for priority supplies for people with disability
    •    Restricting non-essential staff travel.
    •    Regularly sharing Australian Governments’ advice and guidance on travel restrictions, self-isolation and what to do if you have been exposed to COVID-19.
    •    Increase awareness around personal hygiene, handwashing and general cleaning practices.
    •    Actively supervising our clients and supported employees to ensure hands are properly washed regularly.
    •    Reviewing the need for face to face meetings and restricting group activities.

    If we have a confirmed case of COVID-19

    If a confirmed case of COVID-19 were to occur at an Open Minds hub or accommodation site, we would continue to adhere to the guidelines set by the Department of Health.

    Our emergency response plan for this situation includes:

    •    The person will be isolated for 14 days if COVID-19 is suspected.

    Where there is a confirmed case, our emergency plans and infection control procedure will be enacted. This includes:

    •    Identifying which Open Minds clients or employees the person has been in contact with.
    •    Notifying the relevant Government departments and authorities.
    •    Deep cleaning the hub, site or accommodation site.
    •    Providing any necessary safety equipment.
    •    We will arrange for family members or carers to keep in touch with the client or staff member.

    Advice for families and clients

    Last updated: 16 March 2020

    As the health and safety of our clients and employees is our most important priority, we ask everyone, whether they are staff or clients, to please stay at home if they are feeling unwell.

    If you are unwell with a fever, cold, cough or have difficulty breathing, it’s important to please seek medical advice immediately. You will require a medical clearance prior to returning to work.

    Families, carers and clients can call the Coronavirus hotline on 1800 020 080 or call your local GP. They will advise you on your next steps.

    Advice for visitors

    Last updated: 16 March 2020

    We have restricted all non-essential visitors to all sites and accommodation sites in order to protect clients and reduce the spread of COVID-19. Please contact your support worker, care leader, team leader or Open Minds contact for questions or concerns.

    If you need to visit a site or accommodation site, please remember the following:

    •    Cough or sneeze into your elbow.
    •    Wash your hands regularly with soap or hand sanitiser.
    •    Avoid shaking hands or unnecessary touching.
    •    Avoid touching your face.
    •    Wash your hands before and after eating, going to the toilet, smoking and contact anyone.
    •    Stay at home if you are unwell.

    We have resources available for clients on safe hygiene practices, including a VIDEO: How to wash your hands.

    Please do not visit any Open Minds hubs if

    •    You have returned from any country outside Australia in the last 14 days. Please do not enter any of our sites until you have completed 14 days of self-quarantine.
    •    You have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
    •    You have any signs of illness, like fever, a cough, sore throat, tiredness or shortness of breath.

    Important numbers

    •    Coronavirus Hotline: 1800 020 080
    •    QLD Department of Health: 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84)
    •    NSW Department of Health: 1800 022 222