News • 25 Jan 2022

Supporting our clients during COVID-19

Open Minds remains committed to supporting our clients, particularly through the current COVID-19 Omicron wave and rise in case numbers. Our clients receiving essential supports in a way that is sustainable and as safe as possible continues to be our priority.

Open Minds continues to implement measures to ensure we continue to safely support our clients. We have expanded the capacity and scope of our Emergency Response Team and COVID Hotline service. This is to increase our capacity to identify and support any staff or clients who are close contacts or have tested positive to COVID-19, and allow us to manage our rosters to reduce impact on services and reduce risk to clients and staff.

Other measures, in addition to those already in place, include:

  • All staff who work directly with customers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Closely monitoring staff availability across all services and redeploying staff where required.
  • Increasing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements for client-facing staff at household-like environments to greatly reduce risk of infection and spread and enabling more staff to safely remain on roster.
  • Engaging pathology providers to attend accommodation services for client testing, where appropriate.
  • Supporting clients and staff where possible to access Rapid Antigen Tests if Queensland Health and New South Wales testing services are not available within appropriate timeframes.
  • Providing additional in-home care and support for clients who are close contacts or test positive to COVID-19. This incorporates increasing cleaning and personal care measures, monitoring health indicators and ensuring access to medical care, and amending support options and activities to reduce the impact of isolation from the community.

Vaccination booster shots are now recommended for everyone who received a second dose at least three months ago. Take a look on the Department of Health website to find a local clinic and book your appointment. 

If you have any questions about how Open Minds is supporting our clients during this time, call our Customer Service team on 1300 673 664, or email us at [email protected]. For enquiries specific to COVID-19, please call our COVID Hotline on 0435 003 865

Other support available

Open Minds is determined to provide additional support to our clients wherever possible. Whether it’s adapting community access programs, assisting clients to access COVID-19 vaccinations or boosters, or supporting clients to maintain their health and wellbeing – we are here to help.

There are also a range of resources available from government agencies and other organisations, we hope you find the following information helpful.

Services Australia resources
The Services Australia website has information on financial and wellbeing support resources, including applying for Centrelink payments and accessing counselling services. Visit  www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/getting-help-during-coronavirus-covid-19 for more information.

NDIS 
The NDIS has collated a wide range of resources to support you during the pandemic, with specific resources and information for people with disability. This includes how to access additional COVID-19 support in your NDIS plan, and links to other resources. www.ndis.gov.au/coronavirus/participants-coronavirus-covid-19

Disability Gateway (previously the Disability Information Helpline)
Information and resources people with disability, their families and carers who need help because of COVID-19: www.disabilitygateway.gov.au/coronavirus

State Government 
The Queensland and New South Wales Governments have information and resources on their website specifically for people with disability and their support networks, including FAQs, videos and links to other resources:
Queensland: www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/information-for/people-with-disability-and-carers/pwd 
New South Wales: www.health.nsw.gov.au/disability/covid-19/Pages/default.aspx 

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