Tactile signing

COVID-19 Update

January 2022

Able Australia, like many parts of our community, has been impacted by COVID.

We are closely following Government Health directives at both Federal and State level, while working around the clock to keep our clients safe, taking into consideration both their physical and mental wellbeing. Some services have had to be scaled back at this time.

Given the current COVID outbreak in the community, we have taken the decision to close our Day Services and Community Services in TAS and VIC until further notice. Exemptions have been made on compassionate grounds with all foreseeable measures taken to keep those individuals and our workforce safe. We are monitoring the situation on a daily basis and we will reopen these services when the risk eases.

Where a client is both a Residential and Day Service client, we will continue to support them in the home taking all the necessary precautions to keep them safe and well.

Our workforce is doing an extraordinary job and we thank each and every member of staff for their efforts. Able’s priority is to get everyone – clients, staff, friends and family, safely through the wave of COVID that is currently sweeping the country.

Below you will find more information about Able Australia’s COVID response. If you have any questions or concerns please email feedback@ableaustralia.org.au

COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

FAQs

What is Able Australia doing to keep clients safe?

We developed the COVID-19 Management Plan and setup an Incident Command Centre, which meets daily to monitor and respond to the rapidly changing environment. We have provided ongoing staff training for infection control, audit worker hand hygiene procedure and the donning and removing of PPE.

In addition, a Rapid Response Team has been setup. The Rapid Response Team is a carefully selected team that is on standby until the need arrives if we have a positive COVID case. The team have received comprehensive COVID-19 training, including; correct procedure for applying and removing PPE, disposal of waste, management and procedures if a suspected COVID-19 positive situation arises.

Able has implemented strong infection control policies including;

  • Social Distancing
  • Hand hygiene – as well as conducting audits on this procedure
  • Installed automatic hand sanitisers at all Able sites
  • Increased cleaning of high touch areas
  • N95 and P2 face masks
  • Face shields

In line with the recent announcement of the roll out of the COVID-19 booster vaccination, Able Australia is also currently organising for its clients living in our supported homes to receive their COVID-19 booster vaccination.

Does Able have enough personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff and clients?

Yes, Able has been continuously procuring PPE for staff and clients including;

  • 950,000+ masks for the disability sector.
  • 24 litres of locally sourced hand sanitiser.
  • 400 protective gowns sewn by a team of Able volunteers.
  • 400+ face shields produced in Melbourne.
Does Able have access to Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs)?

Able is doing everything we can to source Rapid Antigen Tests, although like much of the rest of the country is finding, this is proving to be challenging.

Do clients need to wear face masks?

No, clients are not required to wear face masks inside their homes or Able accommodation however, some clients may choose to wear a face mask.

If a client is outside of their residence then they do not have to wear a face mask. Please refer to the mask exception rules for each state and territory:

How can Able clients access a COVID-19 booster vaccination?

Able Australia is currently organising for its clients living in our supported homes to receive their COVID-19 booster vaccination.

How are the clients coping?

Whilst the pandemic has been extremely challenging for our clients, they are in good spirits. The environment has enabled clients to learn how to use assistive technology for the first time. This has been a fantastic opportunity for clients to connect with family and friends outside of their home whilst building their confidence.

Clients are connecting with those in their home and outside via Able’s Zoom baking sessions which have been a hit.

COVID-19 Policies

Download:   Able Australia – Site Entry Policy COVID-19 Pandemic – VIC (for families)

COVID-19 Resources

Download:   Able Australia Coronavirus Response Plan – Summary

Download:   Able Australia Coronavirus Management Plan – Full Plan Version 2.1

Download:   Communication to all clients regarding the Able COVID-19 Response (Plain Language)

Download:   Communication to all clients regarding the Able COVID-19 Response (Easy English)

Download:   NDIS – What is COVID-19? (Easy Read version)

Able in the news

Able Australia has been working hard advocating on behalf of the disability sector since the pandemic began in 2020. Below are just a few examples of our advocacy work.