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Vic COVID-19 Update: Pandemic orders extended

Vic COVID-19 Update: Pandemic orders extended

What you need to know

  • Disability worker vaccine mandates remain in place until 12 October
  • Vaccine mandates have not been revised to include fourth dose requirement
  • Care facility visitor RAT test requirements and masks for workers and visitors remain unchanged
  • Additional risk reduction considerations included to address COVID community transmission
The Victorian Pandemic orders have been extended from Tuesday, 12 July 11.59pm for three months. These include a new public safety order, workplace order and quarantine isolation testing order. Disability providers should note that previous requirements remain in place.

Residential accommodation providers 

  • Face masks to be worn indoors by all workers and visitors (unless exemptions apply)  
  • Visitors to show evidence of negative RAT result on day of visit (previous exemptions still apply).
See Pandemic (Public Safety) Order 2022 (No. 3) for the complete order.

Vaccine mandate for all disability setting workers 

The vaccine mandate has not changed: 
  • ‘Disability Worker’ continues to include all direct and indirect workers, volunteers and contractors within services engaged with people with disability. 
  • Note: ‘Fully vaccinated’ only specifies one booster dose in addition to the initial two COVID vaccination doses.   
See Pandemic (Workplace) Order 2022 (No. 10) for the complete order.

COVID-19 immunity period shortened from 12 to four weeks 

  • If you develop COVID symptoms four weeks or more after having COVID, stay home and get tested.
  • If someone you live with gets COVID less than four weeks after you had COVID you must take a RAT on at least five days of the next seven days. 
See Pandemic (Quarantine Isolation and Testing) Order 2022 (No. 10) for the complete order.

‘Stay Well in Winter’ campaign 

In Victoria, where recorded COVID-19 cases are over 10,000 per day, cases in the disability sector are highest among individuals who are living in the community and not in residential settings. 

In response, the Victorian Government is boosting public health messaging that stresses the importance of vaccinations and antiviral treatments, as well as other preventative actions to reduce the risk of infection transmission.  The Stay Well in Winter campaign will run across TV, radio, outdoor and digital channels. 

Risk management in facilities 

Given the high incidence of COVID-19 transmission in the community, combined with winter influenza and other seasonal infections, organisations should consider additional considerations for risk management. 

The following list picks up on the additional risk management strategies: 
  • Outbreak preparation and plan monitoring including appropriate PPE COVID-19 outbreak supply for immediate use as needed  
  • Prompt reporting of COVID positive cases and outbreaks to initiate early LPHU support. See DFFH community services sector report an outbreak for guidance
  • Clear communication to workers and participants and their families regarding COVID and influenza symptoms, testing, reporting internally for exposure tracking and recovery isolation   
  • Improved ventilation actions including ensuring natural air flow is occurring and use of HEPA filters if possible
  • Implementing organisational requirements for worker mask wearing indoors where social distancing cannot be maintained (where pandemic order requirements are not already in place)  
  • Reviewing working from home options as appropriate to reduce exposure. 


Article Sourced from National Disability Services