HomeCovid NewsNational COVID-19 Update: Latest advice on reporting cases with holiday links and contacts

National COVID-19 Update: Latest advice on reporting cases with holiday links and contacts

National COVID-19 Update: Latest advice on reporting cases with holiday links and contacts

What you need to know

Risk Management Actions

NDIS and government health authorities strongly recommend that people who test positive for COVID-19 (with or without symptoms) should isolate for a minimum of 5 days. For those working or living in settings with people who are immune-compromised, a minimum of 7 days is recommended. To reduce the risk of infection transmission during the holiday season, mask wearing, social distancing, hand hygiene and increasing ventilation or taking activities outdoors are strongly recommended. 

Ventilation guidance for disability providers  

The importance of ventilation has been highlighted by the Australian Health Principal Protection Committee for consideration during this time of increased COVID-19 transmission. The Department of Social Services have practical advice for disability providers to assist with reducing COVID-19 transmission and improving ventilation in indoor workplaces. This information supports employer risk management responsibilities.   

Eligible NDIS participants can obtain a portable air purifier to improve air quality in living areas and help to ensure continuity of support. 

RAT transport in summer  

RAT supplies must be stored according to the manufacturer's instructions, especially away from extreme heat or cold.  

Workers transporting RATS in vehicles during the summer should keep them in an insulated container and away from direct sunlight. 

PCR changes from 1 January to access private pathology clinics  

PCR tests from private pathology clinics will require a referral from a GP or Nurse Practitioner from 1 January 2023. If properly referred, the test will be free of charge. 

You can still get PCR tests at GP-lead Respiratory Clinics and state or territory-run testing centres, which give priority to at-risk groups.  

Workers or individuals unable to get to their local GP for a PCR tests referral should contact the Australian Government Coronavirus hotline on 1800 020 080  (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). 

COVID-19 prevention, reporting and management   

Reporting to the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission  

On identifying a COVID-19 positive worker or person with disability, registered providers should still complete the NDIS Commission’s notification of event form.  

NDIS Commission offices will close from 12.30pm on 23 December 2022 until 3 January 2023.  

The contact centre will operate over the Christmas and New Year period, excluding public holidays. Contact 1800 035 544 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

State and territory reporting and management links 

RAT positive results of workers and people with disability should be reported to the State and territory governments according to local recommendations.    

Reporting RATs will link you to COVID response pathways, including antiviral assessments and treatments. All direct care workers should understand the importance of reporting positive RAT results for themselves and those they support. This includes workers on leave. 

Commonwealth COVID-19 management and resources 

The list of Australian Government resources below will help you review COVID-Safe plans with support workers. Maintaining infection control practices and procedures are vital during COVID outbreaks.  

NDS support  

Webinar and resources:  Moving forward with COVID-19 risk mitigation 

A national NDS webinar held on 24 November focused on the COVID-19 risk mitigation obligations for providers. With state and territory requirements no longer in place, speakers from the Australian Department of Health, Holman Webb Lawyers, and WorkPlace PLUS discussed ongoing COVID needs, considerations for worker vaccination and isolation, and how to develop these in line with health and safety obligations and Fair Work Commission guidance. The webinar presentation, Q and A summary and recording are available on the NDS website

Online course: Maintaining safe and effective infection control in disability settings 

With COVID still a concern, a new NDS and Health Education Collaborative online course shows how to reduce infection risks and transmission. Informed by over 300 sector managers and workers, the course dives deeply into the infection control knowledge needed by disability workers. This online course for direct care workers builds their capabilities in infection prevention and risk management.  

This course complements e-learning programs on the NDS learning and development platform and government department websites.  There is a sliding scale of fees, which you can discuss with NDS and HEC staff by enquiring through the webpage. NDS Member agencies can also access a significant cost reduction by purchasing bulk user access with SCORM file that is available on their LMS.    

Article sourced from National Disability Services