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Vic COVID-19: Disability fact sheets and vaccination updates

What you need to know

  • Disability residential and non-residential fact sheets have been updated
  • Updated vaccination options
  • Pfizer booster shots available for everyone 18 years and over who received COVID vaccinations more than six months ago
The Department of Families Fairness and Housing (DFFH) has updated the fact sheets which explain requirements for the disability sector under the latest Directions, which will end on 19 November.

The fact sheets dated 5 November are now available for community and non-residential disability services, as well as community services covered by the Care Facilities Directions.  They can be accessed and downloaded in Word from DFFH website.

Disability residential services

Changes for residential disability services covered by care facilities include:
  • Recommendation that all visitors and residents are fully vaccinated
  • Worker, contractor and visitor QR check-in and screening must be maintained for all regardless of the length of time on site
In addition, DFFH has informed NDS that temperature checks are no longer required.

A new personal protective equipment (PPE) requirement for all residential disability services is that it is acceptable to temporarily remove masks if essential to support communication with a non-COVID positive resident.

The remainder of the PPE requirements are as follows.
  • Residents are not required to wear a face mask in their home
  • Workers, contractors, and volunteers must:
    • wear surgical face masks and eye protection (face shields are preferred) when supporting COVID-19 negative residents. Masks can be removed temporarily if essential to support communication with a non-COVID positive resident
    • Use P2/N95 respirators, eye protection (face shields are preferred), disposable gloves, disposable fluid-repellent gowns and hand hygiene for all suspected (low- and high-risk) and confirmed cases

Community and non-residential disability services

Disability day services providers operating from community facilities, as defined in the Open Premises Directions, can support unvaccinated people with the following requirements:
  • Services can only be provided in person if they are essential to mental and physical health or safety of the individual and phone or remote options are not appropriate
  • Services to be provided using density limit of one person per four square metres indoors and outdoors with a maximum of 30 people for all spaces, excluding workers
  • Providers should avoid contact between vaccinated and unvaccinated people unless they are from the same household

Disability day programs operating from provider-owned facilities can operate with the following requirements:

  • Day programs may operate as an essential service, including for residents of disability residential services
  • A density limit of one person to two square metres indoors and outdoors, excluding workers
  • Services can be delivered to all people with disabilities and providers should strongly encourage all participants to be fully vaccinated
  • Services cannot be refused if the participant has a lawful vaccination exemption
  • Unvaccinated participants can receive services where it is practicable to do so safely however contact between vaccinated and unvaccinated people should be avoided unless they are from the same household
Workers, contractors, and volunteers must continue to wear a surgical mask indoors, and outdoors at all times if unable to physically distance. Masks can now be removed temporarily if essential to support communication with a non-COVID positive individual.

Vaccination options for people with disability and workers

COVID booster vaccinations are available for everyone 18 or older who received their second COVID-19 vaccination more than six months ago.

Further information about vaccination, as well as booster doses and third primary doses (for severely immunocompromised people), is available at vic.gov.au

Disability Liaison Officers can offer support with information about vaccinations concerns and arrange vaccinations to suit individual needs. 

Workers who are aware of any individual with a disability who is not vaccinated, but is willing to have a discussion with someone, can request DLO support for the person by completing the DLO Request Form.

People with disability or special requirements can get their COVID-19 vaccinations through nine sites with enhanced access for people with disability

There are also pop-up vaccination sites for people who require additional support.

Location and booking information is available here: Vaccine information for people with a disability or special requirements | Coronavirus Victoria

Useful Links

Article sourced from National Disability Services