To DAS participants, families and friends

As you know, there is ongoing and growing concern about the spread of COVID-19, also known as Coronavirus.

This is impacting on us here at DAS and as a disability support service, we have very specific vulnerabilities. These include:

  • We support many people with supressed or vulnerable immune systems
  • Many of our services happen in group settings
  • Our clients’ support needs make social distancing difficult to implement
  • Our clients may have multiple visitors in their home
  • Our clients may not understand the risks and additional hygiene measures required
  • Our clients may be dependent on others for basic activities of daily living
  • Our clients may not have suitable support and/or accommodation contingencies available to them.

While none of this means we need to panic, it does mean we need to respond responsibly in line with government and medical advice and begin planning for a potential worsening of the situation. We urge you to stay vigilant.

Please CANCEL support if you are showing signs of a runny nose, sore throat, cough, fever or difficulty breathing or have recently returned from overseas. Please also maintain appropriate hygiene practices.

What is DAS doing to create a safe environment?

  • We have required all staff to complete extra infection control training.
  • We will continue to provide support in the community (unless advice changes).
  • We will avoid any activities that place people in close proximity to others for extended periods such as concerts and movies theatres.
  • We are allowing any possible services (such as Coordination of Support) to use phone and skype as a mean to continue to support their clients.
  • We have cancelled all onsite meetings and video/teleconferencing will be utilised instead.
  • Our staff will also not attend non-essential meetings or training at external sites.
  • Staff or clients who have returned from any overseas travel will be excluded from the service for 14 days, and will require medical clearance before returning.
  • Staff or clients displaying any symptoms of Coronavirus, will be isolated until they can be cleared of the virus and will require medical clearance before returning.
  • We have attached some easy read information to this email which may be of use.

If you are concerned that you or your loved one may be infected:

  • The national 24/7 hotline triages people with respiratory symptoms and those who are concerned about contact with a possible Coronavirus case. If you think you may be infected you can call the triage hotline on 1800 020 080.
  • Suspected Coronavirus patients can present in person to a GP clinic, a dedicated respiratory clinic or to a hospital ED if they call ahead.
  • Please notify us ASAP.

What are the next steps?

We are meeting regularly to discuss the current health advice and the impact on our service.

  • As always, you should feel free to call your coordinator or Russ/Aidan if you have any concerns about your family member or the service.
  • We will be continuing to monitor the information provided by the government to ensure the best response in keeping people safe and infection free.
  • We need to acknowledge that at some point, this may mean our service will need to close. We are working on contingency planning to reduce the impact on our clients and staff.
  • We will keep you informed and provide as much lead-time possible if this is looking likely.