Health advice for service providers
Please monitor the NSW Government website for the latest COVID-19 health advice.
This page provides general advice on how to protect yourself, your staff and the community against COVID-19.
On this page:
- Measures to put in place to prevent COVID-19
- What to do if a staff member or a client is suspected of having COVID-19
- What to do if staff or clients have been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19
- What to do if there’s a confirmed COVID-19 case of a client or staff member
- What to do if a staff member has recovered from COVID-19 and wants to return to work
- What to do if a staff member has been exposed to a COVID-19 case
- How to self-isolate at home
- What to do if you feel unwell
Measures to put in place to prevent COVID-19
Practising these simple measures recommended by NSW Health can significantly reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. These are the same measures we recommend for DCJ frontline staff.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, or use a sanitiser that is at least 60% alcohol
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue and immediately dispose of the tissue
- Avoid touching your face and avoid direct contact with others (e.g. shaking hands or hugging)
- Routinely clean surfaces as follows:
- clean frequently touched surfaces with detergent and disinfectant
- clean general surfaces and fittings when visibly soiled and immediately after any spillage.
- When in a car, increase the amount of fresh air by opening windows or adjusting air conditioning.
- Limit food handling and shared food in the workplace.
- Practise social distancing (physical space from others), including:
- use technology such as FaceTime, Skype or phone calls where possible
- defer or cancel non-essential face to face meetings
- maintain a 1.5m distance from other people and avoid crowded places
- avoid using common areas.
See the NSW public health advice for more information.
What to do if a staff member or a client is suspected of having COVID-19
Any one who finds themselves with COVID-19 symptoms should take a COVID-19 test. NSW Health is prioritising certain groups for PCR tests and you should read the advice as to which COVID-19 test you should get.
Those at higher risk of severe illness such as those aged over 60, pregnant women, Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Pacific Islander people aged 35 and over, people aged 18 or over who are unvaccinated, some people with a disability and those with chronic health conditions should take a PCR test at a testing clinic. Check the guide to see which COVID-19 test you should get.
Otherwise take a rapid antigen test (RAT).
Anyone who has recorded a positive RAT or PCR test for COVID-19 must self-isolate and follow NSW Health advice.
You also need to report a positive RAT test result through Service NSW.
If staff absences disrupts your staffing levels and/or service delivery, please contact your DCJ contract manager to discuss what options are available.
If your team member has a negative COVID-19 test result, they are unlikely to have COVID-19. If they’re feeling sick from something else, they must stay away from work until they have recovered, but otherwise they may return to their duties.
If your team member is suspected of having COVID-19 but they’re unable to be tested, they must stay away from work and self-isolate as they would for any illness.
Regardless of the results, the cleaning protocols from NSW Health are the same. If someone is presenting as unwell, you should complete a thorough cleaning of contact areas with a disinfecting detergent.
What to do if staff or clients have been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19
NSW Health advice regarding close contact is that you should assess your risk of exposure and take a rapid antigen test immediately if you show symptoms.
What to do if there’s a confirmed COVID-19 case of a client or staff member
If a client or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, either through a PCR test or a rapid antigen test, they must self-isolate and follow NSW Health advice.
They should follow the advice from NSW Health regarding managing COVID-19 safely at home.
If they test positive through a RAT test they should notify the result via ServiceNSW, so they can be linked to important health care support and advice based on your COVID-19 risk.
If a worker tests positive and has been in the workplace they should be advised to return home, all areas used by the person should be cleaned and disinfected and businesses should assess how much contact the worker has had with others to determine if anyone has high or moderate risk exposure.
They should follow the NSW Health advice on information for people exposed to COVID-19.
Service providers should follow the advice for businesses with a worker who tests positive for COVID-19.
If a staff member is hospitalised or dies as a result of contracting COVID-19 while at work, you must notify SafeWork NSW.
If the measures recommended by NSW Health will disrupt service provision, please urgently contact your DCJ contract manager to discuss an appropriate response. As an example, they may recommend moving client/s or reconfiguring services.
What to do if a staff member has recovered from COVID-19 and wants to return to work
Staff should follow the NSW Health advice on returning to work.
What to do if a staff member has been exposed to a COVID-19 case
If your team member is a household contact and lives with someone who has COVID-19 they must self-isolate in accordance with NSW Health advice. If they were exposed to someone outside the household they should assess their risk using the risk assessment table from NSW Health and follow that specific advice.
How to self-isolate at home
If you have concerns about a client or staff member not following the advice of NSW Health, please contact your local Public Health Unit on 1300 066 055 for advice.
Self-isolation rules are enforceable under the Public Health (COVID-19 Self-Isolation) Order. Not following these rules is also a criminal offence and attracts heavy penalties. You can find out more about this on the NSW Health website on penalties for not self-isolating as directed.
Not following these rules is also a criminal offence and attracts heavy penalties.
- For individuals, the maximum court imposable penalty is $11,000, or imprisonment for 6 months, or both with a further $5,500 for each day the offence continues.
- For corporations, on-the-spot fines of $10,000 apply for failure to comply with obligations relating to self-isolation.
What to do if you feel unwell
If you’re seriously unwell and it’s an emergency, call triple zero (000) immediately.