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 during 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 completed self-isolation after close contact with 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.
- You must stay at home unless you’re going to:
- work (when you can’t work remotely)
- school or an educational institution
- shop for food and essentials
- get medical care or supplies
See the NSW public health orders for more information.
- 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.
What to do if a staff member or a client is suspected of having COVID-19
Contact the local Public Health Unit by calling the state-wide number: 1300 066 055. Explain the situation including if the person has been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 or travelled overseas recently.
The person who is suspected of having COVID-19 must self-isolate and follow NSW Health advice for a suspected case until the results are known.
If this 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 coronavirus. 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
A person must self-isolate for 14 days from the time they were in close contact with anyone confirmed to have COVID-19. They must stay at home, except when seeking medical care.
Please tell your staff and clients to notify medical providers before they seek medical care.
There’s no need to panic. Even if there is a confirmed case, only close contacts are required to self-isolate.
Visit NSW Health’s website for more detailed advice about the difference between:
What to do if there’s a confirmed COVID-19 case of a client or staff member
If NSW Health confirms that a person has COVID-19, the local Public Health Unit will be in contact with any close contacts of the person to advise them on what action to take.
If a staff member was infectious while at work, you must also notify SafeWork NSW. You can also make contact with the Public Health Unit directly to make sure that contact details are available in all units or facilities.
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
Public Health will release people from home isolation when they’ve met the following conditions:
- asymptomatic people have been self-isolated for 10 days post-testing
- people with mild illness have been self-isolated for a minimum of 10 days after symptom onset and 72 hours (3 days) after their last symptoms
- people working in locations that involve residential care, a correctional facility or youth detention workers must record a negative swab before returning to work.
Once the team member has been released by Public Health, they’re safe to return to work.
What to do if a staff member has completed self-isolation after close contact with a COVID-19 case
If your team member was a close contact of a confirmed case, but experienced no symptoms and didn’t test positive for COVID-19 during their 14-day self-isolation, they’re ready to return to work. There is no need for them to provide proof of a negative test swab.
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.
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, the maximum court imposable penalty is $55,000 with a further $27,500 for each day the offence continues.
What to do if you feel unwell
If you develop any of the COVID-19 symptoms, please consider the following:
- If you’re seriously unwell and it’s an emergency, call triple zero (000) immediately.
- Call your GP, local public health unit on 1300 066 055, or the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080, so that a clinician can assess your risk and whether you’re likely to require testing for COVID-19.
- Continue to keep yourself apart from other people.
- Wear a surgical mask if you have one.
- Don’t travel on public transport, taxis or ride-shares.
- If you are advised to seek medical help, you can always attend a COVID-19 clinic. These are set up specifically to assess, test and provide advice for you.