CHIA NSW has collated measures below for Community Housing Providers in dealing with the spread of COVID-19 in NSW.
Weekly updates will be based on the best available Government advice for Community Housing Providers responding to the spread of COVID-19.
Updates that require urgent action will be added day-to-day as required.
Information will be sourced from Australian Federal and State Government sources (e.g. NSW Health, Department of Health, Healthdirect) wherever possible.
CHIA NSW will note actions and measures below that flow from State and Federal Government mandates based on the latest advice, guidelines, and instructions.
CURRENT ADVICE – LAST UPDATED April 6th
NSW Department of Communities & Justice has released a ‘one-stop-shop’ resource for social service providers responding to COVID-19, simply click through this link to their COVID-19 resources homepage.
- UPDATE, APRIL 2 – The Federal Government has announced essential services workers will be able to access free childcare to ensure they can keep providing essential services.
- UPDATE, MARCH 31 – Businesses impacted by COVID-19 will be able to access a JobKeeper payment, the Federal Government has announced. Which will cover $1,500 per fortnight per worker who were on a business’ payroll system since March 1. More details available through the link.
- UPDATE, MARCH 31 – The NSW Government has announced significant fines of up to $11,000 for NSW residents who leave their homes without a ‘reasonable excuse’. The Government considers 16 ‘reasonable excuses’ that would justify a resident leaving their home. Including:
- Obtaining food or goods/services for the needs of the household.
- Travelling for work purposes, if the person can’t work from home.
- Travelling for childcare pick up/drop off.
- Obtaining medical care/supplies or fulfilling carer responsibilities.
- Attending a wedding or funeral.
- Moving to a new residence (including business moves, or inspections)
- Providing care/assistance/emergency assistance to a vulnerable person.
- Donating blood.
- Undertaking any legal obligations.
- Accessing public services (e.g. social services, employment services, domestic violence services, mental health services).
- Avoiding injury or illness or escape a risk of harm.
- Emergencies or compassionate reasons.
- UPDATE, MARCH 30 – The National Cabinet has limited indoor and outdoor gatherings to 2 people only. The only exclusions to this are the following:
- Members of the same household going out together
- Funerals – maximum of 10 people
- Weddings – maximum of 5 people
- Family units
- National Cabinet advice is to stay home unless you are:
- Shopping for what you need – e.g. food and necessary supplies
- medical/health needs – including compassionate requirements
- Exercise in compliance with public gathering requirements (i.e. 2 person rule)
- work and study, if you can’t do so remotely
- UPDATE, MARCH 25 – From midnight Wednesday, March 25th certain non-urgent elective surgeries will be temporarily suspended to allow more resourcing for COVID-19 treatment. More information on which types of surgery will be temporarily suspended can be found here.
- UPDATE, MARCH 25 – The Federal Government has released a list of further restrictions on gatherings which come into force from midnight Wednesday, March 25th. These include prohibiting gatherings for (among other activities):
- Auctions, open house inspections (private inspections only)
- Community and recreation centres (other than essential services, e.g. homelessness services)
- Cafes, restaurants (other than takeaway services)
- Non-residential institutions – e.g. Libraries, youth centres, RSLs, clubs, etc.
- UPDATE, MARCH 23 – As of midday March 23, opening restrictions will apply nationally to pubs, gyms, restaurants, cinemas and other indoor venues, considered ‘non-essential’. The Federal Government has stated that Australians should expect these restrictions to last for 6 months.
- UPDATE, MARCH 22 – The Prime Minister has recommended Australians reconsider all ‘non-essential’ domestic travel and cancel trips accordingly.
- UPDATE, MARCH 22 – The Federal Government has increased its stimulus package to $189 billion, with financial support available for not-for-profit organisations ranging between $20,000 and $100,000 based on eligibility criteria.
- UPDATE, MARCH 22 – Part of the Federal Government’s stimulus package will see the Newstart allowance rise to $1,100 per fortnight.
- UPDATE, MARCH 20 – As of 9pm AEDT Friday, 20 March 2020 Australia will close its borders to all non-citizens and non-residents. The only exemptions from this ban will be for Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family, including spouses, legal guardians and dependants.
- Engage personal hygiene measures for staff and tenants.
- Cover your mouth when sneezing/coughing. Cough into elbow, not hands.
- Use hand sanitizers where soap is not available.
- Ensure quick disposal of used tissues into bins.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Ensure employees/office visitors/contractors are washing hands for 20 seconds. NSW Health has an information poster for internal office use here.
- Utilize social distancing measures
- Keep 1.5m between people where possible.
- Stop shaking hands, hugging, or kissing as a greeting.
- Avoid crowds if possible.
- Visit shops sparingly.
- Use public transport in off-peak periods where possible.
- Use debit and credit cards instead of cash. Make use of online, self-serve transactions (e.g. Opal Cards)
- Actions for organizations to take – provided by NSW Health
- Encourage flexible working arrangements where possible. (e.g. work from home, staggered rotations, off-peak travel arrangements)
- Open windows, enhance air flow, adjust air conditioning.
- Provide and promote hand sanitiser use at building entrances.
- Ensure high standards of routine environmental cleaning, standard cleaning products are fine.
- Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces regularly, including desks and keyboards.
- NSW Health has also provided a comprehensive list of Frequently Asked Questions that cover a large list of issues related to COVID-19.
- The NSW Department of Communities and Justice has provided updated guidelines for service providers which Community Housing Providers can access here.
- Healthdirect has provided resources for organizations to use on social media if they desire to build awareness around best hygiene practice.