CORONAVIRUS-19 TO PARTICIPANT

VcareU General Knowledge

What is the NDIS doing to help participants?

  • NDIS plans to be extended by up to 24 months, ensuring continuity of support and increasing the capacity of NDIA staff to focus on urgent and required changes to plans.
  • Face-to-face planning shifted to telephone meetings where possible
  • Action plan to ensure NDIS participants and their families continue to receive the essential disability supports they need.

More

What can I do to prepare?

You should think about the essential supports you need and consider the services you can’t live without.

Talk to your service providers and health professionals to develop a plan to ensure your own personal health and safety over the coming months.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness, with symptoms ranging from a mild cough to pneumonia. Some people recover quickly and easily, and others may get very sick, very quickly. Good hygiene can prevent infection for most people.

What can I do if I am concerned about exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19)?

NDIS participants that are concerned about exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19) are able to contact the Department of Health Coronavirus hotline on 1800 020 080 or the National Relay Service on 1300 555 727.

If participants have recently returned from an overseas country affected by coronavirus (COVID-19), we ask that they contact the Agency via phone or email to schedule a telephone planning conversation

It’s impossible for me to maintain social distancing practices because I need close care from my support worker. Am I at risk of contracting coronavirus (COVID-19)?

We acknowledge that people with disabilities may need to have close contact with their support workers, however wherever possible, we encourage you to reduce unnecessary touching.

The Department of Health has published information about social distancing.

Should support workers be wearing masks?

It is not necessary to ask your support workers to wear face masks if they do not have a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19). Surgical masks in the community are only helpful in preventing people who have coronavirus (COVID-19) from spreading them to others. If you are well and your support worker is well, you do not need to wear surgical masks as there is little evidence supporting the widespread use of surgical masks in healthy people to prevent transmission in public.

More information about the use of surgical masks.

How can I keep my home hygienic?

Consider what is essential to your care and reduce the number of people coming in and out of your home where you can. Talk to your service providers about what you consider essential and what can be put on hold for now. If you have support workers coming and going, it’s important they wash their hands regularly, and clean doorknobs, light switches, taps, and other surfaces thoroughly during their visit.

What happens if I contract coronavirus (COVID-19) or need to go into quarantine?

Participants impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) will be prioritized to ensure they continue to receive their disability-related supports, including any additional supports or funding they need.

If a participant contracts coronavirus (COVID-19), the state or territory health system is the first contact point. The NDIA will work closely with the health system.

The NDIA has enacted its Crisis and Recovery plan to make sure that there are dedicated resources to support impacted areas. 

We are making the process for participants simple and clear.

Where we can, we will quickly make changes to plans to minimize administration and paperwork for the impacted participants.

30 March: How many visitors can come to my house?

It is advised that only family members are in your home. Consider what is essential to your care and reduce the number of people coming in and out of your home where you can. 

We acknowledge that people with disabilities may need to have support workers coming into their homes.

If you have support workers coming and going, it’s important they wash their hands regularly, and clean doorknobs, light switches, taps, and other surfaces thoroughly during their visit.

Information on infection control for NDIS providers, including assistive technology assessors and providers is available on the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission website.

The Department of Health has published information about social distancing.

30 March: Are Woolworths proposing to have the same days/ hours allotted to health workers as to disabled/seniors? Or have they spilled days like Coles?

Both Woolworths and Coles have announced additional assistance including dedicated shopping times and priority access to online delivery services. For the latest information and updates to dedicated shopping hours for specific groups visit: 

To apply for Woolworths Priority Assistance visit the Woolworths website and fill out the request form. 

1 April: Can I insist that my provider wears a mask and gloves?

Talk to your provider about how you would like to maintain your health and safety at this time. 

If you have support workers coming and going, it’s important they wash their hands regularly, and clean doorknobs, light switches, taps, and other surfaces thoroughly during their visit.

It is not necessary to ask your support workers to wear face masks if they do not have a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Surgical masks in the community are only helpful in preventing people who have coronavirus (COVID-19) from spreading them to others. If you are well and your support worker is well, you do not need to wear surgical masks as there is little evidence supporting the widespread use of surgical masks in healthy people to prevent transmission in public. More information about the use of surgical masks.

Refer to the Department of Health for advice about protecting yourselves and others including:

Good hand hygiene

Hand rubbing

Hand rubbing is when you use liquid sanitizing products that you rub into your hands and do not wash off.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) created the How to Handrub? poster to outline the correct steps.

Hand rubbing is often used when:

  • access to soap and water is extremely limited e.g. out and about from home

hands are not visibly soiled.

Hand washing

Clean hands protect against infection. Do you know how to wash your hands correctly to make sure they are actually clean?

You may be surprised by how long it takes to wash your hand properly – roughly as long as singing “Happy Birthday” twice. The World Health Organisation (WHO) created the How to Handwash? poster to outline the correct steps for washing and drying your hands.

Cough and sneeze etiquette

The cough and sneeze etiquette refer to the practice of taking steps to reduce the spread of infections from coughs and sneezes.

Use a tissue

Sneeze or cough into a tissue and dispose of it immediately into a bin.

Use your elbow

If a sneeze or cough sneaks up on you and no tissues are handy – sneeze or cough into your elbow.

This prevents your hands from becoming contaminated.

Wash your hands

Wash your hands immediately.

Personal hygiene

Practicing good personal hygiene is the singularly most efficient thing you can do to protect yourself against most infectious diseases.