ACT and COVID-19
Chief Health Officer alerts for health professionals in the ACT
Chief Health Officer alerts for health professionals in the ACT are available from the ACT Health website.
The most recent update for GPs and Community health practitioners contains information about what to do if a case or contact has been at a member’s workplace.
Vaccination for RACF Workers – 8 September 2021
Speech Pathology Australia has received the following information from the ACT Chief Allied Health Officer.
From 17 September, an ACT Public Health Emergency Direction will prohibit a worker from entering or remaining on the premises of a residential aged care facility (RACFs) unless that person has received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
Under this Direction
- A worker at a residential aged care facility must not enter or remain on the premises of a residential aged care facility in the ACT if they have no received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination.
- The operator of a residential aged care facility must take all reasonable steps to ensure that a person does not enter or remain on the premises of the residential aged care facility if the person is prohibited from doing as a result of not being vaccination.
Visiting health practitioners who visit a residential aged care facility to provide care to aged care residents are considered workers and will be required to have had at least 1 dose of a COVID-19 vaccination.
More information about this Public Health Emergency Direction is on the ACT Government website. https://www.legislation.act.gov.au/.../PDF/2021-501.PDF
The Association recommends members undertake the following actions to ensure that they are meeting the requirements of this Direction and supporting the residential aged care facilities that they visit:
Members who have not yet received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination, ACT Health is still offering priority appointments for health care workers. Members can access these by calling the priority booking line for healthcare, aged care, and disability workers on 5124 3999.
Information for Allied Health practitioners in the ACT
Allied health practitioners can continue to practice unless advised otherwise – with consideration as to the priority, such as likelihood and consequence of deterioration to the patient’s condition if treatment is delayed.
Practitioners should use their judgement and take precautions as appropriate to the specific situation. Such as pre-appointment screening, delay in care or use of telehealth where possible and appropriate, CBR check-in App, masks and other PPE, distancing and limiting numbers in clinics and waiting areas and excellent hygiene practices.
It is strongly advised that practitioners are vaccinated.
It is also relevant to consider individual risk levels for both practitioners and patients and plan around that.
The Health Minister advises thatvalid reasons for leaving home during lockdown, including:
- To obtain essential health care, including to undertake a COVID-19 test or receive a scheduled COVID-19 vaccination
Visit the main ACT website.
Be prepared - COVID-19 (act.gov.au) – advising similarly that residents may leave home: to attend to medical or health care needs including compassionate requirements, and looking after the vulnerable.
Visit the relevant ACT Government website for all updates.
Capital Health Network is the ACT Primary Healthcare Network also has information and resources for Primary Care practitioners
For other some information on telehealth visit this website.
ACT: Seven day lockdown announced - 12 August
Seven day lockdown announced. Detail is available online.
Essential Health Providers to undertake necessary healthcare services.
- telehealth or other virtual care options should be considered wherever possible and where clinically appropriate.
- any health services provided in a hospital or in a community health facility, including immunisation and vaccination services.
- emergency and licensed non-emergency patient transport.
- an appointment at an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Health Service.
- any health services provided by a general practitioner.
- any health services provided by nursing professionals or midwifes.
- any health services provided at a hospital radiology service (other than routine screening services).
- any dental services provided to patients with urgent needs, or where failure to provide care in a clinically appropriate timeframe will lead to adverse outcomes.
- the following allied health services:
- allied health services provided by allied health professionals working as essential workers in hospitals or in residential care facilities providing critical clinical care;
- allied health services provided by allied health professionals working in private practice or community services;
- students, medical/nursing/midwifery/allied health on placement providing essential care in hospitals or in residential care facilities.
- the following mental health services:
- the hospital emergency or inpatient psychiatric services;
- allied health professionals providing mental health services in hospital;
- private consultant psychiatry practice;
- allied health professionals providing mental health services in community settings.
- procedures to complete:
- any cycle of IVF treatment that a patient has commenced before the commencement of the public health direction; or
- any procedure required for the preservation of eggs for future IVF where required health treatment will render eggs non-viable.
- termination of pregnancy.
- drug and alcohol services.
- the conduct of human medical research trials.
- Remedial massage services are regarded as Allied Health Services which can remain open.