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COVID-19 and Unisson

In light of the emergence of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Australia, we want to reassure Unisson Disability clients and families, and the wider public, that we are continually monitoring and adjusting our services with health and safety at the forefront of all our decisions.  

Unisson is adhering to all advice released from the Australian Government,  World Health Organisation and NSW health authorities. We have put together a COVID-19 response team to develop and implement comprehensive policies and procedures to minimise the risk of infection to clients and staff.  

We understand that for clients, families and staff these changes may have a significant impact, and we are committed to taking steps to minimise this. Further changes may be needed as new information comes to light. 

 

Suspension & Adjustment of Services 

Due to the changing government recommendations regarding COVID-19, we are continuously working to put these recommendations in place, as well as additional precautions to protect the wellbeing of clients and staff. We have therefore made the difficult but necessary decision to suspend some services, and adjust how others are delivered, until further notice. We will continue conversations with all those affected by this as the situation continues to evolve.  

Suspended Services: 

  • Supported Employment (Pack Works & Ground Works): Effective Tuesday, 24th March 2020 at 5 pm until further notice.   

  • Centre Based, Group, Community Access services (including Blue Apple Art Studios): Effective Tuesday, 24th March 2020 at 5 pm until further notice. 

  • Respite (STA): Effective Tuesday, 24th March 2020 at 5 pm until further notice. 

We are having conversations with clients and families that have been affected by these changes to put in place alternative support options where this is possible.  

Adjusted Services:

  • Support Coordination: To continue, as usual, meetings will take place via technology. 

  • Supported Living: To continue with reduced capacity. Risk assessments will determine those in most need of support and individual approaches will be used to assess how we can best provide supports in a way that prioritises the health and wellbeing of everyone. Group activities within supported living will cease.  

  • Shared Living: Will be fully operational with some additional precautions put in place. These precautions will minimise who can come and go from homes, as well as increased hygiene and cleaning procedures. Non-essential activities will cease, and essential activities will continue with precautions in place.  

  • Supported Employment: Unisson staff (not clients) will continue working to ensure customer contracts are fulfilled.  

 

Our Protocols 

  • Staff that test positive to COVID-19 are to self-quarantine for 14 days or until all symptoms subside.  

  • Staff that feel unwell with any of the specified symptoms are required to self-isolate until symptoms subside.  

  • Staff that have returned from international travel are required to self-isolate for 14 days before returning to work.  

  • Staff that have a family member or member of their household that has travelled overseas, is showing symptoms, or is getting tested for COVID-19, may also be required to self-isolate upon discussion with management and our COVID-19 response team.    

  • All large face-to-face training events for staff have been cancelled. 

  • All meetings are being held via digital means unless a face-to-face meeting is critical. If this occurs, social distancing and good hygiene measures have been put in place to reduce contact.  

  • All staff who can work from home have been advised and encouraged to do so. 

  • All service locations now have strict procedures in place, which include; avoiding contact where possible, disinfecting high traffic areas regularly, increasing ventilation, using preventative and protective equipment, reducing shopping trips, and the re-evaluation of the necessity of outings.  

 

NDIA Additional COVID-19 Support  

The NDIA has announced a package of COVID-19 measures for NDIS providers and participants. These new measures will inject much-needed cash into the provider sector as it prepares for and responds to the challenges that COVID-19 will have on people with disability, their families and carers, and on providers and their workforces.  

The new measures, to support participants, include:  

  • Plans to be extended by up to 24 months, to ensure continuity of support and to direct planning resources to urgently required plan reviews.  

  • Planning to be done via telephone meetings where possible.  

  • More flexibility in the use of capacity building funds (shifting it to core where necessary).  

  • An 'action plan' to ensure NDIS participants and families continue to receive essential disability supports.   

To find out more information, visit the NDIS website.  

 

How to Help Stop the Spread 

  • Wash your hands frequently and properly with soap and/or alcohol-based hand rub.  

  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or into a tissue. Throw your used tissue in the bin and wash your hands. 

  • Keep a 1.5-metre distance between yourself and others. Avoid large gatherings, minimise physical contact, and stay at home when you are unwell.  

  • If you are in NSW and you feel sick or are presenting with the common COVID-19 symptoms, contact your GP. A doctor will visit your residence, do a check-up, and advise you from there. 

  • If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, you must stay home to prevent it from spreading to other people.  

 

Communication 

We are committed to keeping clients, families and staff well informed. 

Our main method of communication to clients, families and staff is via email; we are sending by post where necessary. To ensure you remain up to date please make sure we have your email address on our database. Contact us to check your details by calling 1300 266 222 or email hello@unisson.org.au.

 

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