e-blast: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Public Health Directions 6 January 2021

General COVID-19 Health Directions

Over the last few weeks, there have been several changes to Queensland’s COVID-19 health directions and border controls. You can view current health directives here.

Key Facts:

  1. If you’re feeling sick get tested today and stay home and isolate until you get the results and your symptoms resolve. You can find your closest testing centre here.
  2. If you’ve been in Victoria on or since 21 December get tested right away and isolate until you get the results.
  3. Effective from 1:00am Monday 21 December all of Greater Sydney, plus the Blue Mountains, Wollongong and the Central Coast, was declared a hotspot. Non-Queensland Residents seeking to enter from those regions will be unable to enter without a permitted exemption and if granted will be required to undertake hotel quarantine.
  4. Queensland residents returning to the state from Greater Sydney and surrounds after 1:00am Tuesday 22 December are required to quarantine in a hotel.

Disability Accommodation Services Health Direction

The Queensland Public Health Direction – Disability Accommodation Services (No. 7) has been in place since 1:00am on 19 December 2020 and is available to view on the Queensland Health website.

The direction applies to shared disability accommodation services with four or more residents with disability in Queensland.

Key Facts:

  1. The direction requires disability accommodation services to ensure:
    • A person does not enter a disability accommodation service if the person has:
      • returned from overseas in the last 14 days, or
      • visited a COVID-19 hotspot in the last 14 days, or since the start date identified for the COVID-19 hotspot, whichever is shorter, or
      • had known contact with a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days, or
      • a fever (37.5 degrees or higher), or
      • symptoms consistent with COVID-19, which means fever or history of fever, symptoms of acute respiratory infection (cough, shortness of breath, sore throat), loss of smell, loss of taste, runny nose, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting or fatigue, or
      • been tested for COVID-19 and they have not received their test result
    • Stronger physical distancing and hygiene measures are in place, including providing hand sanitiser and Personal Protective Equipment to staff and increased cleaning procedures.
    • Employees, contractors, students, volunteers and support persons who have been in Victoria on or after 21 December 2020 may only enter a disability accommodation service facility if the individual obtains a negative COVID-19 test in Queensland after returning from Victoria. The person may be requested to provide evidence of the negative COVID-19 test when entering the facility.
  2. Importantly for Queenslanders with disability living in shared disability accommodation services this direction:
    • Does not limit residents from leaving the service
    • Does not limit residents’ ability to access any areas of the service to which they normally have access
  3. The Australian Human Rights Commission (PDF) has produced guidelines on the rights of people with disability in health and disability care during COVID-19 to ensure human rights considerations inform decisions by workers when supporting people with disability.

The Queensland Government has developed a fact sheet on the direction, which you can view here