Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Greater Melbourne Region Lockdown: 12 February 2021

Greater Melbourne has been declared a COVID-19 hot spot. The declared hot spot includes 36 local government areas.

This means that from 1am Saturday 13 February anyone who enters Queensland and has been in the declared hot spot since Tuesday 9 February will have to quarantine in government arranged accommodation for 14 days.

Anyone who has been in Greater Melbourne on or after 29 January 2021 cannot enter a disability accommodation service or aged care facility unless they obtain a negative COVID-19 test and meet other requirements regarding entry. You can find the latest public health directions here: https://www.health.qld.gov.au/system-governance/legislation/cho-public-health-directions-under-expanded-public-health-act-powers

For a list of the local government areas that are affected by the hot spot declaration and for the latest information from Queensland Health on COVID-19 restrictions visit: https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status/urgent-covid-19-update

Take action and support the Building Better Homes campaign

QDN is proud to be a partner supporting the Building Better Homes campaign to have accessibility standards included in the National Building Code.

The Code needs to meet the needs of all Australians, and is especially critical for people with disability who have mobility issues, given the shortage of accessible housing.

Building Ministers are meeting early in 2021 to consider including accessibility standards in the Code, so we encourage QDN members to take action and support this campaign.  The quickest and easiest way to do this is to sign the online petition.  Click here to go straight to the petition.

There are other ways of supporting the campaign and you can see them here.

Restrictions eased in Greater Brisbane

Following the three day Greater Brisbane lockdown and ten days of additional measures, restrictions will start to lift from 1am this Friday (22 January 2021)  morning.

From 1am, Friday 22 January:

  • Masks will no longer be mandatory, except in airports and on airplanes – masks are encouraged to be carried and worn when social distancing is not possible
  • Indoor venues such as cafes and restaurants are able to return to one customer per 2m2
  • The Disability Accommodation Services Direction (No. 13) has been updated to remove restrictions on visitors who have been in Greater Brisbane. Similar changes have been made in the Aged Care Direction (No. 22) and Hospital Visitors Direction (No. 16).
  • Weddings are able to have up to 200 guests (and dancing)
  • Gatherings of up to 50 people are permitted
  • Seated, ticketed venues like cinemas, theatres and stadium will have their capacity returned to 100%

How to follow the new rules & safely wear a mask

Developed by Queenslanders with Disability Network

Current as of 11 January 2021

New mask rules

  • The new rules are in place for the next 10 days through to 1am, Friday 22 January in the Greater Brisbane region
  • You must carry a mask at all times when outside
  • Masks must be worn in indoor places including shopping centres, gyms, places of worship, on public transport, and in taxis
  • Masks must be worn in workplaces if social distancing isn’t possible and it’s safe to do so
  • You do NOT need to wear a mask in private vehicles, while outdoors at a safe distance from other people, or if you’re doing exercise
  • A person affected by a medical or mental health condition or disability may be exempt from wearing a mask under Queensland Health exemptions
  • You do NOT need to wear a mask inside your home, however, a carer or support worker must wear a mask when working in your home
  • You do NOT need to wear a mask when communicating with those who are deaf or where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication

Source: Queensland Health

 

How to wear a mask safely

  • Wash your hands with soap and water before touching the mask
  • Check the mask for any damages or dirt
  • Cover your mouth, nose, and chin with the mask
  • Adjust the mask so there are no gaps on the side
  • Avoid touching the mask once you’ve put it on
  • Clean your hands before removing the mask
  • Use the straps to remove the mask and pull it away from your face
  • Wash fabric masks with soap or detergent, preferably with hot water, at least once a day
  • Clean your hands after removing the mask

Source: World Health Organization and Council for Intellectual Disability

 

 

 

 

 

Latest information on Greater Brisbane Region Lockdown

QDN office closure

To do our part in slowing the spread of the virus, QDN has made a number of changes to how we work in line with Queensland Health directives.

The QDN office will be closed from 5pm today, Friday 8 January 2021. Be assured you can still contact QDN staff who will be working from home during business hours. However, please have patience if we are a little slower responding to you, given the circumstances.

At this stage, we plan to reopen the office on Wednesday, 13 January 2021, however, this decision will be finalised based on Queensland Health directives and we will let you know if anything changes.

The QDN team and your Local Support Groups Convenors will continue to work remotely and we are available via our usual telephone, email, website and social media contacts.

We will continue to work hard on the issues impacting our members and Queenslanders with a disability more broadly. More than ever, we know that it is critical to make sure there is nothing about us without us.

QDN will be regularly updating you via email and on our Facebook page. We encourage you to keep up to date with the latest news and keep in touch with us by:

Phone: 1300 363 783 or (07) 3252 8566
Facebook: www.facebook.com/QueenslanderswithDisabilityNetwork
Website: www.qdn.org.au
Email: qdn@qdn.org.au

We thank you for your support as we work together to ensure people continue to stay safe, healthy and with up to date information about this health pandemic.

The latest on Queensland Health directives

General restrictions

From 6pm tonight, Friday 8 January, until 6pm Monday 11 January people in the local government areas of Brisbane, Moreton Bay, Ipswich, Redlands and Logan will be required to stay at home except for the following reasons:

  • Essential work
  • Providing healthcare for a vulnerable person
  • Essential shopping
  • Exercise in your local neighbourhood

You can find more detailed information from Queensland Health on the Greater Brisbane 3-day lockdown here.

QDN will continue to update the COVID-19 information on our website, which can be found here.

Disability Accommodation Services, Aged Care and Hospital Directives

Queensland Health has released updated public health directions for Aged Care  (No 18) and Disability Accommodation Services (No 9).

The major change is that visitors are not allowed in hospitals and aged or disability accommodation services in the following Hospital and Health Service regions:

  • Metro North
  • Metro South
  • West Moreton

Importantly, people providing health, medical, therapeutic, social work, essential disability support or pharmaceutical services to residents of accommodation services are not considered visitors and can continue to work, as usual, wearing personal protective equipment as required.

If you need to attend hospital, there is an exemption in place that allows a support person to go with you – this can be support worker, informal carer, family member or friend. It’s a good idea to talk to the hospital you are planning to go to about this before you arrive. The Hospital Visitors Direction (No 12) is available here – (see Part 1, 11h) and more information on understanding the direction is here.

QDN developed a guide called “Know your rights: Getting the hospital care you need during COVID-19″, which can be found here.

Easy English Guide to COVID-19 Greater Brisbane lockdown

QDN has developed an Easy English guide on the Greater Brisbane three-day lockdown rules.

A word version of the Easy English guide can be found here.

The Word document will be seen at either top of bottom of your browser page. Click on the document to open and then print using your computer’s printing settings.

A PDF version of the Easy English guide can be found here.

You can find general QDN Easy English guides on COVID-19 on our website here.

Information on the mask mandate

QDN has received additional information throughout the day on the mask mandate that is currently in place during the three-day lockdown period.

Everyone in the Greater Brisbane area is required to wear a mask whenever they are outside their home during the lockdown period. Masks are not required while eating and drinking or if an exemption applies. A person affected by a medical or mental health condition or disability may be exempt from wearing a mask under Queensland Health exemptions.

If your health circumstances make it difficult to wear a mask, you do not require formal documentation or evidence and if questioned by police or any other government officials, you should explain that you have a medical condition or disability that means you meet the requirements of the health exemption.

You do not need to wear a mask when inside your home. However, a carer or support worker must wear a mask.

You can watch a great video on how to wear a mask explained by Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer Alison McMillan here.

e-blast: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Greater Brisbane Region Lockdown 8 January 2021

This morning, the Queensland Premier announced that the greater Brisbane area will enter a three-day lockdown from 6pm tonight (8 January 2021) to stop the spread of the highly contagious UK strain of COVID-19.

This means that from 6pm tonight until 6pm Monday (11 January 2021), people in the local government areas of Brisbane, Moreton Bay, Ipswich, Redlands and Logan will be required to stay at home except for:

  • Shopping for essentials, food and necessary supplies
  • Medical or healthcare needs, including compassionate requirements
  • Exercise with no more than one other person, unless all from the same household
  • Providing care or assistance to an immediate family member
  • Work, or volunteering, or study if it is not reasonably practicable to work or learn remotely

When doing any activity outside your house during this period you must wear a mask.

Masks are not required while eating and drinking or if an exemption applies. For example, a person affected by a medical or mental health condition or disability is not required to wear a mask.

QDN is in contact with government to clarify this exemption for people with health conditions and will update members as soon as more information is available.

During the lockdown period, no more than two visitors can visit a household per day (in addition to anyone else currently staying in the household). This limit does NOT include care workers.

The restrictions also mean no visitors to aged care facilities, hospitals, disability accommodation services or correctional facilities. Queensland Health has indicated that a support person can accompany people with disability attending a hospital. A support person can be any person providing care or support to a person required to attend a hospital. A support person may be an informal carer or family member of a person with a disability.

For a full list of restrictions and answers to many frequently asked questions, Queensland Health has developed a useful information page that you can find here.

If you have no means of getting food or essential items, you can call the Queensland Government’s Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349. The hotline is also available to support vulnerable people who have no other means of support.

A reminder that QDN has also developed some practical tools and information to help you think through how to make a plan for your own individual needs during this COVID-19 situation. Your emergency plan for COVID-19 can be found here or by clicking the below link:  

QDN COVID-19 Planning Tool
QDN will keep you updated as more information becomes available. Please note the QDN office will be closed Monday, 11 January and Tuesday, 12 January, but we will still be working via phone (1300 363 783) and by emailing qdn@qdn.org.au.

e-Blast: COVID Conversations: Free webinars for Queenslanders with disability and their supporters

COVID-19 has meant lots of changes and it’s important that everyone can get the information they need about what we can do to be prepared, slow the spread of COVID-19 and get essential services and support.

Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN), in partnership with Health Consumers Queensland (HCQ), are holding a series of free webinars for people with disability and their supporters. We have organised a range of speakers including people with disability, families and carers, colleagues from Victoria, Queensland Department of Health, Queensland Department Communities, Disability Services and Seniors,  Australian Human Rights Commission,  NDIA, NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, and Every Australian Counts.

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Media Release: New resources for Queenslanders with disability to assist them during COVID to get the hospital care they need

Know your rights: Getting the hospital care you need during COVID-19 – for people with disability and their supporters

Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN) and Health Consumers Queensland (HCQ) are pleased to announce the release of a new resource for people with disability to assist them during COVID-19 with getting the hospital care they need.

The resources, “Know your rights: Getting the hospital care you need during COVID-19” is a nation first. QDN and HCQ have worked together with people living with disability and family and carers with lived experience of Queensland’s health system to co-design this resource. This guide is funded by Queensland Department of Health through the COVID-19 Grant Fund: Immediate Support Measures.

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e-Blast: Virtual Forum Series for people with disability: COVID Conversations #2

Getting the healthcare you need during COVID-19: Being prepared and knowing your rights

Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN), in partnership with Health Consumers Queensland (HCQ), is holding a series of 3 COVID Conversations for people with disability and their supporters.

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e-Blast: Virtual Forum Series for people with disability: COVID Conversations #1

COVID testing and mask wearing: what do people with disability and their supporters need to know?

Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN), in partnership with Health Consumers Queensland (HCQ), is holding a series of 3 COVID Conversations for people with disability and their supporters.

These forums will provide information from a range of speakers about testing for COVID and wearing masks and your rights in navigating healthcare and disability and community support services during COVID.

Read More