Commonwealth Government update

There has been a new provider update released by Commonwealth which you can read here and there is information for people with disability including Easy Read fact sheets and Auslan videos around COVID and vaccinations here

We encourage everyone who wants to have the vaccine to book in as soon as they can, especially as we’ve seen how quickly things are currently changing in Victoria.

New provider update released by Commonwealth

Latest COVID-19 vaccination news

Aspen Medical has started vaccinating people with disability in Queensland living in residential accommodation housing with two or more people. Healthcare Australia will also be commencing in mid-June to speed up the process. Outside these in-reach arrangements, people with disability and disability support workers can make bookings for vaccinations using the eligibility checker which you can access here – this will show you locations in your area and give booking information and contact details.

Latest COVID-19 vaccination information – bookings have opened throughout Queensland

The Australian Government has issued updated information about the COVID-19 vaccination rollout to people with disability and disability workers. The rollout of Phases 1a, 1b, and 2a means that all people with disability and disability workers can visit Queensland Government-run clinics to access the vaccine recommended for their age. All people aged 50 and over can also access the AstraZeneca vaccine at their local GP clinic, Commonwealth Vaccination Clinics (previously GP-led Respiratory Clinics) and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service (ACCHS).

Hospital and health services in Queensland will be providing vaccinations as part of the Queensland Government’s rollout as well. To confirm your eligibility and book your appointment, you can complete the eligibility checker here or visit the Queensland Health website to book an appointment. You can enter your location and get a list of clinics in your area, along with waiting times for an appointment. Once you complete your booking you’ll receive an email confirmation.

Phase 1a for people with disability who live in residential accommodation housing two or more people is continuing. ASPEN has now been appointed to deliver these vaccinations at residential sites for both residents and staff. They have started in the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory and will move to Queensland and other states in the week starting 24 May 2021. If you prefer not to wait for ASPEN to deliver your vaccination on site, you can arrange a booking following the advice above.

Phase 1b includes adults with a disability or underlying health condition – there is a form you can sign to take with you to prove eligibility for this phase here Workers eligible for Phase 1a can also use this form if they are not going to receive their vaccination onsite at their workplace.

If you have a guardian or appointed decision maker, you’ll need to take your completed consent form with you to the appointment – the forms are here.

Keep in mind you need a 14 day gap between flu and COVID-19 vaccinations as flu vaccinations are currently available also, and remember to take your Medicare card to your vaccination appointment if you can.

The Department of Health will continue to update any new advice on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout on the webpage Information for people with disability about COVID-19 vaccines or here which also includes Easy Read resources on preparing for your vaccination, the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines, and what to expect after vaccination. If you have any questions you can call 134 268 (134 COVID)

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%

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Greater Brisbane Region Lockdown 11 January 2021

This morning the Premier announced that the three-day lockdown of Greater Brisbane would end as planned at 6pm today (Monday, 11 January).

However, for the next ten days through to 1am, Friday 22 January a number of restrictions will remain in place.

Read More

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

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.