Information for Northcott customers on the current COVID-19 situation in NSW

*Last updated Wednesday 28 July 2021

Temporary suspension of disability day programs in Greater Sydney Area from 27 July 2021

NSW Health has issued advice that disability day programs in the Greater Sydney Area should be suspended from 6.00pm 27 July 2021 until at least 10 August 2021.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have followed advice from NSW Heath and will continue to do so. This means that Northcott day programs will not be operating during the above period. If not attending a day program results in a risk of harm to you or someone else, please contact your Service Coordinator to discuss alternative support options. This may include:

  • Individual activities
  • Activities with members of the same household
  • Online services where possible.

Any alternative support options will maintain all of Northcott’s COVID-19 infection prevention protocols. 

Testing of Northcott disability workers

Northcott’s direct care staff living or working in local government areas that require mandatory regular testing, regardless of symptoms, adhere to set testing deadlines. These rules are changing regularly, but Northcott ensures we are implementing as per advice from NSW Health at any given time.

Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations for customers

Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 provides the best opportunity for all of us to be protected from getting sick from COVID-19, as well as a pathway out of the current tight restrictions in Greater Sydney.

Northcott is coordinating vaccination clinics at numerous locations with HealthCare Australia. Book your first and second dose vaccination at a clinic near you via the link below: https://events.humanitix.com/organisers/60fa804610012a16d07b6853

Current COVID-19 restrictions

The current stay-at-home orders affecting Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour have been extended for an additional 4 weeks.

The Public Health Order (PHO) means anyone who lives in or works in Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Illawarra must stay at home except for one of four essential reasons:

  • Shopping for food or other essential goods and services. Only one person per household, per day may leave the home for shopping.

  • Medical care or compassionate needs, including getting a Covid-19 vaccine

  • Exercise outdoors in groups of two, who cannot travel further than 10km from their home or local government area. Members of the same household gathering outdoors for exercise will be allowed to do so in groups larger than two.

  • Essential work, or education, where you cannot work or study from home

Additional restrictions that are new include that people can only shop for essential goods within their LGA or 10km from their home.

The above restrictions are in place until at least 12:01am on Saturday, August 28.

If you are in greater Sydney, you cannot have visitors to your house and you must comply with the stay-at-home rules unless the visit is for one of the exempt reasons including providing care. In regional NSW, visitors to households have been limited to only five guests, including children.

Additionally, the PHO states that everyone in NSW must wear a facemask while in an indoor non-residential setting. This means that:

  • All of Northcott’s staff based in NSW, must wear masks in all services and all offices (unless an exemption applies)
  • All of Northcott’s customers in NSW must wear masks when receiving any service that is indoors. This includes all group and individual services including in-home care services (unless they are a resident of one of our accommodation services or an exemption applies)

For people in regional and rural New South Wales the following restrictions are in place:

  • Not allowed to travel to Greater Sydney without a reasonable excuse
  • Face masks must be worn in indoor areas of non-residential premises
  • Up to 5 visitors may visit another household at any one time
  • Capacity limits in public venues of 25 people or one person per 4 square metres

For a full list of restrictions in Regional NSW, visit the NSW Government website.

What does this mean for Northcott services?

We’re adapting our service delivery to comply with the restrictions and to keep our customers and staff safe. This includes compulsory mask wearing, increased cleaning, and offering online options for some services. We encourage all customers to consider whether your support needs to be delivered face to face, and discuss this with the person who supports you. 

Rules for all accommodation services in NSW

For all accommodation services in Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Illawarra:

  • Only essential visitors are allowed
  • All staff and visitors must wear masks at all times
  • Visits (if essential) must be in the resident’s room

Essential visitors are:

a. Northcott staff
b. Staff of other disability, health or care services providing essential support to our residents
c. Tradespeople working to repair items or equipment that is critical to the operation and safety of the house
d. Visitors who are essential to support the mental health of any resident
e. Official Community Visitors

Accommodation services in other areas of NSW have the following rules apply:

  • All staff and visitors must wear facemasks
  • Only two visitors should be allowed each day
  • Visits should be in the resident’s room
  • No visitors are permitted from Greater Sydney (including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour).

Our measures to keep safe continue

Across Northcott we are continuing to implement other measures to keep our customers and staff safe:

  • All of our centres, homes and facilities have strict checks in place to ensure that visitors are kept to essential people only and that they are screened on arrival
  • All of our staff undertake a self-evaluation process around their health every day before coming to work. If they are sick, they stay at home and get tested for COVID-19. We also check their temperature before they are allowed to enter our centres, facilities and houses
  • Infection control, hygiene and hand washing are all enforced and all staff have received extra compulsory training in these areas.

COVID-19 translated resources

NSW Health has published translated resources about the current Public Health Orders. These have been translated in 58 languages, plus English. 

COVID-19 resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

The Department of Health has created a collection of resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and remote communities, about coronavirus (COVID-19).

We know that this latest outbreak may be causing you concern or anxiety, and we are here to support all of our customers during this time. As well as the staff who normally support you, our Customer Service Team can be contacted on 1800 818 286 8:00am to 8:00pm Monday to Friday, and 8:00am to 4:00pm on Saturday and Sunday.

We also encourage customers to regularly check the latest case locations at the NSW Government website.

This page will be updated regularly with the latest information.