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Posted 24 July 2020
Dear Families and Participants,
As you will be aware there has been an increase in diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in NSW recently. These are currently occurring in a number of locations across NSW, particularly in South West Sydney.
We are all focused on reducing and stopping community transmission to contain the spread.
Our priority is the safety of our customers, participants, employees, families and the wider community. We continue to follow Government advice and Directives.
With this in mind NSW Health has released new Guidelines and requirements for Disability Service Providers. Providers are required to make immediate changes to the way we operate until further notice to keep everyone safe.
These changes mean that all staff currently living or working in Liverpool, Campbelltown, Fairfield, Camden, Wingecarribee, and Wollondilly Local Government Areas (LGAs) MUST wear surgical masks at all times when in Ability Options’ Group homes or Day Programs. We do not have employees who live in these LGA and work in our Day Programs. Therefore these requirements currently affect our group homes at:
The requirements also mean that, unfortunately, family visits to loved ones in Rossmore, Ellis Lane and Catherine Fields Group homes will need to be restricted until further notice. If you require a visit to one of these Group Homes and feel your reason is essential, please contact one of our managers to discuss prior to attending.
In addition all visitors to Ability Options group homes in Sydney, Hunter and the Mid North Coast will be screened prior to access, to ensure they have not recently been in any of the COVID-19 ‘Sydney Hot Spots’ which can be found here: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/latest-news-and-updates
Ability Options provide supports to, and employs, a number of people with medical vulnerabilities across many of our group homes and Disability Services. We anticipate that NSW Health will continue to update this advice as we progress through the current COVID-19 outbreaks and community transmission and we will provide further updates as we receive them.
If you have any questions or concerns please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. Thank you for your support during these challenging times.
CEO Ability Options
Dear Participants, Families and Guardians,
As you know, there is ongoing and growing concern about the spread of COVID-19 also known as Coronavirus. Our priority is the health and safety of our participants and their families, and our wonderful employees.
Ability Options is complying with Australian Government Department of Health advice and requirements which you can find at www.health.gov.au and all legislation, whether State or Commonwealth. We appreciate that not all Government advice has been consistent in this fast moving event.
COVID-19 will continue to have an impact on our services here at Ability Options, as it is everywhere else. Due to the recent announcements made by our Prime Minister, we have no other choice but to suspend until further notice the following services:
These changes are scheduled to occur formally from Monday 30 March 2020 until further notice. However, most of these have already ceased operating as participants have already chosen to stay at home.
We are working to keep everyone safe at Ability Options – our staff, participants, families and carers, contractors and suppliers, business customers, and all others who use our services and sites.
With recent positive announcements made by the NDIA in response to COVID-19, all participants will have their plans extended by 12 – 24 months from the expiry date. In addition to this, all participants will now have access to Support Coordination through CORE funding to ensure participants and their families have additional supports in this time. This will help us coordinate essential supports that will assist you and/or your family whilst these requirements are enforced by our Australian Government to keep us all as safe as possible.
The NDIA have also increased some prices to assist organisations to continue supporting vulnerable people in this difficult time. Ability Options will claim all services in line with the updated price guide as outlined within out service user agreement.
If you haven’t spoken to an Ability Options team member yet (this includes people accessing services through Mid North Coast Disability Services) you will be contacted soon to discuss safe alternatives for services for your loved ones. We do want to walk beside you throughout this very difficult time.
Ability Options employees affected by these changes are being offered redeployment opportunities within the organisation, including options to support you or your loved one at home over the coming weeks and months if that is suitable for you.
If you would like to discuss Support Coordination, please contact Intake
For more information and up to date messages from Ability Options, please go to our website www.abilityoptions.org.au and click on the COVID-19 button.
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us via email@example.com
CEO Ability Options
We want you to be confident that we are planning and acting calmly. We have robust Emergency Plans which we updated recently and they are in place and operating well to ensure that everyone’s safety and the quality of our services are our priority. We are acting responsibly our actions are consistent with government and medical advice. We are taking a cautious and careful approach and are planning now so that we are prepared as the situation is expected to worsen.
We strongly recommend that you take the same advice regarding hand hygiene and social distancing. Please do not attend our sites, services or Group Homes if you are unwell or showing flu like symptoms including a sore throat, cough, fever or difficulty breathing or have recently returned from overseas. Please wash your hands thoroughly when you enter one of our sites.
What is Ability Options doing to create a safe environment?
Telehealth Services Available
Telehealth services will be available for people who:
This includes information that providers will be encouraged to limit visits under national guidelines aimed at the prevention and control of coronavirus.
We need to acknowledge that at some point, this may mean that non-essential services may need to cease or be limited for a while. We are working on contingency planning to reduce the impact on our participants and employees. We will keep you informed and provide as much lead-time possible if this is looking likely.
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