By now, it’s likely that most of the organisations for whom you work will have received a notice from the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women advising that on 30 January 2020, the Australian Government declared the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Accordingly, the federal and state governments are adopting a precautionary approach in preparedness and planning for potential impacts to services.
The Department’s notice further advises that it is taking a proactive approach in informing and supporting organisations in their Contingency and Continuity Planning to ensure minimal impacts to service delivery continuity and wherever possible, a positive contribution is made to the rapid and confident recovery of individuals, communities and services.
PeakCare concurs with the Department’s view that you and your organisations play a critical role in helping to keep yourselves, your staff and colleagues, and the many children, young people and families who are the recipients of your services, safe.
If there are any lessons to be learned from the fiasco surrounding the hording of toilet paper and other items, a collective effort is what will be needed both to manage the containment of this virus and avoid unnecessary and ill-informed fearful reactions to its potential impact. Operating solely out of self-interest, as we have unfortunately seen demonstrated by some, will harm not only others but also those who indulge in this selfish behaviour. As leaders within the community services sector, you have a role to play in modelling what a collective effort should look like and in facilitating a measured response that looks out for the best interests of all.
What PeakCare will be doing
PeakCare is not a health authority with the capability of providing advice about the virus, its transmission, treatment or containment. We will be however regularly disseminating information and resource materials via special editions of our eNews and have allocated a page on our website for the publication of this information.
What you and your organisation can do
- Make sure your staff and colleagues are eNews subscribers and therefore able to quickly receive information as it becomes available
To subscribe, visit the home page of PeakCare’s website, scroll down and follow the instructions – it takes a few seconds only!
- Regularly visit PeakCare’s website and view materials posted there
- Make sure you, your staff and colleagues access the following links and familiarise yourself with the comprehensive and up to date Federal and Queensland Health resources regarding COVID-19 and the process governments are taking to contain the virus, including practical things we all can do to help minimise transmission.
- Make sure your organisation is familiar with, and where relevant, is acting on the advice contained within People with vulnerabilities in disasters: A framework for an effective local response, developed by the Queensland Government in collaboration with key partners, to contribute to building resilient communities.
This Framework and associated resources including a Tool Kit are available via the following link: https://www.qld.gov.au/community/disasters-emergencies/supporting-people-with-vulnerabilities
- Make sure your organisation has developed or reviewed and updated your Business Continuity Plan.
Resources to assist your organisation to develop or review and update your Business Continuity Plan can be accessed from the following websites:
Immediate advice to be observed by all
In keeping with Queensland Government advice for protecting yourself and others from the coronavirus (COVID-19), make sure you, your staff and colleagues observe the following precautions:
- Frequently clean your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rubs
- Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing with a tissue or flexed elbow
- Avoid contact with anyone who has symptoms such as a cough, fever, fatigue, sore throat, and shortness of breath
- Stay home if you are unwell
- If you have been overseas in the last 14 days and are feeling unwell, see a doctor immediately.