Disability services sector - COVID-19

Read about COVID-19 advice, directions and support for the disability sector.
Read about COVID-19 advice, directions and support for the disability sector.

Key points

COVID vaccinations are now available for people with disability in Victoria, and their workers and carers. More information is available at Vaccination information for people with a disability, carers, volunteers and disability support workers

COVIDSafe Settings are now in place across Victoria.

Information about coronavirus for people with disability in accessible format is available on the Victoria coronavirus webpage for the disability community.

Select workers (including contractors, volunteers and students on placement) are required to be vaccinated – visit the Coronavirus website or refer to the Chief Health Officer Directions for more information.

Scope

This guidance is for:

  • Victorian non-residential disability services such as supported disability employment settings, in-home support services and centre-based services, including disability day programs
  • Victorian disability services covered by the Care Facilities Directions including residential disability services and eligible Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) enrolled dwellings.

COVIDSafe Settings for the disability services sector

All disability services must comply with any applicable directions in the Workplace (Additional Industry Obligations) and have a COVIDSafe Plan for onsite operations. For more information about restrictions and developing a COVIDSafe Plan visit Victoria’s coronavirus website.

NDIS providers have obligations under the NDIS Code of Conduct and the NDIS Practice Standards as well as conditions of registration that relate to the delivery of safe, quality supports and services, and the management of risks associated with the supports provided to NDIS participants.

The NDIS Quality & Safeguards Commission has issued a fact sheet for providers about COVID-19 outbreak preparedness, prevention and management. This resource contains practical guidance to support providers to ensure workers take reasonable precautions to protect people with disability and themselves, prepare for an outbreak of COVID-19, respond to suspected or confirmed cases in different types of service settings, and manage an outbreak of COVID-19.

From 28 May 2021, community facilities (e.g. community centres and community halls) must use the free Victorian Government QR Code Service through the Service Victoria app. For instructions on how to switch if you are using a non-Service Victoria provider, please go to QR code service and digital record keeping for contact tracing.

Vaccinations

The COVID-19 vaccines are free, safe and voluntary – the more people who are vaccinated, the greater the protection for those vaccinated and the whole community.

  • The COVID-19 vaccines are free for everyone in Australia.
  • The best person to talk to if you have concerns about your health and being vaccinated against COVID-19 is your doctor/general practitioner (GP).
  • Visit the Australian Government website for the latest news and updates on COVID-19 vaccines.
  • For the latest vaccine information from the Victorian Department of Health, please visit: COVID-19 Vaccines.

You can also subscribe to the Victorian Department of Health project update mailing list for updates on the vaccination rollout in Victoria.

Information about service users’ rights to consent to or refuse the vaccine can be accessed on the Office of the Public Advocate website.

COVID-19 information for people with disability is available in accessible formats at: Information for people with disability.

IPCAR webinars

The disability sector workforce are invited to attend free one-hour webinars on infection prevention and control from the Department of Health’s Infection Prevention Control Advice and Response (IPCAR) unit.

The webinars are for disability support workers in residential and community-based programs and will occur each week until the end of June. It will cover:

  • Basic infection prevention and control principles and how to apply these relevant to the settings
  • Q&A with IPCAR educators and a member of the Advice team 
  • The webinars are also an opportunity to share and discuss what is working well on the ground with other service providers.

Separate webinars are scheduled for staff working in residential services and staff from community-based programs:

Disability residential services

Disability community-based services

Registrations are not required. Join the webinar using Microsoft Teams in the link provided above at the start of the webinar.

For more information, please contact covid19education&training@health.vic.gov.au.

Disability COVID-19 prevention and preparedness

Find out about disability COVID prevention and preparedness including COVIDSafe plans, PPE requirements and obligations for centre-based services and disability residential services.

Disability COVID-19 response

All disability service providers must be prepared to respond quickly and effectively to a potential or actual outbreak of COVID-19.