Restrictions tightened and extended; ANMF welcomes increasing aged care nurses and carer vaccination rate
Latest COVID-19 statistics
Victorian COVID-19 data dashboard
Healthcare Worker COVID-19 data dashboard
Victorian Chief Health Officer daily update
Victorian Chief Health Officer daily media release
Victorian Government’s vaccination data dashboard
As at 17 August 2021: 10, 195, 842 first doses, 5,671,442 Australians fully vaccinated
In Victoria: 4,125,491 doses have been administered (state and federal programs combined).
COVID-19 stressed? Take the self-care quiz
All nurses, midwives, personal care workers and nursing and midwifery students are encouraged to reflect on their current circumstances and wellbeing and fill out the Nursing and Midwifery Health Program Victoria’s self-care plan questionnaire. You will be emailed a self-care plan. Contact NMHPV via phone 9415 7551 or email email@example.com.
ANMF (Vic Branch) ‘I’m vaccinated’ Facebook frame
ANMF members are trusted health professionals. If you are fully vaccinated, add our new nurses, midwives and carers Facebook frame to your profile photo and tell the rest of Victoria.
Restrictions tightened and extended
Responding to COVID-19 cases in the community the Victorian Government has extended the lockdown for a further two weeks until 11.59pm, Thursday 2 September. The tighter restrictions include a 9pm – 5am curfew and authorised workers must now carry permits.
Table of current restrictions [PDF]
Victorian Government media release ‘Extended Melbourne lockdown to keep Victorians Safe’
Nurses, midwives and personal care workers are authorised workers – permits explained
Nurses, midwives and aged care personal care workers are authorised workers.
You do not need to have an authorised worker permit if:
- you are a hospital or health worker (including non-emergency patient transport worker)
- you are directly employed by a residential aged care service
Whilst you are not required to carry a permit, you will need to carry identification from your workplace which includes:
- your name and place of work
- photo identification. If your workplace identification does not include a photograph, you must carry another form of photo ID for verification.
If you are a nurse, midwife or personal care worker who does not have this exemption you will need to make sure you are carrying a permit as required when attending your workplace.
Weekend pause in overnight public transport
The Victorian Department of Transport will pause weekend late-night public transport for the duration of Melbourne’s curfew. Melbourne’s trains, trams and buses will not run between 1am and 5am on Saturday and between 1am and 6am on Sunday.
ANMF does not anticipate many nurses, midwives or personal care workers will be impacted by the temporary pause. We have advised the Victorian Department of Health that in the event staff are impacted, taxi vouchers or reimbursement are to be provided by employers.
COVID risk rating for all Victorian health services COVID ACTIVE (red)
All regional and metropolitan Victorian health services must follow the COVID ACTIVE (red) guidance. The guidance provides information about PPE levels for all clinical and non-clinical scenarios, student clinical placements, workforce mobility, workforce daily attestations, and visitors.
- COVID ACTIVE (red) guidance information [Word]
- Information and risk ratings in Victorian health services
- Factsheet: Extended P2/N95 respirator and eye protection use -preventing facial injury during COVID-19 – updated advice (16 August 2021) [PDF]
- Student clinical placement guidance (26 July 2021) [Word]
ANMF welcomes the increasing aged care nurses’ and carers’ vaccination rate
The number of private and public residential aged care nurses and personal care workers getting the COVID-19 vaccine is significantly increasing. ANMF continues to strongly encourage members to get vaccinated.
ANMF understands the latest Victorian aged care data reported to the Federal Government by aged care providers indicates 71 per cent of Victorian aged care workers have received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Of these 49 per cent are fully vaccinated. Across the country 59 per cent of aged care workers have had their first dose.
ANMF welcomes the increase in the official figures and believes the actual vaccination numbers are higher in Victoria’s public aged care.
Our July survey of more than 16,000 Victorian private aged care members – nurses and personal care workers – indicated almost 80 per cent have received their first dose and almost 56 per cent have had both doses.
This is a significant rise from April when only 14 per cent of private aged care members told us they had received their first vaccination. The Federal Government had promised vaccination teams would vaccinate residents and staff in their aged care facility. Only residents were vaccinated.
Nurses and personal care workers have been eligible for the Pfizer vaccine, regardless of age, at Victorian Government vaccination hubs since 9 July 2021 (see booking details below).
ANMF would like to thank the thousands of members who are responding to these regular surveys.
Priority Pfizer vaccination appointments for nurses, midwives and carers
ANMF continues to strongly encourage all nurses, midwives and aged care personal care workers to get vaccinated.
The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and will protect yourself, your family and your patients, residents and clients from severe illness and death.
If you are a working in the public sector do not forget you can apply for the special paid leave you are provided with in the event you experience symptoms after receiving either your first or second dose of the vaccine that prevent you from attending work. You are entitled to claim up to four days (in total). The public sector enterprise agreement personal leave evidence requirements apply.
Regardless of age nurses, midwives and carers are eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine at a Victorian Government vaccine hub. Use the phone number or online appointment link below to access the Pfizer priority appointments.
How to book a priority group COVID-19 vaccine appointment
- Read the information about the booking process and the vaccines on the Victorian Government website, then
- Make an online booking via the Victorian Government’s website – the booking system allows you to access appointments as part of a priority group.or
- Call the Victorian Government Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398 and tell the hotline operator you are part of the health care worker or aged care worker priority group
Information about the vaccines
- COVID-19 vaccines – your questions answered – healthcare workers: part 1 (10 June) and part 2 (17 August)
- Federal Government information about the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine
- Federal Government information about the Pfizer vaccine
- What happens after I am vaccinated?
- Australian Academy of Science – COVID-19 facts hub
- Therapeutic Goods Administration
- World Health Organisation – vaccines explained
- National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance
- Federal Government translated information about COVID-19 vaccines
- On the Record – COVID-19 vaccination FAQs answered
Tier 1 – get tested immediately and quarantine for 14 days from exposure. You should also contact the Department of Health on 1300 651 160.
Tier 2 – get tested urgently and isolate until you have a negative result. Continue to monitor for symptoms, get tested again if symptoms appear.
Tier 3 – monitor for symptoms, if symptoms develop, immediately get tested and isolate until you receive a negative result.
Do you live with a close contact?
If you have a close contact living in your household, you are a secondary contact and must quarantine until they are told they can leave quarantine. You cannot go to work and you may be eligible for special paid leave from your employer or see below for further payment information. You can only leave the house for the following reasons:
- for medical reasons (to get medical care or get tested for COVID-19)
- in an emergency or if you are unsafe
- as specified by the Chief Health Officer
The Victorian Department of Health’s coronavirus website has more information.
Where can I get tested for COVID-19?
Please get tested even with the slightest of symptoms.
P2/N95 mask fit testing
ANMF encourages all nurses, midwives and personal care workers to participate in their workplace fit testing program as a matter of urgency to ensure you, your family and your patients, clients and residents are protected.
Irrespective of fit testing, fit checking should be undertaken every time someone puts a P2/N95 respirator on. Read the WorkSafe Victoria advice.
Personal protective equipment concern?
Members with concerns about PPE should:
- raise and submit OHS incident reports with your employer as well as speaking directly with your manager
- involve your Health and Safety Rep if you have one
- contact ANMF Member Assistance (include your report and response if applicable) for further support and advice if after you have raised your concerns they are not addressed by your employer.
How to access ANMF support
Members are encouraged complete an online Member Assistance inquiry form.
The Branch triages member inquiries meaning Member Assistance can respond to urgent matters, such as a formal AHPRA notification, a disciplinaries, meetings and bullying, and escalate to the relevant ANMF Organiser or other appropriate staff without members waiting on the phone for extended periods.
We respond to urgent queries within one business day, and non-urgent queries within three business days.
Please note ANMF Member Assistance is transitioning to a new case management system and there may be some unexpected delays, but all urgent inquiries will receive a response within one business day.
$450 test and isolation payment
The Victorian Government provides a $450 test and isolation payment to workers required to isolate after taking a COVID-19 test who don’t have access to paid leave. This is for private aged care workers too.
$1500 disaster leave payment
The Federal Government provides a $1500 disaster leave payment if you tested positive or were identified as a close contact and have to isolate for 14 days. Private aged care workers are eligible for the payment if you do not have access to paid leave during your isolation period. Call 180 22 66 to make a claim.
Emergency accommodation for healthcare workers
The Victorian Government provides the ‘frontline accommodation program’ for health care workers if they need support to quarantine or isolate safely. Private aged care nurses and personal care workers are eligible to access this program.
Victorian Department of Health employment advice
The Victorian Department of Health’s ‘Coronavirus Guidance Note on Employment-Related Matters’ last updated 18 June 2021 [PDF] – provides advice on leave, including special paid leave and vaccination leave and re-deployment. ANMF encourages all employers to follow this guidance, however, recognise that enforcement is limited to public sector employers only.
COVID-19 important links for nurses, midwives and personal care workers
ANMF continues to collate the important links all in one place, so you don’t have to go looking. Please bookmark and check this page regularly.
Don’t bring it home: guide to minimise the risk of infection
The ANMF (Vic Branch) ‘Don’t bring it home’ guide is designed to assist members returning home from work after a shift.
Job Reps and HSRs are encouraged to print the poster which is part of this PDF newsflash. You can also download the ‘Protocols for entering your home and minimising the risk of infection’ A4 poster [PDF].