Victorian COVID-19 cases: on 25 August there are 538 active cases. Of the 45 new cases announced today, 36 are linked to known outbreaks and nine are under investigation. Data links at the end of this newsflash.
Vaccine science in the context of COVID-19 webinar
Thursday 26 August 2021, 7.30-8.45pm, hosted by Federal ANMF
The fast-moving pace of COVID-19 science both from disease progression and treatments has been hard to keep up with. Nurses and midwives are well-positioned to advocate for science and safety. In this webinar, Dr Jessica Stokes-Parish (RN, PhD) and nurse immuniser Romy Blacklaw will present the safety processes, research, surveillance of adverse events (including data on safety so far) and the difference between COVID-19 vaccines.
COVID-19 vaccines webinar for aged care workers
Thursday 26 August 2021, 2 – 3:30pm, hosted by Victorian Department of Health
Be informed on the vaccine rollout and the latest accurate vaccine information. Topics include safety, side effects and vaccines and fertility, pregnancy and breastfeeding. Presented by infectious diseases physician Dr Tom Schulz who is the Victorian Department of Health’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program Senior Medical Advisor and obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Vijay Roach who is also the president of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
Mandatory COVID-19 vaccination webinar for Victorian residential aged care workers
Monday 6 September 2021 (save the date)
This Victorian-specific webinar is designed to support the residential aged care workforce on priority COVID-19 vaccination and provide information on the state’s public health order requiring vaccination. The webinar will be chaired by Commonwealth Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Michael Kidd and Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, Adjunct Professor Alison McMillan. Panellists will include Victorian Government representatives, unions (including ANMF) and clinicians.
- Registration details are expected soon.
All Victorian health services move to COVID PEAK (black) very high risk rating
All Victorian health care services must now follow the Victorian Department of Health’s COVID PEAK (black) rating.
The guidance provides information about PPE levels for all clinical and non-clinical scenarios, student clinical placements, workforce mobility, mandatory testing and workforce daily attestations, and visitor restrictions.
Under the COVID PEAK guidance high-risk employees are to be redeployed or if not possible, furloughed. Where practical restrict all health care worker movement to one campus/ facility. Nurses and midwives rostered to work in COVID-streaming areas must not work in a different campus or healthcare setting within 14 days.
Elective surgery is continuing but the department is monitoring the situation and will update advice as required.
Under COVID PEAK student clinical placements are restricted from providing care/being exposed to high-risk SCOVID/confirmed COVID patients. They are also restricted from high-risk hospital work premises including emergency departments, intensive care units, COVID/SCOVID wards and aged care
Maternal and child health services COVID PEAK guidance
Under COVID PEAK (black) risk guidance maternal and child health services have moved to telehealth where possible. Face-to-face visits continue for all infants 0-8 weeks at each key age and stage visit, Aboriginal infants and children and those with additional needs or concerns.
Subject to workforce capacity, for all other infants and children provide tele or web-based consultations in combination with short face-to-face visits for physical and developmental assessments
Telehealth consultations should be offered to support face-to-face services and keep in touch with families.
Local governments are to implement a dedicated MCH team for home visits to a household with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 or tier 1 or tier 2 exposure. These visits require tier 3 PPE.
Read the Maternal and child health and early parenting centre guidance (21 August 2021) [Doc]
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.
We are eagerly awaiting the release of the Chief Health Officer Directives which we expect will require those working in both public and private aged care to have a dose of the vaccine prior to 17 September.
The aged care vaccination blitz continues until Sunday 29 August (inclusive). Many state vaccination centres have walk-ins available for aged care staff, but bookings are preferred.
Public sector nurses and midwives have access to half a day’s paid leave to have your vaccination and up to four days special leave if you have symptoms after receiving your vaccine that prevent you from attending work. 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.
Make an online booking via the Victorian Government’s website or call the Victorian Government Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398 and tell the hotline operator you are a health care worker or aged care worker. NB: Due to high demand, you may experience long delays or need to try again.
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. More information via the Victorian Department of Health.
Where can I get tested for COVID-19?
Please get tested even with the slightest of symptoms.
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 (scroll to the bottom of the page).
$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.
$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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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
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 download and print the ‘Protocols for entering your home and minimising the risk of infection’ A4 poster [PDF].