For information specific about the Aged Care Industry issued by the Department of Health please visit here

Media Release by Prime Minister of Australia
To all ACCW members – ACCW Response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Australian College of Care Workers (ACCW) a National Registration, the non-profit leading organisation for Care Workers working across sectors in Residential Aged Care Services, Mental Health, Disability and Community Services.

The Janet Lawrence -FACN, with Board Members of ACCW, takes this opportunity to keep you all informed of the development and spread of a COVID-19 aimed at protecting residents and those are providing care in the above care sector.

The health and wellbeing of our vulnerable elderly and Care Workers are our utmost priority.

To provide a healthy and safe educational environment, we much appreciate I respectfully ask that all ACCW members follow below practices:

The best defence in preventing the spread of illness is:

  1. Scrupulous handwashing
    • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, including before and after eating and conducting care between each resident;
    • Use the hand dryer to dry your hands or paper towel in the kitchen;
    • Use alcohol-based hand sanitiser;
    • Remind elderly clients the importance of washing hands regularly, and having the front of mind, their hygiene for the protection of themselves and others.
  2. Cleaning
    • Use a proactive and preventative approach to protect the elderly against the spread of Coronavirus in the care sector;
    • Daily cleaning of commonly handled surfaces such as doorknobs, handles, pens, computers, student desks, chairs, tables, lab equipment, wheelchairs, lifting equipment, computers, laptops, reception, living, dining, bedrooms, recreational activities, lounge room, bathrooms, and offices areas, etc.
  3. Reporting and advising students and staff
    • Suspicion of flu-like symptoms to leave the aged care and visit their doctor.
    • Write an incident report so the facility can track down and trace incidents of COVID-19 if needed.
    • Ensure adequate supplies including masks, gloves and hand wash, and having action plans in place to cover infection to measures for the elderly, staff and visitors
    • If you are working in two different care facilities, ensure that you change your uniform between care work facilities.
  1. Self-Isolation
    • If living with a person returning from overseas to quarantine in their own home for 14 days and provide a medical certificate of clearance.
    • If you are part of a Care facility where cases of possible exposure are being established, please consider not going into the care facility until you have confirmation of your level of exposure and required actions.
    • If you have been confirmed as being in close contact with someone who has coronavirus disease (COVID-19), please stay at home (self-quarantine) for the 14-day isolation period prior to returning to classes. Close contact is defined as someone who has been facing to face for at least 15 minutes or be in the same closed space for at least two hours with someone who had tested positive for COVID-19 when that person was infectious.
    • Stay home if you are feeling unwell. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and can last from 2 to 14 days.
    • If you or student have travelled, or have been exposed to someone that has gone to an affected area, please adhere to the governments’ advice and wait 14 days before coming back to class.
  1. Information on COVID-19
    • Continue to stay up to date with the daily news and follow the official directives from both the National and State Health Departments.  For more information on Coronavirus on https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncovCall the hotline on the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080
  1. Avoid contact rule
    • All Care Workers implement an ‘avoid contact rule’ in class.
    • In some cases, where the safety of our elderly requires necessary hand contact support, then additional hygiene and sanitation will be implemented.
    • Please avoid contact with other clients and staff by giving a wave or smile rather than hugging or high fiving friends before, during, and after work. Team to practise good respiratory hygiene, inclusive of covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, coughing into a flexed elbow, disposing of tissues and washing your hands immediately rigorously (for at least 20 seconds) with soap or alcohol-based rubs.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  1. Training and Continuing Professional Development
    1. Undertaken refresher training in Infection Control and Hand Hygiene.
    2. Refer to Coronavirus (COVID-19) health alert
      1. What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)
      2. Symptoms
      3. Who is at risk
      4. How it spreads
      5. Prevention
      6. Diagnosis
      7. Treatment
      8. Resources
      9. Support services
      10. Health sector
      11. What the Health Department is doing
  1. Screening
    1. Vetting staff contractors and visitors for risk factors

At this time, there are no directives from either our State or National Departments of Health to advise shut down of all Care facilities.  However, we continue to monitor this status closely and should this change we will advise accordingly.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation as we do our best to circumnavigate these difficult times.

Do not panic, let common-sense prevail, take personal responsibility for your health, safety and wellbeing.



Janet Lawrence-Chair Person/ACCW Board Member