COVID-19 information for aged care and community care providers

WA Health is committed to ensuring that our partner organisations and other affiliates in Aged Care and Community Care are well supported to deal with COVID-19. 

We are especially keen to ensure vulnerable persons, who we know are more vulnerable to the virus, are able to receive the ongoing safe and high quality care they need.

Aged Care Providers include Government and private agencies who provide care to older persons. Community Care Providers include organisations and staff who work to provide care outside of the hospital setting and in the community, including home care and non-clinical care.

Living with COVID-19: Residential aged care facilities in WA webinar

WA Health ran a ‘Living with COVID-19: Residential aged care facilities in WA’ webinar on Thursday 18 November at 2-3pm (AWST).

Webinar speakers included:

  • Dr Andrew Robertson, Chief Health Officer, Assistant Director General, Public and Aboriginal Health Division, WA Department of Health (DoH); and
  • Dr Tudor Codreanu, Incident Controller, SHICC, WA DoH.

Watch the webinar (external site).

Aged care

The COVID-19 Guidelines for Residential Aged Care Facilities (PDF 1.9MB) have been developed by the Department of Health Western Australia (WA) to support Health Service Providers (HSP) and residential aged care facilities (RACF) in relation to transfer of residents to and from hospital during the WA COVID-19 pandemic response.

Workers at Residential Aged Care Facilities Directions

Visitors to Residential Aged Care Facilities Directions

Preparedness resources

If you are an aged care facility wishing to share a resource with your sector colleagues on this page, please send through to ensuring that you have received any appropriate approvals from your organisation beforehand.

Aged care infection prevention and control resources

Appropriate approaches to Infection Prevention and Control (IP&C) and correct use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are essential in reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Infection Prevention and Control Guidelines for Western Australian Residential Care Facilities (PDF 292KB) has been prepared to support residential care facility Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Leads and outlines key IPC responsibilities. 

If you wish to use the below as part of a training package – refer to the slides for the Infection prevention and control/PPE training slides (PDF 2MB).

Hand hygiene

Hand hygiene means thoroughly cleaning your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub (hand sanitiser). Correct hand hygiene reduces the spread of germs and is essential in reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

It is important to know when to perform hand hygiene. The 5 moments of hand hygiene poster (external site) provides a useful reminder and can be placed around the workplace.

It’s also important to know how to wash and cleanse your hands properly. The How to wash your hands poster (PDF 348KB), shows how to wash hands with soap and water and with hand sanitiser, and can be placed above hand wash stations and where hand sanitiser is located.

Watch the Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network video (external site) to encourage hand hygiene amongst care providers.

How to don (put on) and doff (remove) PPE

All staff members must be trained in the correct use of PPE. This includes identification and correct donning and doffing sequences. The correct sequence for donning and doffing PPE is outlined in the Personal and protective equipment poster (PDF 298KB) which contains both visual and brief written instructions.

For a more detailed written sequence,  see Education: Donning and doffing (PDF 2020KB).

You may also wish to view this brief Donning and doffing PPE video (external site).

To support training undertaken in your facility, download the Donning and doffing assessment tool (Word 1MB).

Donning and doffing stations

Donning and doffing stations should be easily accessible but located in completely separate, designated and distanced zones.

See Donning and doffing station examples (PDF 411KB) for pictures of donning and doffing stations. 

Infection prevention and control for designated zones

In the event of a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, your service should be divided into zones to limit the risk of transmission.

Follow the Special precautions for COVID-19 designated zones (external link). for advice on the necessary precautions before entering a COVID-19 designated zone and what PPE changes are necessary between resident rooms. This is dependent on the procedure undertaken, level of contact with the resident and what PPE may be or is contaminated.

It should be noted that in the event of an outbreak, significant efforts and resources will apply to designated zones including the creation of staffing and resident cohorts.  Additional IP&C strategies will need to be strictly followed.

Last reviewed: 06-01-2022