Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Civic is taking specific action to maintain client and staff safety.
Read the latest updates and alerts relating to Civic’s pandemic management plan.

Civic COVID-19 Update

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Civic

COVID-19 has the potential to impact disability service providers and the individuals to whom we provide support. Civic is taking specific action to maintain client and staff safety. Use the links below to navigate our approach to the COVID-19 outbreak and to access resources.

If you are concerned about COVID-19 and its potential impact on yourself or your friends and family who work or receive services from Civic, please contact us on 1300 692 484 or by emailing our Customer Experience Team at enquiries@civic.org.au.

  • CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) AND CIVIC

    7th July 2021 – Restrictions Impacting Civic Services Extended

    Further to our update on 26th June, the NSW Government has this morning confirmed that the Stay-At-Home order will remain in place until midnight on Friday July 16th.

    As you know, this impacts all Civic services aside from the services we deliver in the Nowra region.

    All impacts listed below in the 26th June are applicable and remain in place. A summary of our service status is provided below.

    26th June 2021 – New Restrictions Impacting Civic Services

    This afternoon, NSW Government announced a Stay-At-Home order affecting all of Greater Sydney, Nepean Blue Mountains, Wollongong and the Central Coast, and is currently set to remain in place until midnight on July 9th.

    This impacts all Civic services aside from the services we deliver in the Nowra region. The impacts are listed below.

    Accommodation Services

    As an essential service, our SIL and SDA accommodation services will remain operational. Under the Stay-At-Home Order, the following restrictions affect all Civic sites, excluding Nowra.

    • All non-essential visits are to be postponed. While essential – including medical – appointments will continue, NSW Health have advised visits are to be restricted. House Managers will be in touch to reschedule any planned visits as soon as the Stay-At-Home orders have been lifted.
    • Staff will resume a single-site roster, limiting their support to a single site and therefore minimising any risk of infection.
    • Residents will be under the Stay-At-Home order, which means they will be unable to attend non-essential activities in the community. Clients will, however, be supported to take part in COVIDSafe activities.
    • All staff will be required to wear surgical masks and additional PPE will be available.

    All other pandemic protocols, including temperature screening and social distancing remain in place across all Civic sites.

    Centre- and Community-Based Group Activities

    Under the Stay-At-Home order, Civic is suspending our Centre-based activities and evening and weekend social groups within the Greater Sydney, Nepean Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Central Coast regions until the Order is lifted at midnight on July 9th.
    The temporary suspension of both centre- and community-based group activities is in line with advice from the Department of Health to restrict social contact.

    Therefore, if you visit a Civic Hub, you will not be able to attend these services until the Stay-at-Home order ends.

    If you attend these services, and also receive accommodation services from Civic, you will be supported as a household to take part in COVIDSafe activities that are in line with the Stay-At-Home order.

    As a recipient of centre- or community-based group supports, we will be in touch directly next week, and keep you informed and up to date on when services will resume.

    Supports in Employment

    Under the Stay-At-Home order, Civic is suspending the provision of Supports in Employment within the Greater Sydney, Nepean Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Central Coast regions. This suspension excludes supports delivered in the Nowra region.

    This means, if you are a Supported Employee, working at Civic Industries, Civic Kitchen and Catering in Engadine, or Civic Coffee Cart in Penrith, your place of work will be closed until midnight on July 9th.

    Service Location Service Status
    Supports in Employment Civic Industries, Cawarra Road
    • Service temporarily suspended.
    • Clients to remain home until suspension lifted.
    • You will be contacted by your Practice Leader and kept informed as to when the service will resume.
    Civic Kitchen and Catering, Engadine
    Civic Coffee Cart, Penrith
    Civic Kitchen and Catering, Nowra
    • Operating as usual

    Other Services

    Our support coordination, clinical and one-to-one support services will remain operational with additional measures in place to ensure the health and safety of our clients and staff.

    Our head office functions will also remain operational, with staff mobilized to work from home.

    We understand that the decisions we make as an organisation have an impact on individuals, their families and other organisations. We are working closely with all stakeholders and, for those who find themselves in increased need, we have reserved accommodation vacancies to provide medium term accommodation or respite should it be required. With our 1:1 and clinical services still operating for essential visits, please don’t hesitate to contact us if you are in need of these services.

    While the Stay-At-Home order is due to end at midnight on July 9th, we will update you as soon as possible should this change. We continue to monitor the outbreak of COVID-19 closely and adjust our response and strategies in line with advice from the Department of Health. We will endeavour to communicate directly with those impacted by our service delivery

    23rd June 2021 – Important update regarding COVID-19 Restrictions

    As the situation regarding COVID-19 continues to evolve quickly, we are taking our responsibility to protect our communities and the vulnerable extremely seriously.

    In line with the updated advice from NSW Health, clients attending Supported Employment or Centre-based Social Activities at any Civic site, who live in any of the following Local Government Areas, are asked to remain home until Wednesday June 30.

    • City of Sydney,
    • Waverley,
    • Randwick,
    • Canada Bay,
    • Inner West,
    • Bayside,
    • Woollahra

     

    This means, if you live in one of the above areas, you are not able to attend Civic Industries or Hubs until the restrictions have been lifted. This is to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our communities and prevent the risk of COVID-19 spreading further. Prior to returning to Civic services, we would also recommend a COVID test be completed.

    For anyone who lives outside of these Local Government Areas, these services remain in operation, and you will be able to continue attending. Clients will, however, need to continue wearing a surgical mask while on site.

    The health and safety of our clients, staff and wider communities remains our priority. We are adhering to all Government restrictions and introducing the following measures across our services:

    • Capacity limits across all sites will be reduced to one person per four square metres. This impacts all sites including our Hubs, Industries and Head Office locations and ensures we can maintain safe social distancing.
    • Surgical masks have been required on site since last week.
    • Non-essential visits to our sites are to be restricted. 

     

    It’s important to note that, as an essential service provider, our accommodation services remain fully operational. To safeguard the health of our clients residing in residential accommodation, our pandemic protocols remain in place. These are:

    • Staff are restricted to working at a limited number of sister sites to reduce the risk of transmission and protect workers and residents
    • Staff are screened against the NSW, Interstate and International close and casual contact places of concern daily and adhere with the relevant Government advice
    • All staff and visitors have their temperature screened prior to entry
    • No staff are allowed on site who have symptoms of cold or flu and are required to test negative for COVID-19 prior to returning to work
    • All staff are required to wear a surgical mask while on site.

     

    In line with NSW Health advice, visitors are currently restricted to two visitors per day per resident, and are to be held either outdoors or in the resident’s room where practical. Your house manager will support you in making COVIDSafe arrangements to ensure your loved one remains in contact with you.

    We continue to monitor the outbreak of COVID-19 and adjust our response and strategies in line with the advice from the Department of Health. We are currently reviewing all our services and activities to ensure they are in line with current precautions, and where required will make further changes to accommodate restrictions now or as they emerge.

    21st June 2021 – Important update regarding COVID-19 Restrictions

    As the cases of COVID-19 in Greater Sydney increase, we have taken immediate steps to safeguard the health of our clients, staff and the wider community. In line with advice from NSW Health, on Friday, all staff operating in Greater Sydney, including Nepean Blue Mountains, were instructed to wear surgical masks while on site, and visitors to our residential settings were to be limited to two per day. This advice has now been extended to the Illawarra, affecting all Civic sites.

    Capacity limits across all sites will be reduced to one person per four square metres. This impacts all sites including our Hubs, Industries and Head Office locations and ensures we can maintain safe social distancing.
    Surgical masks have been required on site since last week.
    Non-essential visits to our sites are to be restricted

    Current Restrictions

    • All staff and visitors will be required to wear a surgical mask while at any Civic site. Please note, in line with recommendations from NSW health, the use of non-surgical masks is not permitted on Civic premises.
    • Similarly, visitor restrictions have been put in place. As per the latest advice to residential disability care providers, this means a maximum of two visitors per resident, per day is currently permitted and outdoor visits are encouraged. Your house manager will be in touch to discuss any scheduled visits, and ensure COVIDSafe practices are in place.
    • Visits should be in the resident’s room where practical. Alternatively, visits should be outdoors (when weather permits) or other appropriate location that reduces potential contact with other residents and staff.

    All our existing pandemic protocols, including temperature screening and check in on arrival, remain in place.

    We will continue to communicate any updates that may impact you or your family member in a timely manner should they be introduced by NSW Health. We also recommend you bookmark our COVID-19 information page on our website, and follow our social pages, where any updates are posted.

    18th May 2021 – Important update regarding COVID-19 Vaccinations

    Since our last communication regarding the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccinations there have been some significant changes, including widespread delays to the planned roll out of phase 1A of the COVID-19.

    Phase 1A of the roll out was intended to prioritise the vaccination of residents living in residential disability and aged care homes. However, the delay in allocating a provider to deliver the vaccinations, combined with the changing recommendations by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) relating to the Astra Zeneca vaccine has meant this phase is now several weeks behind.

    We have been maintaining close contact with both NSW Health and Local Health Districts and I would like to update you on the status of Civic’s COVID-19 vaccine roll out.

    Phase 1A

    • For residents of disability homes who are able, we have been advised by NSW and Local Health Districts to organise the delivery of the vaccine either at the GP or at the State Vaccination Clinics located at St George Hospital and Sydney Olympic Park.
    • A provider – Aspen Medical – has now been appointed to deliver the relevant vaccine to those living in residential disability homes and who are unable to travel to receive the vaccine either at their GP or State Vaccination Clinics. We have been told that Sydney-based disability service providers will be contacted this week to organise distribution of the vaccine within our accommodation sites to those unable to travel to receive their vaccine.

     

    Phase 1B

    Under Phase 1B of the COVID-19 vaccination roll out all our staff are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Staff have been provided with letters of eligibility and are organizing to receive the vaccine at GPs or state vaccination clinics in line with their age and recommendations by the ATAGI. Vaccination records are being filed for all staff.

    In line with the recommendations of the ATAGI:

    • Residents aged 50 and over will receive the Astra Zeneca vaccine unless advised otherwise by a GP
    • Residents under the age of 50 will receive the Pfizer vaccine

     

    Click here to read the full ATAGI statement.

    If you need to contact us 

    We understand you will have questions and concerns relating to the COVID-19 vaccine.

    If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know. You can email enquiries@civic.org.au or call 1300 692 484.

    6th May 2021 – Important update regarding COVID-19 Restrictions

    As the situation regarding COVID-19 evolves quickly, we are taking our responsibility to protect our communities and the vulnerable extremely seriously. Thankfully, this is a situation we are now well accustomed to, and have acted quickly to put in place recommendations made by NSW Health this morning.

    New Restrictions

    • As of today, Thursday May 6th, all staff and visitors will be required to wear a surgical mask while at any Civic site. Please note, in line with recommendations from NSW health, the use of non-surgical masks is not permitted on Civic premises.
    • Similarly, visitor restrictions have been put in place. As per the latest advice to residential disability care providers, this means a maximum of two visitors per resident, per day is currently permitted and outdoor visits are encouraged. Your house manager will be in touch to discuss any scheduled visits, and ensure COVIDSafe practices are in place.

    With Mothers’ Day approaching, we are hopeful any further restrictions can be avoided, however, we will communicate any updates that may impact you or your family member in a timely manner should they be introduced by NSW Health. We also recommend you bookmark our Covid information page on our website, and follow our social pages, where any updates are posted.

    Following the updated advice, we are now working with each of our residents to ensure access to the COVID-19 vaccine – either via appointments at a GP, a state vaccination clinic, or via in-reach teams.

     

    12th April 2021 – Important Updated Information regarding COVID-19 Vaccine Roll Out

    As you will be aware, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has advised that anyone under the age of 50 should not receive the AstraZeneca vaccine due to the risk of developing blood clots. The updated advice is listed in full below.

    The Australian Government has this morning confirmed that the Pfizer vaccine will now be available for people with disability, carers and workers aged between 18 and 50 years old, as part of Phases 1A and 1B of the vaccine roll out. Please click here to view the The Australian Government update statement.

    This means clients and their support workers will be prioritised to receive the Pfizer vaccine, as soon as it is made available to Civic. Please click here to view the information letter sent to all Civic families regarding this update.

    It’s important to note that the AstraZeneca vaccine is still approved for use in anyone over the age of 50 and anyone who has already received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine and who has not suffered an adverse event will be able to have their second dose.

    Updated ATAGI advice on AstraZeneca Vaccine

    ATAGI recommends that the COVID-19 vaccine by Pfizer (Comirnaty) is preferred over COVID19 Vaccine AstraZeneca in adults aged under 50 years. This recommendation is based on the increasing risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 in older adults (and hence a higher benefit from vaccination) and a potentially increased risk of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia following AstraZeneca vaccine in those under 50 years.

    COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca can be used in adults aged under 50 years where the benefits are likely to outweigh the risks for that individual and the person has made an informed decision based on an understanding of the risks and benefits.

    Click here to read the full ATAGI statement

    COVID-19 Vaccine Roll Out

    Australia’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program commenced on 22 February 2021. In line with information provided to us by the Department of Health, we have compiled information to support clients and families as we look ahead to the roll out of the vaccine across Civic services.

    To date, there have been widespread delays to the planned roll out of phases 1A and 1B of the COVID-19 vaccine due to supply issues of both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines.

    The new advice, and decision to limit vaccinations in those people with disability to the Pfizer vaccine, are expected to further impact the pace of the vaccination schedule.

    However, we are well prepared. All clients living in our accommodation services have been consulted with and have attended consultations with their physician where required. Consent to receive the vaccine has been sought from clients and their decision makers, and our sites prepared for the safe delivery of the vaccine on-site.

    As soon as we are contacted by NSW Health or their partners, Health Direct, to confirm vaccination dates across our accommodation sites, you will be contacted by the house manager and given the opportunity to attend on vaccination day.

    Please note, all information provided is referenced from and available on the Department of Health’s dedicated web page health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/covid-19-vaccines/.

    Preparing for the Vaccine Roll Out

    Anyone living or working in residential disability accommodation sites will be included in Phase 1a. This means that anyone who receives Civic accommodation services will receive the vaccine in the next few weeks, along with their support workers. We may not know, until a few days before, when this will take place. It’s therefore important to be prepared ahead of the vaccine roll out.

    A number of resources have been made available for people with disability, which we encourage you to reference. These, including the Easy read information, are being used to support us in our discussions with our clients about the vaccine roll out.

    What we’re doing

    • To prepare our clients for the vaccine, we are now actively discussing the COVID-19 Vaccination program with them. The Department of Health’s Easy Read documentation is being used to support these discussions.
    • During these discussions, we are supporting our clients to make a decision around informed consent to receive the vaccine.
    • We are also documenting what supports each person may need on vaccination day, such as having a support person, including family members, there at the time of vaccination.
    • Operationally, we are working with the Department of Health to ensure all our sites are suitably prepared prior to vaccination day. This includes the provision of appropriate spaces for vaccinations to occur, and for clients to be monitored after receiving the vaccine.

    For more information on client consultations and consent, please click here.

    A reminder of our current Pandemic Protocols

    As we remain vigilant to the ongoing threat posed by Coronavirus, the following pandemic protocols remain in place across Civic sites and services:

    • All staff and visitors are required to sign in electronically using the Service NSW app when visiting any Civic site
    • Any staff with symptoms of cold or flu are asked to stay home, get tested, and not return to work until a negative test has been received.
    • Temperature Screening is in place across all Civic Sites
    • Known hot spots are circulated daily and anyone who has been at a known hot spot is not permitted entry
    • Social distancing is in place across all workplaces, and COVIDSafe activities planned for clients outside of the home
    • A heightened cleaning regime is in place
    • All staff and visitors must continue to wear masks at work and when on Public transport
    • Visitors from restricted areas and those who are in isolation or have been tested are excluded from all facilities

    If you need to contact us about our response to COVID-19

    If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know. You can email enquiries@civic.org.au or call 1300 692 484. Please also refer to our website for our most up-to-date information relating to the Coronavirus pandemic.

    Services affected by COVID-19

    • Supported Holidays remain suspended
    • Centre-based activities are running at a limited capacity

    All other services are currently running with pandemic protocols in place.

    New Services

    Additional services including respite and Medium Term Accommodation (MTA) are being offered to those in immediate need.

    Remote services have been available since Monday April 20 to existing Civic clients. These include live cooking, art, music and fitness classes as well as access to on-demand content.

    Food delivery and food boxes are now also available.

    Communications

    Civic are committed to keeping clients, staff and families informed. Communications will be sent regularly to all stakeholders and this web page will be regularly reviewed and updated. Please also ensure you follow our social channels on Facebook and Instagram for easy updates.

    Keeping Yourself Safe

    Coronavirus is a respiratory illness, with symptoms ranging from a mild cough to pneumonia. Some people recover quickly and easily, and others may get very sick, very quickly. The Department of Health website has some key resources to help you if you are at risk, need to isolate yourself, or want to learn more about prevention.

    In addition, we have created the following Easy-Read guides:

    Easy Read – Staying Well

    Easy Read – Coronavirus

    Easy Read – Isolation

    Additional Resources

    World Health Organisation Coronavirus Site

    Department of Health – COVID-19

    NDIS and Disaster Response – Coronavirus Information

    How To Wash Your Hands Poster

    Australian Psychological Society – Tips for coping with Coronavirus anxiety

    Beyond Blue – Information to help with mental health issues such as stress, depression and anxiety in relation to COVID-19

    COVID-19 Vaccine Resources

    Resources

    Easy Read Fact Sheets

    Auslan videos

    Other resources

     

  • Contact Us

    If you are an NDIS participant and you are concerned about your exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19), the Department of Health has a specific hotline to respond to your enquiries. 1800 020 080 (24 hours a day, seven days a week).

    If you are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment, you can use the National Relay Service to access any of the department’s listed phone numbers. You can visit the National Relay Service website or call 1300 555 727.

    To find out more from Civic, contact the Customer Experience Team on 1300MYCIVIC (1300 692 484) or email enquiries@civic.org.au.

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