Coronavirus Update


Tuesday 25 March 2020

  1. Good afternoon all,In response to escalating government restrictions in place due to the declared pandemic, including social distancing measures, international / inter-state travel restrictions and closure of non-essential services, I would like everyone within our Mercy Connect family to be aware of the additional steps now being actioned.

    Please note, these decisions have not been taken lightly, with participant and staff health and safety of paramount concern at this time.

    1) From COB Wednesday 25 March 2020, both Albury (St John’s / Thurgoona) and Orange (Illamatta Way) offices will be closed to the public. This includes, but is not limited to, participants, family members / carers, external contractors and suppliers. Appropriate signage will be placed on all access points informing visitors of this. Exceptions to this directive will be at the sole discretion of the CEO/Executive Team.

    2) Albury and Orange office-based staff may choose to either:
    a. Work remotely outside of the office environment:
     i. Productivity is expected to be maintained when working from a remote location.
      ii. Staff requests for remote ICT equipment must be submitted to relevant Managers/Executives, with final approval given (or not) from the ICT Manager.
         iii. Staff are to use either their allocated ICT equipment equipment (e.g. laptop, Wi-Fi dongles or other loaned ICT equipment); however, any additional peripheral devices required (plugin monitors / home-office desks etc.) will be at the personal cost of staff in line with the Mercy Connect ‘Working from Home’ Policy.

       b. Continue working within the office environment.
           i. Social distancing practices must be complied with.
      ii. No face-to-face meetings of more than two people at a time.
     iii. No communal eating within the kitchen areas or other locations onsite.
        v. Managers will confirm with teams how a ‘rotating’ approach may work, to ensure continuity of critical business functions i.e. one staff member in office, one staff member working remotely, and vice versa.
          vi. Office locations / desk placement may change during this time to reduce the close proximity of staff.

       c. If staff are unable to work effectively from home (and wish to be home, either from self-isolation or sickness), then they are able to take annual leave/sick leave/carers leave/leave without pay, depending on their circumstances (please refer to FAQ information).

    3. From Wednesday 25 March 2020 at COB, Mercy Connect owned / managed homes will be closed to the public. This includes, but is not limited to, family members / carers, external contractors and suppliers. Exceptions to this directive will be at the sole discretion of the CEO / Executive Leader – Operations and Executive Leader – Clinical Services.
       a. Managers / Team Leaders have already started contacting families / carers to let them know of this directive. It is imperative that over the next day Infection Control principles are maintained by visitors i.e. if visitors are sick, they are not able to visit.
     b. We will also be seeking input from families / carers on the best way to maintain contact with participants during this time.

    4) Staff are kindly asked not to discuss health information about specific participants, staff or situations (outside of their normal working duties/teams). It is vital that staff alerts and critical information is controlled and shared by the CEO and Executive Team.

Finally, please find some useful resource links to assist you with your management and understanding of COVID-19.

When to use a mask
1. For healthy people wear a mask only if you are taking care of a person with suspected 2019-nCoV infection.
2. Wear a mask, if you are coughing or sneezing.
3. Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
4. If you wear a mask then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.

Please review FAQ list in the next internal news post.

Together we grow.

Trent Dean
Chief Executive Officer