Coronavirus Update

Thursday 27 May 2021

Good afternoon all,

Please find the following information providing staff, families and guardians with an update on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following today’s Victorian Government announcement, Victoria will move into a seven-day lockdown period (11.59 PM Thursday 27 May 2021 to 11.59 PM Thursday 3 June 2021), with restrictions permitting just five reasons to leave home:

  • Essential food and supplies.
  • Authorised work.
  • Care and caregiving.
  • Exercise for up to 2 hours each day.
  • Getting vaccinated.

Mercy Connect staff are classified as ‘authorised workers’ (VIC – “Any person who performs work that is essential for the continued operation of care services for people with particular needs because of… disability”) and ‘essential workers’ (NSW – “who are required to provide front-line care to participants, or to perform critical administrative functions”).

Click here to download the complete PDF with all relevant information

Therefore all Victorian-based staff will be able to travel to their usual places of work unless currently unwell or are required to isolate and / or awaiting results of COVID-19 due to potential exposure.

Those living at the Victorian / NSW state border will be exempt from the stay-at-home order, provided they have not traveled outside the border region since 4 pm Thursday (27 May 2021). An exact definition of that border region can be viewed on the NSW government’s website.

People arriving in NSW from Victoria should complete a declaration saying they have not travelled to any exposure sites.

For NSW residents planning to go to Victoria in the coming days, the NSW government has urged them to reconsider their plans unless the trip is absolutely essential.

Updated advice has been received from NSW Health Public Health Response Branch for residential disability care providers and home care service providers yesterday (26 May 2021), and is available on the NSW Health Disability Support Providers site: Advice included:

  • There are no current close or casual contact locations in NSW.
  • Greater Melbourne and the City of Greater Bendigo are currently considered affected areas and there are new places of high concern.
  • Visitors who have been to Greater Melbourne or the City of Greater Bendigo in the last 14 days must not enter any Mercy Connect homes or facilities.
  • Staff who have been in have been in places of high concern in Greater Melbourne or the City of Greater Bendigo in the last 14 days are excluded from working, and must notify their direct Team Leader, self-isolate, and seek appropriate COVID-19 testing.

Face Masks
All Mercy Connect staff and external visitors are now required to wear face masks when working with participants in any setting / location, until further notice.

Any staff requests for exemptions to the Mercy Connect-specific restrictions must be referred to Caroline Cummins (Executive Leader, Clinical Services) or my office.

Please note that this current COVID-19 outbreak is an evolving situation, and further restrictions may be put into place without prior consultation or warning, subject to government advice or alerts.

Once again, I encourage everyone to remain diligent in social distancing, hygiene, and PPE application and seek COVID-19 vaccination in line with the Commonwealth Government roll-out plan.

This remains a challenging time for the Mercy Connect family, and I thank everyone for their continued patience, support, and understanding as we respond accordingly.

Together we grow.

Trent Dean
Chief Executive Officer