Good afternoon all,
Following today’s NSW Government announcement, the whole of NSW will remain under lockdown (stay-at-home) orders for a further fourteen (14) days i.e. until September 10th, 2021 at midnight. Full details are available here.
Please note: This revised end date is not guaranteed, with the current state-wide lockdown remaining in place until the NSW Government changes this order.
In response to this extension, I would like to remind all our Mercy Connect family of the following actions / restrictions that will continue indefinitely until further notice.
Day Program and Accommodation Services:
- All Mercy Connect Day Programs, across all sites, remain closed.
- Mercy Connect owned / managed homes remain 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 Office and Executive Leader – Clinical Services.
- Participants are not permitted to attend any external Day Program facilities / activities during this time, with Day Program activities only to be offered within the Mercy Connect owned / operated home.
- Participants of shared (group) homes may individually travel outside (with only one Mercy Connect staff member), whilst maintaining social distancing practices / wearing a mask (unless a mask exemption applies), only for the following ‘essential’ reasons shopping for essential items, medical care, and outdoor exercise.
- Individual participants living in single accommodation may travel outside (with only one Mercy Connect staff member or one participant’s family member), whilst maintaining social distancing practices / wearing a mask (unless a mask exemption applies), only for the following ‘essential’ reasons shopping for essential items, medical care, and outdoor exercise.
Corporate and Central West Offices:
- Albury (St John’s / Thurgoona) and Orange (Illamatta Way) offices remain closed to the public. This includes, but is not limited to, participants, family members / carers, external contractors and suppliers. Exceptions to this directive will be at the sole discretion of the CEO Office. Until further notice, all external approved visitors must complete the Mercy Connect ‘COVID Declaration’ form prior to entering our premises. All completed forms must be provided to Debbie White at firstname.lastname@example.org
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
A reminder, that all staff (and any approved external visitors) are required to wear appropriate PPE at all times when with participants.
You must wear a face mask:
- when you are outside in a public place including
- on a street or at a park
- queuing outside a cafe or shop to collect take away food or drink
- walking on a street near shop fronts
- in all indoor areas of non-residential premises, including workplaces
- when working in an outdoor area.
You may only remove your mask for the following reasons:
- Eating or drinking.
- Working alone in an office (until another person enters).
- You have a documented evidence of a medical exemption to not wear a mask.
All staff (and approved external visitors) must continue checking-in using the Service NSW QR scan, which is located at all Mercy Connect locations.
These simple steps can help to protect yourself and the community.
- Clean your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing and sneezing or use your elbow, not your hands.
- Avoid close contact with people unwell with cold or flu-like symptoms, and stay home if you have symptoms.
- Avoid touching your face and avoid shaking hands with others.
- Try to maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from others and avoid crowded places.
Remember, when washing your hands, all you need is water and soap, body wash or shampoo. It doesn’t need to be expensive, or ‘antibacterial’. The key to handwashing is to wash often and wash well, for at least 20 seconds.
Our Executive and Management teams, alongside the Mercy Connect Board, continue to encourage all staff to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations and to actively support our Participants to receive theirs (where informed consent has been provided).
I again encourage anyone who may need support or help to access our dedicated employee assistance program AccessEAP on 1800 81 87 28 and make use of the links outlined below.
Whilst this remains a challenging time for our participants and staff, I kindly ask everyone within the Mercy Connect family to continue to follow the rules and regulations, which are in place for the safety of participants, staff and our wider community.
Together we grow.