Coronavirus Update

Good afternoon all,

Easing of COVID-19 Lock-down Restrictions

Following yesterday’s NSW Government announcements relating to the easing of Albury ‘stay at home’ orders, and Orange coming out of lockdown at midnight tonight (i.e. 12.01am 24 September 2021), I would like to provide everyone within our Mercy Connect family with the following updates to our programs and services:


Following the recently announced ‘stay at home’ orders, Cowra will remain under Accommodation / Day Program lock-down restrictions, until further notice.

Albury Wodonga, Wagga Wagga, and Orange

In line with the easing of regional restrictions within certain LGAs  please be aware of the following changes / updates:


  • Mercy Connect owned / managed homes will again be open to the public, however, there are conditions which include:
    • Two visitors (from the same family / guardian group) per day are allowed in residential disability care facilities for areas not currently under stay at home orders, provided they have not been to any stay at home area in the last 14 days.
      • Please note, only one group of visitors (from the same family / guardian group) will be permitted entry at a time e.g. two different participant visitor groups cannot enter the accommodation at the same time.
      • Visitors must not enter the facility at all if they:
        • have been to any close, casual or monitor for symptoms locations in NSW in the last 14 days.
        • have been in a stay at home area in the last 14 days and are not an essential visitor.
        • have been to Victoria (outside of the current Border Bubble) or the Australian Capital Territory since in the past 14 days (unless providing essential caring functions).
        • have been to any close and casual contact places of high concern in Victorian, Queensland or the Australian Capital Territory.
        • have been in New Zealand in the last 14 days.
        • have COVID-19 symptoms.
        • are a close contact of a person with confirmed COVID-19 and are within their self-isolation period.
        • live in a household with a person who is currently self-isolating.
        • are waiting for a COVID-19 test result.
      • Visitors must sign a COVID-19 free declaration (which will be valid for one week, unless the signing visitor has changes in their circumstances that invalidates their earlier declaration).
  • Participants are still not permitted to have overnight visits at family / guardian homes, until further notice.

Day Programs:

  • Mercy Connect’s normal, structured Day Program services in Albury Wodonga will recommence from 27 September 2021, with Day Program activities only to be offered within Mercy Connect owned / operated homes until that date.
    • However, recommencement of Day Program services will be in line with COVID-19 restrictions (including any group size / space limitations) and may require different cohorts of participants to be supported separately i.e. those living in shared / group homes; those living separately and not in shared / group homes.
  • Mercy Connect’s normal, structured Day Program services in Orange will not be commencing yet, until further notice.
  • Participants will be permitted to attend their normal external Day Program facilities / activities from 27 September 2021.

Corporate Office (Albury)

  • Albury (St John’s / Thurgoona) office will again be open to the public.
  • All visitors must complete the Mercy Connect ‘COVID-19 Declaration’ form prior to entering our premises. All completed forms must be provided to Debbie White at
  • Corporate Office staff are permitted to attend external meetings (as required, and in line with COVID-19 safe requirements), however, they are still strongly encouraged to utilise video / phone conferencing for such purposes, wherever possible.


  •  A reminder for Albury staff, the Sarkon Medical Pop-Up Clinic in Lavington will be offering a pop-up clinic on Saturday 25 September for all eligible Mercy Connect staff, their families and participants.
  • Please click here if you wish to book online. Please note when booking online it will be under the COVID Bookings – Sarkon Medical Group – Mercy Connect.
  • Details are:
    • Lavington Centro Shopping Centre Shop 29 (Next to Carpark) 351 Griffith Road, Lavington NSW.
    • Pfizer for all under 50 / Astra Zeneca for 51-over.
    • You will need the following to book:
      • Name:
      • DOB:
      • Phone No:
      • Medicare Card #:
  • While we are continuing to source a provider in our Central West regions, a reminder to staff, that they can also make a booking on the Department of Health website

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:

  1. Eating or drinking.
  2. Working alone in an office (until another person enters).
  3. You have documented evidence of a medical exemption to not wear a mask.

Please note that reusable / cloth masks (including the recently available ‘Mercy Connect’ branded mask) can be worn (subject to regular cleaning and washing) for outside activities; however, disposable surgical masks must be worn at all other times when with participants.

For more information on face masks

QR Code
All staff (and approved external visitors) must continue checking-in using the Service NSW QR code, which is located at all Mercy Connect locations.

Personal Hygiene

  • 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 who are 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.

Staff Wellbeing
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 it is encouraging that our regional locations are starting to reopen, the risk of COVID-19 infection still remains. Mercy Connect will continue to monitor government announcements and restrictions / orders that affect Mercy Connect’s locations, and will, if required, revert back to earlier COVID-19 restrictions.

As such, I kindly remind everyone within the Mercy Connect family to remain vigilant and follow all COVID-19 requirements, which are in place for the safety of participants, staff and our wider community.

Together we grow.