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How to sustain service delivery during times of COVID

The continuation of supports remains one of the biggest challenges for the disability sector. Providers are challenged with staff unable to work due to self-isolating either because they have contracted COVID19 or are in close contact with someone who has. Movement of staff affects rostering and leaves people with disability wondering when their familiar staff member will be ok or return back to work.

In relation to the NDIS, it seems their position on this challenge is that they are the funding body only. They are not responsible for a provider's capabilities for ensuring continuation of supports.

The NDIA says that participants should contact their provider about “options for the continuing provision of services.” If participants are only concerned about funding, then they should contact the NDIA.

However, the NDIS has offered the following assistance to participants with NDIS plans:

- PPE (if reasonable and necessary).

- One-off deep cleaning if a support worker tests positive.

- Cleaning and high intensity supports for SIL participants.

- Meal preparation and delivery for eligible participants until 28 February 2022.

- More flexibility on low-cost AT.

On January 24th, the NDIA also announced that participants can use their Core funding to purchase RAT tests for themselves or their support workers, if they are necessary to receiving reasonable and necessary support.

In relation to disability workers and close contacts, On 13 January, the National Cabinet agreed that disability support workers and other essential workers who are close contacts can continue working if they:

- are asymptomatic.

- obtain a negative RAT test on day one and every second day until day six.

However, staff are only allowed to go to work. Outside of work, they must quarantine until getting a negative test on day six or seven.

COVID Resources:

For Support Coordinators (https://www.thegrowingspace.com.au/covid-19-for-scs/)

For people with disability (https://www.thegrowingspace.com.au/covid-ready-kit/)

Free online course - https://teamdsc.com.au/learning/supporting-people-to-stay-infection-free

Free online course - https://teamdsc.com.au/learning/safe-waste-management

Managing stress and anxiety - https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/resources-support/coronavirus-resources-for-anxiety-stress/?gclid=Cj0KCQiAuP-OBhDqARIsAD4XHpfSWn5roBR6yRZJ9siW1a7eAEiQ6fpiaeT2Yir15LZh6WN4Kh-xemMaAjSDEALw_wcB

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