COVID-19 information for Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACF) and Disability Residential Services (DRS)
Update 26 June 2023 - RACF and Disability Residential Services can continue to report COVID-19 outbreaks to SA Health that require public health or infection control advice. Facilities should continue with any required Commonwealth reporting and maintain internal records of outbreaks.
The ability to upload a list of total positive RAT cases in a facility will no longer be available from 1 July 2023. Positive rapid antigen test results can be reported using the online form.
COVID-19 outbreak notification
Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACF) and Disability Residential Services (DRS) can request public health and infection control advice during a COVID-19 outbreak by completing the SA Health Outbreak Notification Form.
South Australian COVID-19 Guidance
- Guidance for managing COVID-19 outbreaks in SA RACF
- Guidance for managing COVID-19 outbreaks in SA DRS
National COVID-19 Guidance
- National Guidelines for the Prevention, Control and Public Health Management of Outbreaks of Acute Respiratory Infection (including COVID-19 and Influenza) in Residential Care Facilities
- Control and public health management of outbreaks of acute respiratory infection (including COVID-19 and influenza) in disability residential services
Important considerations for the management of COVID-19 in RACF and DRS
Early antiviral access for cases
Early access to antivirals can help to reduce the severity of COVID-19 disease. Regular General Practitioners (GP) or locums within a residential service are encouraged to discuss the prescription and use of oral antiviral treatment with all residents (or substitute decision makers) as part of their care plan. This would allow timely access to treatment in the event of an infection or outbreak. A residential facility should notify a resident’s usual GP of a positive COVID-19 result as early as possible and within 24 hours.
COVID-19 vaccination for residents and staff
Vaccination remains the most effective protection against severe illness, hospitalisation, and death from COVID-19 and is strongly recommended for staff and residents in RACF and Disability Residential Services. RACF and Disability Residential Services’ workplace health and safety policies should include staff COVID-19 vaccination requirements.
- Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) regarding COVID-19 boosters
- Disability Gateway provides information on booking a COVID-19 vaccination appointment for people with a disability
- Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care website
- COVID-19 vaccination – New resident entrance protocol flow chart.
It is recommended that residential facilities develop local policies regarding mask wearing for infection control and prevention of COVID-19. Policies should align with the recommendations outlined in published resources on the SA Health and the Department of Health and Aged Care websites.
- Contact healthdirect for further information on COVID-19
- Disability Gateway has information and services to help people with disability, their family, friends and carers, to find the support they need in Australia
- Department of Health and Aged Care - Prevent and prepare for COVID-19 in residential aged care
- Department of Health and Aged Care - COVID-19 vaccine information for people with disability and disability service providers