Reporting to SA Health

Effective from 16/02/2023 Disability Residential Services can notify SA Health of COVID-19 Outbreaks using the online Outbreak Notification Form.

To improve the process of reporting multiple COVID-19 cases, Disability Residential Services can now use the COVID-19 multiple Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) reporting tool.

For more detailed instructions, please refer to the link.

COVID-19 management

To help prepare for and manage COVID-19 outbreaks in Disability residential services the Chief Public Health Officer has updated the Guidance for self-managing a COVID-19 outbreak in a South Australian disability residential service (PDF 263KB).

Antiviral treatment 

People with disabilities can be at higher risk of developing severe illness from COVID-19.

Getting tested when symptoms start and then accessing antiviral medications early reduces this risk.

GPs and disability residential services are encouraged to discuss with all clients (or substitute decision makers) their wishes and consent for oral antiviral treatment in advance.

SA Health recommends disability residential services plan to test quickly and work with a client’s General Practitioner to access antiviral treatment if they are positive for COVID-19.

COVID-19 vaccination for clients

Vaccination remains to be the most effective protection against severe illness, hospitalisation, and death from COVID-19. Vaccination is strongly recommended for staff and client in disability residential services.  

Please see the latest recommendations from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) regarding COVID-19 boosters in 2023. These recommendations replace previous ATAGI COVID-19 vaccine booster advice. 

COVID-19 vaccine access 

Clients who wish to be vaccinated should be supported by the service to access a COVID-19 vaccine such as arranging onsite vaccination by a GP or visiting a local pharmacy.

The  Disability Gateway can assist with booking a COVID-19 vaccination appointment for people with a disability.

Find out more information on the COVID-19 vaccination for people with disability page.

COVID vaccination for staff

Vaccination is important for managing COVID-19 related risks in disability residential services. Staff vaccination is the responsibility of the disability service provider and should be included in workplace policies.

Staff (employees, contracts, agency), students and volunteers are strongly encouraged to be up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations as per ATAGI guidelines.

Face masks

Staff and visitors are no longer required to wear a mask when in a Disability residential service. However, visitor and staff mask use should be reinstated when one client tests positive to COVID-19, or when advised by SA Health.

Particulate filter respirators (PFR) are the recommended face mask for COVID-19 outbreaks.

PFRs are also appropriate for health care workers to use for aerosol-generating procedures (and behaviours) with clients suspected of having an infection transmitted by droplet or airborne route, including COVID-19. For further information see:

Disability Gateway

The Disability Gateway provides information and referrals for people with disabilities who need assistance due to COVID-19. Contact the Disability Gateway on 1800 643 787, available Monday to Friday, 8.00 am to 8.00 pm (AEST). 

Coronavirus Helpline

For information or advice on COVID-19 or COVID vaccines, call the Australian Government’s National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080 - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.