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20 June - COVID-19 Update

The cold weather has set in and on top of COVID, we’re experiencing a particularly bad flu season this year. It’s no time to get complacent about your health and our COVID protocols – here are a few important reminders to help keep us healthy at Bedford.

Testing positive to COVID – first steps

If you have a positive COVID test result or you’ve been deemed a Close Contact by SA Health, you must advise us on our COVID Text Line - 0428 598 199.

Once you have texted us, we will support through the process of when and how you can return to work safely, according to the protocols in place.

Managers, if staff report directly to you, please make them aware that they’ll also need to report their status or result to our Text Line.

Returning to work

Recently, SA Health provided us with the latest returning to work provisions. Bedford has been split into two different ‘setting’ categories, Tier 1, the most sensitive, which covers SIL/Balyana, and Tier 2, which covers the remainder of Bedford.

Tier 2 Setting Return to Work

Staff and clients who are identified as a Close Contact can now isolate for 7 days (not 14). Close Contacts can return to work from Day 8 provided:

  • They have no symptoms, and
  • They have returned and reported 5 negative rapid antigen tests (RATs) prior to returning, and
  • They wear a N95 fitted mask (which Bedford will supply) at all times from Day 8-14 while at work, and
  • They continue to undertake further RATs in accordance with Bedford’s Rapid Antigen Screening and Surveillance Procedure (see below).

Those who have tested positive for COVID may also return to work on Day 8 provided:

  • They have no symptoms, and must have been completely free from acute respiratory symptoms (eg, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose) for at least 24 hours prior to returning to work, and
  • They can wear a N95 fitted mask for Days 8 - 10, if unable to wear this mask correctly it will be necessary to complete isolation for the full 10 days, and
  • If any symptoms develop, must not work and immediately isolate for another 7 days, and
  • They must not attend any other high-risk settings outside of the workplace.

COVID Marshalls have received training in the fitting of masks. You will be required to complete a form at the time of mask fitting.

Tier 1 Setting Return to work (Balyana and other SIL providers)

Disability Care and Residential facilities such as Balyana have been deemed as a ‘Tier 1 sensitive setting’ therefore the 14 days isolation period remains for staff, supported employees and residents. As a Close Contact or COVID positive case you will be unable to return to work at Bedford until the full 14 days of isolation has elapsed.

Flu shots

If you missed out on your flu shot at Bedford this year, you can still get one by attending your local GP, or chemist. If you were not able to attend the Bedford flu clinic, the South Australian State Government is providing free flu shots (until 30 June 2022) at GPs and Pharmacies if you would like to make your own arrangements. If you receive your shot after this date and are charged, Bedford will reimburse you. Make sure to get a receipt for the payment to submit with your claim form.

Thanks everyone. And remember if you have symptoms of flu or COVID, err on the side of caution - stay home and get better – thanks to SA Health for the graphic: