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COVID19
Click here to see the LATEST INFORMATION about Bedford’s response to the global pandemic.

The Public Health Act has replaced the Emergency Management Act as the primary legislation for the Disability Directive that came into effect in South Australia on 30 November 2021. The Directive is unchanged and Bedford must continue to require all staff, contractors, customers and visitors to be either fully vaccinated, or have had their first dose of a recognised vaccine and be booked in for their second dose in accordance with health recommendations before they can be permitted to access any Bedford site, subject to very limited exceptions. Additionally, as of 28 January 2022 all staff are required to receive or produce evidence of a booking to receive, a third dose (booster) of a TGA-approved COVID-19 vaccine within four weeks of becoming eligible.

All staff onsite are vaccinated, and the Direction obligates Bedford staff to sight vaccination certificates on arrival. If visitors have only had one dose of a vaccine, the Direction also obligates Bedford to sight evidence of the booking for the second dose. Bedford is committed to keeping the community safe by following these Directions.

These FAQs were last updated on 26 May, 2022

Exposure

What do I do if I think I have been near someone who has COVID-19 or think I might have COVID-19?

Use the COVID-19 Decision Making Tool to work out whether you need to get a test and quarantine.

If you are still not sure, can’t access the document or if you are going to get a test or quarantine text the Bedford COVID Text Line on 0428 598 199 or email us on covidhelp@bedfordgroup.com.au and we will respond to you.

My support worker is a close contact - do I need to get a test or isolate?

Your support worker will contact the Bedford COVID Text Line on 0428 598 199 to tell us the details about the situation. If you need to do anything either Bedford or SA Health will let you know.

What are my options for taking my leave entitlements?

The default order that payroll will deduct leave entitlements is:

  1. Sick leave can be paid if a person gets a positive test result for COVID-19
  2. Annual Leave
  3. TOIL
  4. Long Service Leave (LSL) (if 7 years pro-rata has been reached)

If you would like to make an alternative arrangement you must discuss with Payroll.

If you have exhausted all of your leave entitlements and do not qualify for State Government Pandemic Leave, you can contact PayOffice@bedfordgroup.com.au to apply for up to 5 days negative sick leave.

What do I do if I am in isolation / sick and I have no annual leave or sick leave?

Call Centrelink to find out what payments you may be able to receive. The government provides different types of financial support depending on your situation, you should call them to ask what you may be able to receive.

Details on how to claim for Pandemic Leave Disaster Payments can be found on the Services Australia website.

What will Bedford do if I have to stay home and keep away from people?

We will write down that you are away. Then we will follow the Government direction or SA Health advice about COVID-19.

I live in a group house and SA Health has advised me that I must stay at home - what do I do?

You will need to stay home and let us know. You can apply for annual leave so that you still get paid.

How will Bedford communicate with staff, customers and families if someone tests positive for COVID-19?

We are very conscious of providing useful information as and when it’s needed.

If a staff member or client tests positive for COVID-19, we will communicate with people who are directly affected by this – for example, residents in a share house, their family contacts, staff who have worked with the infected person at this time, etc.

We abide by government regulations about privacy, so we may not be able to disclose the identity of the person who has been infected.

We will not communicate to clients and families if they are not directly affected.

We will determine whether staff need to know if they are not directly affected on a case-by-case basis (eg, to demonstrate how our processes are working).

I am displaying some flu like symptoms (fever, coughing, sore throat, fatigue, shortness of breath), what do I need to do?

Text the Bedford COVID Text Line on 0428 598 199, remain at home and get a PCR test. Before returning to work you will need to provide evidence of a negative result as well as be feeling well.

If you return a positive result, you must follow any advice provided by SA Health and notify your Manager.

What are Tier 1 and Tier 2 locations at Bedford?

Tier 1: Balyana residential facility

Tier 2: All employment sites, Day Options and CAL facilities, as well as APG sites.

I am isolating due to being a close contact to a positive case or I have tested positive – how do I determine my isolation period?

If you have taken a COVID-19 PCR test, you must isolate until you receive a negative result, if you have symptoms, or you are required to test under a Direction.

Bedford has updated the Staff Decision Making Tool to help you based on current SA Health guidelines. If you need further clarification, please text your question to the Bedford COVID Text Line on 0428 598 199 and someone will be able to assist further.

Clients and Employees have their own Decision Making tool to assist them.

Return to work for staff and employees who are close contacts

  • Staff, employees and clients at Bedford sites who are identified as a close contact can now isolate for 7 days (not 14)
  • From Day 8, providing you are not symptomatic, and have returned five negative rapid antigen tests (RATs) as per SA Health’s requirements, you can return to work
  • When you return to Bedford sites from Days 8 - 14, you will need to undertake further RATs in accordance with Bedford’s Rapid Antigen Testing Procedure
  • Finally, to adhere to SA Health conditions, all staff and employees will also be required to wear a N95 fitted mask for Days 8 – 14. If unable to wear this mask correctly (including those with facial hair) it will be necessary to complete isolation for the full 14 days. COVID Marshalls have received training in the fitting of masks

Return to work for staff and employees who have tested positive

If you receive a positive result, you will need to isolate for 7 days from the date your positive result is known.

Staff, and employees who are not a resident at a SIL provider will be able to return to work from Day 8 providing:

  • 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
  • if any symptoms develop, must not work and immediately isolate for another 7 days
  • they do not attend any other high-risk settings outside of the workplace
  • they are 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, to allow a full 24 hours of being symptom free to pass
What do I do if I live in a Tier 1 setting but work in a Tier 2 setting and I am positive or a close contact?

Disability Care and Residential facilities have been deemed Tier 1 sensitive setting; therefore the 14 day isolation period remains for staff, supported employees, and residents. Employees or clients who live in SIL at Balyana or with another provider will also have to isolate from Bedford for 14 days if they are a close contact, as all SIL are regarded as Tier 1 sensitive settings.

This means that you will be unable to work at Bedford until after you complete your required isolation period.

I have tested positive in the last 12 weeks and a member of my household has now tested positive or I am symptomatic, what should I do?

You cannot not be considered a close contact within 12 weeks of testing positive, and are therefore,not required to undertake any testing during this period. However, if a member of your household tests positive during this time, please advise the Bedford COVID Text Line on 0428 598 199.

If you become symptomatic you will be required to isolate away from all Bedford sites until you are free of symptoms. Once asymptomatic you are able to return to work.

Bedford Operations

Do I need to wear a mask when I’m at work?

Masks are mandatory for all staff and employees at all times while at work, except where there is an exemption.

  • All staff must wear single use/surgical masks in accordance with the mask mandate for high-risk settings - this means staff are NOT to wear reusable cloth masks
  • Single use masks will be provided by Bedford
  • Masks must be worn correctly and changed regularly to ensure you are protecting yourself and others



Managers are expected to ensure that everyone in their work area complies with this direction.

What if a Bedford site needs to temporarily close due to COVID-19

We will only close parts of Bedford if absolutely necessary in order to conduct essential cleaning, and this should only be for a short time.

If you are affected, you will be notified and advised when you are able to return to work.

I have a Bedford Support Worker who helps me at home and when I’m out and about - will they still be coming?

Yes. This is an essential service so they will continue to visit and support you for as long as SA Health says they can.

What is happening with my CAL or Day Options program – is it still running?

You can continue to attend your CAL or Day Options programs as these are still open at the moment. CAL activities have changed to fit in with current restrictions so you may not be able to do the usual things you do – but it will still be an opportunity to enjoy staying connected.

If these services need to close, we will let you know.

I have a meeting booked to talk about my NDIS Plan - what do I do?

If you have to meet with Bedford or the NDIS about your plan, and the restrictions at the time of your appointment do not allow you to meet face to face then you can do this over the phone.

If your appointment is with Bedford, we will call you. If your appointment is with the NDIS they will get in touch with you. They might also be able to make your plan last longer, so that you don't have to meet with them for a while.

You can go to the NDIS website for help too.

My child’s childcare centre or school is shut, and I need to care for them, what do I need to do?

You can access your Carers Leave allowance for this purpose.