Skip links and keyboard navigation

Aged Care Direction (No. 8)

Summary

Effective from: 30 July 2020

Posted: 30 July 2020

Direction from Chief Health Officer in accordance with emergency powers arising from the declared public health emergency

Public Health Act 2005 (Qld)
Section 362B

On 29 January 2020, under the Public Health Act 2005, the Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services made an order declaring a public health emergency in relation to coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The public health emergency area specified in the order is for ‘all of Queensland’. Its duration has been extended by regulation to 17 August 2020 and may be further extended.

Further to this declaration, l, Dr Jeannette Young, Chief Health Officer, reasonably believe it is necessary to give the following directions pursuant to s362B of the Public Health Act 2005 to assist in containing, or to respond to, the spread of COVID-19 within the community.

Preamble

  1. This Public Health Direction replaces the Aged Care Direction (No. 7) made on 10 July 2020.

Citation

  1. This Public Health Direction may be referred to as the Aged Care Direction (No. 8).

Revocation

  1. The Aged Care Direction (No. 7) made on 10 July 2020 is revoked from the time of publication of this direction.

Commencement

  1. This direction applies from the time of publication until the end of the declared public health emergency, unless it is revoked or replaced.

PART 1 — REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL RESIDENTIAL AGED CARE FACILITIES

  1. This part applies to all residential aged care facilities in the State of Queensland.
  2. A person must not enter, or remain on, the premises of a residential aged care facility in the State of Queensland from the time of publication of this direction until the end of the declared public health emergency if:
    1. during the 14 days immediately preceding the entry, the person arrived in Australia from a place outside Australia; or
    2. during the 14 days immediately preceding the entry, the person has been in a COVID-19 hotspot; or
    3. during the 14 days immediately preceding the entry, the person had known contact with a person who has a confirmed case of COVID-19; or
    4. the person has a temperature equal to or higher than 37.5 degrees or symptoms of acute respiratory infection; or
    5. the person does not have an up to date vaccination against influenza, if the vaccination is available to the person.

      Example – the vaccination is not available to a person with a medical contraindication to the influenza vaccine

  3. The operator of a residential aged care facilitymust take all reasonable steps to ensure that a person does not enter or remain on the premises of the residential aged care facility if the person is prohibited from doing so under this Direction.
  4. Despite paragraph 6(e), a person (other than a person whose presence at the premises is for the purposes of providing health, medical, personal care, or pharmaceutical services to a resident of the residential aged care facility), may enter and remain on the premises for the period reasonably required to provide an emergency service that is necessary for the effective operation of the residential aged care facility or to protect the health and safety of staff and residents on the condition that the person must practise social distancing wherever possible, including maintaining a distance of at least 1.5 metres.

    Example A plumber may make emergency repairs if an employee or contractor with an up to date vaccination against influenza is unable to attend.

    Note – An ambulance officer, nurse, doctor or other health care worker is not permitted to enter premises under this paragraph and must have an up to date influenza vaccination due to the health risks posed by close contact with aged care residents if the vaccination is available to the person.

  5. Despite paragraph 7, the operator of a residential aged care facility may allow a person to enter and remain on the premises in accordance with paragraph 8.
  6. Nothing in this Direction is to be taken to prevent a resident of a residential aged care facility from entering or remaining upon the premises of the residential aged care facility.
  7. Workforce Management

  8. The operator of a residential aged care facility must develop a Workforce Management Plan that:
    1. requires employees, contractors and volunteers to notify a residential aged care facility of their additional place of employment, if relevant; and
    2. requires employees, contractors and volunteers if they become aware of a COVID-19 case identified at an additional place of employment, to notify the operator of a residential aged care facility.

    Note: This is to assist with contact tracing when an identified case of COVID-19 is confirmed.

    Contact information

  9. The operator of a residential aged care facility must collect and keep contact information about all visitors, including volunteers and contractors, for contact tracing purposes for a period of 56 days, unless otherwise specified. This information must include: name, phone number, email address, and the date and time of the visit. If requested, this information must be provided within a stated time. The information should be securely stored, not used for any other purpose and deleted after 56 days.

PART 2 — MANAGING ACCESS TO NON-RESTRICTED RESIDENTIAL AGED CARE FACILITIES

  1. The purpose of this Part is to manage contact between residents and non-residents of a residential aged care facility, other than a restricted residential aged care facility.

    Visitors

  2. Care and support visits, other than an end of life visit, are limited to a maximum of two visitors at a time per resident.
  3. For end of life visits, more than two visitors may visit a resident at one time.
  4. If a person is attending a residential aged care facility to visit a resident, they must, to the extent reasonably practicable:
    1. practise physical distancing; and
    2. limit their contact with other persons at the facility.

    Residents

  5. The operator of a residential aged care facility may permit a resident to leave the facility, including to receive end of life or palliative care, receive or access health care, attend small family gatherings, undertake exercise, or attend a funeral, subject to paragraph 18.

    Note – residents who form part of a familial group (for example, couples, siblings) or close friends should be permitted to leave the facility together.

  6. The operator of a residential aged care facility must not permit residents to leave the facility for external excursions with a group of residents.

    Example – a group of residents being taken on a day trip to the beach.

PART 3 — REQUIREMENTS FOR RESTRICTED RESIDENTIAL AGED CARE FACILITIES

  1. The purpose of this Part is to provide requirements for restricted residential aged care facilities.

    Person Permitted To Enter A Restricted Residential Aged Care Facility

  2. A person must not enter, or remain on, the premises of a restricted residential aged care facility in the State of Queensland unless:
    1. the person is an employee or contactor of the restricted residential aged care facility; or
    2. the person’s presence at the premises is for the purposes of providing goods or services that are necessary for the effective operation of the restricted residential aged care facility, whether the goods are provided for consideration or on a voluntary basis; or
    3. the person's presence at the premises is for the purposes of providing health, medical, personal care, or pharmaceutical services to a resident of the restricted residential aged care facility, whether the goods or services are provided for consideration or on a voluntary basis; or
    4. the person's presence at the premises is for the purposes of end of life visit for a resident of the restricted residential aged care facility; or
    5. the person's presence at the premises is required for the purposes of emergency management, law enforcement or the exercise of a power or function of a government agency or entity under a law; or
    6. the person's presence at the premises is in the person's capacity as a prospective resident of the restricted residential aged care facility or as a support person of a prospective resident of the restricted residential aged care facility.
  3. Despite paragraph 20, a person must not enter, or remain on, the premises of a restricted residential aged care facility in accordance with Part 1, paragraph 6.

    Residents

  4. The operator of a restricted residential aged care facility must not permit a resident, excluding an end of life resident, to leave the facility except:
    1. to receive or access health care; or
    2. to attend a funeral; or
    3. in the case of emergency or on any other compassionate grounds.

    Wearing of Face Masks

  5. Any person (other than a resident) must not enter, or remain on, the premises of a restricted residential aged care facility without wearing a single use surgical face mask.

    Note – a person who does not, or is unable to wear a mask, must not enter a restricted residential aged care facility.

    Workforce Management and Personal Protective Equipment

  6. The operator of a restricted residential aged care facility must ensure, to the extent reasonably practicable, that employees, contractors and volunteers do not work across multiple residential aged care facilities.
  7. The operator of a restricted residential aged care facility must ensure that employees, contractors and volunteers who do work across multiple residential aged care facilities:
    1. wear appropriate personal protective equipment, in line with the Australian Guidelines, when working at a restricted residential aged care facility; and
    2. use new personal protective equipment when entering a different residential aged care facility. The doffing and donning of personal protective equipment should be done in accordance with the Australian Guidelines.

  8. A person providing health, medical, personal care or pharmaceutical services to multiple residents in a restricted residential aged care facility, must ensure compliance, where relevant, with the wearing of personal protective equipment in accordance with the Australian Guidelines.

  9. The operator of a restricted residential aged care facility must take all reasonable steps to ensure:
    1. the appropriate use of personal protective equipment in paragraphs 24-26 by persons at a residential aged care facility; and
    2. adequate supply and stock management of personal protective equipment.

    Exemptions

  10. The Queensland Chief Health Officer may grant an exemption to allow a resident to leave the restricted residential aged care facility on compassionate grounds.
  11. Definitions

    For the purposes of these directions:

  12. Australian Guidelines means the Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare 2019, or its successor.
  13. Care and support visit, in relation to a resident of a residential aged care facility, means a visit made to the resident for the purposes of providing care and support to the resident.
  14. COVID-19 hotspot means a particular area of Australia decided by the Chief Health Officer and published on the Queensland Health website. 
  15. End of life visit means a visit by a person for the purposes of end-of-life support for a resident.
  16. Operator of a residential aged care facility means a person who owns, controls or operates a residential aged care facility, including a restricted residential aged care facility.
  17. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) includes, but is not limited to, face masks and gloves which are used to reduce the risk of transmitting microorganisms.  
  18. Physical distancing includes remaining at least 1.5 metres away from other persons where possible.
  19. Residential aged care facility means a facility at which accommodation, and personal care or nursing care or both, are provided to a person in respect of whom a residential care subsidy or a flexible care subsidy is payable under the Aged Care Act 1997 of the Commonwealth.
  20. Resident of a residential aged care facility means a person who ordinarily resides at the facility.
  21. Restricted area means a particular area of Queensland decided by the Chief Health Officer and published on the Queensland Health website.
  22. Restricted residential aged care facility means a residential aged care facility located in a restricted area.
  23. Support person means a family member, friend or carer that is visiting the residential aged care facility on behalf of, or to support, a prospective resident of the facility.

PART 4PENALTIES

A person to whom the direction applies commits an offence if the person fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with the direction.

Section 362D of the Public Health Act 2005 provides:

Failure to comply with public health directions

A person to whom a public health direction applies must comply with the direction unless the person has a reasonable excuse.
Maximum penalty—100 penalty units or 6 months imprisonment.

Dr Jeannette Young
Chief Health Officer

30 July 2020

Published on the Queensland Health website at 6.00 pm

Last updated: 30 July 2020

Understanding this Direction

Information to help you understand what this Direction means for residents of aged care facilities, family members and visitors.

Find out more