Skip links and keyboard navigation

Disability Accommodation Services Direction (No.4)

Summary

Effective from: 4.15pm 4 October 2020

Posted: 4 October 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 31 December 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 the powers under s 362B of the Public Health Act 2005 to assist in containing, or to respond to, the spread of COVID-19 within the community.

Guidance

For the purpose of this Direction, operators of shared disability accommodation services should ensure physical distancing and risk mitigation measures are in place at a service to the extent practicable, including:

  1. providing appropriate signage that clearly states physical distancing and appropriate hygiene requirements must be followed in a service;

  2. ensuring cleaning and sanitising of all surfaces, doors and high traffic areas in shared disability accommodation services;

  3. structuring staff rosters in a way which minimises staff movements between multiple care facilities wherever possible;

  4. where staff movements can’t be avoided, require staff to use personal protective equipment (PPE) in accordance current health advice;

  5. providing additional hand sanitising stations for residents, employees, contractors and visitors to encourage use;

  6. putting in place procedures to closely monitor the health of all employees, with at least daily reporting or check-ins by supervisors;

  7. ensuring tables and seating in common areas of shared disability accommodation services should be managed to provide appropriate physical distancing;

  8. ensure staff are trained and procedures in place to keep family and support people informed where a resident becomes unwell or there is a case identified in the service;

  9. encouraging any person entering the service to have an up-to-date vaccination against influenza, if the vaccination is available to the person;

  10. encouraging residents to continue essential community access but exercise appropriate caution when accessing the community, particularly in restricted areas. For example, considering if there are other ways to achieve access to services, maintain physical distancing or wearing a mask where physical distancing is not able to be observed.

Citation

  1. This Public Health Direction may be referred to as the Disability Accommodation Services Direction (No. 4).

Revocation

  1. The Disability Accommodation Services Direction (No. 3) given on 31 August 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 SHARED DISABILITY ACCOMMODATION SERVICES

  1. This part applies to all shared disability accommodation services in the State of Queensland.

  2. A person must not enter or remain on the premises of a shared disability accommodation service in the State of Queensland from the time of publication 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 place which at the time of entry is a COVID-19 hotspot, outside the Border Zone; or

    3. Note: for the purposes of this Direction, a COVID-19 hotspot does not include an area in the Border Zone.

    4. 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

    5. the person has a temperature equal to or higher than 37.5 degrees or symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

  3. The operator of a shared disability accommodation service in the State of Queensland must take all reasonable steps to ensure that a person does not enter or remain on the premises of a shared disability accommodation service if the person is prohibited from doing so under this Direction.

  4. The operator of a shared disability accommodation service in the State of Queensland must take all reasonable steps to ensure that a resident of a shared disability accommodation service who has been given a quarantine notice by an emergency officer (public health) abides by the notice.

  5. Despite paragraph 5, the operator of a shared disability accommodation service may allow a person to enter and remain on the premises in accordance with paragraph 9.

  6. Nothing in this Direction is to be taken to prevent a resident of a disability accommodation service from entering or remaining upon the premises of the disability accommodation service. Residents may continue to access any areas of the disability accommodation service to which they normally have access, subject to a direction to self-quarantine or self-isolate in accordance with a public health direction.

  7. Nothing in this Direction should be taken as limiting the right of people living in shared disability accommodation services from leaving the service. Subject to any general public health direction limiting movement and gatherings by members of the public, operators should ensure essential community access can continue, with appropriate physical distancing and good hygiene practices observed.

Contact information

  1. The operator of a shared disability accommodation service 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 to public health officers 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 SHARED DISABILITY ACCOMMODATION SERVICES

  1. Any person may enter a shared disability accommodation service under this part and in accordance with paragraph 5 above.

    Example – a medical practitioner, hairdresser or attorney.

PART 3 — REQUIREMENTS FOR RESTRICTED SHARED DISABILITY ACCOMMODATION SERVICES

  1. The purpose of this Part is to provide requirements for restricted shared disability accommodation services.

Person Permitted to Enter A Restricted Shared Disability Accommodation Service

  1. A person must not enter, or remain on, the premises of a restricted shared disability accommodation service in the State of Queensland from 31 August 2020 until the end of the declared public health emergency unless:

    1. the person is an employee, contractor or student at the restricted shared disability accommodation service; 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 shared disability accommodation service, whether the goods or services 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, therapeutic, social work, essential disability support or pharmaceutical services to a resident of the restricted shared disability accommodation service, 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 support for a resident of the restricted shared disability accommodation service; 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. Example – a community visitor exercising a function under the Public Guardian Act 2014

    7. the person’s presence at the premises is necessary to comply with or give effect to orders of any court or tribunal of Australia; or

    8. the person's presence at the premises is in the person's capacity as a prospective resident of the restricted shared disability accommodation service; or

    9. an operator of a restricted shared disability accommodation service or person with responsibility or authority to control access to the service has granted permission for a person to enter a restricted shared disability accommodation service for the purposes of providing behavioural, emotional or social support to a resident or prospective resident that cannot be delivered by electronic or non-contact means, including advocacy services.

    10. Example: A person may require support from an advocate or person who has provided long-term informal support to assist the person with disability and which could include behavioural support.

Visitors

  1. A person may not visit a resident in a restricted shared disability accommodation service other than in accordance with paragraph 14(d) or (h) above.

    Note – personal visits are not permitted in a restricted shared disability accommodation service.

  2. Any person attending a restricted shared disability accommodation service must, to the extent reasonably practicable:

    1. practise physical distancing; and

    2. limit their contact with other persons at the facility.

Wearing of Face Masks

  1. Any person (other than a resident) must not enter, or remain on, the premises of a restricted shared disability accommodation service without wearing a single use surgical face mask. This includes employees, contractors, students and volunteers.

    Note: Refer to the RACF and Disability Accommodation PPE Guidance for guidance about the use of masks.

  2. A person who is required to wear a mask under paragraph 17 may use a face shield instead of a single use surgical mask in order to:

    1. communicate with a resident where visibility of the mouth is essential for communication, or

    2. provide services to a resident with disability if it is reasonably anticipated there is a risk of the person with disability becoming distressed because the person is wearing a mask.

      Note: Refer to the RACF and Disability Accommodation PPE Guidance for guidance about face shields.

Workforce Management and Personal Protective Equipment

  1. The operator of a restricted disability accommodation service must ensure, to the extent reasonably practicable, that employees, contractors, students and volunteers do not work across multiple care facilities.

  2. Note – care facilities include but are not limited to hospitals, retirement villages and residential aged care facilities.

  3. The operator of a restricted disability accommodation service must ensure that employees, contractors and volunteers who do work across multiple care facilities:

    1. wear appropriate personal protective equipment, in line with the Australian Guidelines, when working at a restricted disability accommodation service; and

    2. use new personal protective equipment when entering a different restricted disability accommodation service. The doffing and donning of personal protective equipment should be done in accordance with the Australian Guidelines.

      Note: this paragraph is in addition to the requirement to wear masks as outlined in paragraph 17.

  4. The operator of restricted shared disability accommodation services must take all reasonable steps to ensure:

    1. the appropriate use of personal protective equipment in paragraphs 17 and 20 by persons at a restricted disability accommodation service; and

    2. adequate supply and stock management of personal protective equipment.

PART 4 — OTHER MATTERS

  1. The Chief Health Officer may grant a person an exemption from all or part of these directions on the basis of exceptional circumstances.

  2. An emergency officer (public health) can require the operator of a shared disability accommodation service to comply with additional directions if the emergency officer believes the direction is reasonably necessary to assist in containing, or to respond to, the spread of COVID-19 within the community.

Definitions

For the purposes of this Public Health Direction:

  1. Australian Guidelines means the Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare 2019, or its successor.

  2. Border zone means the border zone under the Border Restrictions Direction (No. 15), or its successor.

  3. COVID-19 hotspot means particular areas of Australia decided by the Chief Health Officer and published on the Queensland Health website.

  4. Essential community access means leaving the facility for essential activities, including to receive or access health care, disability services, attend employment, obtain food or other essential goods or services or access outdoor physical or recreational activity related to a person’s physical or mental wellbeing, including to assist with providing behavioral support.

  5. Essential disability support means essential care and support provided to a person with disability, including but not limited to: bladder and bowel management, medication management, behavior management, respiratory management, Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastromy (PEG) Changes, pressure relief/turning and wound care, assistance with feeding and hydration, and assistance with basic personal hygiene.

  6. Operator of a disability accommodation service means a person who owns, controls or operates the disability accommodation service.

  7. Physical distancing includes remaining at least 1.5 metres away from other persons where possible.

  8. Public health officer includes an emergency officer (general), a contact tracing officer or an authorised person under section 377 of the Public Health Act 2005.

  9. RACF and Disability Accommodation PPE Guidance means the Queensland Health document Pandemic Response Guidance: Personal protective equipment in Residential Aged Care and Disability accommodation services or its successor.

  10. Resident of a shared disability accommodation service means a person who is ordinarily or temporarily resident at the facility.

  11. Restricted area means a particular area of Queensland decided by the Chief Health Officer and published on the Queensland Health website.

  12. Restricted shared disability accommodation service means a shared disability accommodation service located in a restricted area.

  13. Shared disability accommodation service means a service, including the forensic disability service under the Forensic Disability Act 2011, where:

    1. four or more people with disability reside with people who are not members of their family; and

    2. the residents share enclosed common living areas within the facility whether inside or outside, and

    3. the residents are provided with disability supports within the facility.

  14. Student means a student under the supervision of an employee or contractor of the restricted shared disability accommodation service.

  15. Symptoms consistent with COVID-19 means fever or history of fever, symptoms of acute respiratory infection (cough, shortness of breath, sore throat) or loss of smell or loss of taste.

PART 2 - PENALTIES

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

4 October 2020

Published on the Queensland Health website at 4.15pm 4 October 2020

Last updated: 15 October 2020

Understanding this Direction

Information to help you understand what this Direction means for you staying home, going out and having visitors to your home.

Find out more

Pandemic Response Guidance on Personal Protective Equipment

The Pandemic Response Guidance on Personal Protective Equipment (PDF 541 kB) provides additional guidance about the recommended use of PPE in shared disability accommodation services depending on the risk of community transmission of COVID-19 that has been identified. This guidance should be used to keep residents, employees and other people entering shared disability accommodation services safe.