An update about COVID-19

25 April 2022

We are regularly updating the information here - last reviewed Wednesday, 25 May 2022.

To keep up to date with the latest COVID-19 news, visit the WA Government website.

COVID-19 UPDATES

New definitions for close contacts have been rolled out in WA along with relaxed isolation protocols. The new rules were introduced on 29 April. As these rules continue to change, we encourage you review the HealthyWA website to keep yourself fully updated.

Under the new rules:

  • Anyone testing positive must report this to the Department of Health and self-isolate for a minimum of seven days.
  • At the seven-day point, if they still have symptoms, they must remain in isolation until those symptoms clear.
  • If no symptoms after seven days, the person is allowed to leave isolation without being required to undergo testing.

The new protocols classify a person as a close contact if:

  • They are a household or intimate contact of a COVID-positive person and have had contact with them during their infectious period.
  • Have had a close personal interaction with a COVID-positive person while masks were removed, including more than 15 minutes spent face-to-face or two hours in a small room.
  • They have been notified by WA Health that they are a close contact based on specific circumstances.

There will no longer be testing requirements for casual contacts, but people are still urged to monitor exposure sites.

Due to our vulnerable Client population, MSWA will continue to take reasonable extra precautions.

Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs)

RATs are an additional diagnostic tool for COVID-19, and there are mandatory requirements to register a positive RAT result with WA Health, it’s important you have the right information and tools to hand.

Here are some links you may find useful:

  • What is a RAT and when to complete one (WA Gov)
  • Mandatory registration of positive RAT results (WA Gov)
  • How to complete a RAT (WA Health)

Access to RATs has improved, but you may find these links useful:

MANDATORY COVID-19 BOOSTER VACCINATIONS FOR THE COMMUNITY SECTOR

All MSWA staff and volunteers are now required to have a booster vaccination three months after receiving the 2nd vaccination. The shortened timeframe between the second vaccination and the booster came into effect on 31 January 2022.

As a service provider delivering care and support to vulnerable members of the community, the safety of our staff and Clients remains our priority. We continue to follow Government and Health advice and regulations regarding vaccinations, which means the mandatory vaccination has been in place for all MSWA staff and volunteers, from 1 December 2021. In addition, all staff are now required to have the booster shot.

Other COVID-safe precautions remain in place such as:

  • All staff undertake appropriate hand hygiene, wear PPE, and follow hygiene precautions as part of everyday good clinical practice.
  • All staff are required to stay away from work if they display any cold and/or flu-like symptoms and are asked to isolate and get tested for COVID-19.
  • Clients and visitors to MSWA sites are temperature checked and all community-based Clients are also asked standard screening questions.

In regard to a fourth dose (second booster), we encourage you to speak with your GP and/or neurologist to determine your best course of action, as with the previous boosters. However this has been recommended for the following vulnerable groups and is general in nature:

  • 65 years or older
  • A resident of an aged care or disability care facility
  • Severely immunocompromised
  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and aged 50 years or older

PREVENTATIVE MEASURES

Despite some further relaxed measures in our community, MSWA will continue to follow guidelines under the disability sector and will continue to require masks when entering one of our Centres or offices.

Coronavirus Covid-19 measures

COVID-19 vaccine

It is important to visit the Department of Health website to remain informed, and find the nearest vaccination centre for you, and we recommend that you discuss your personal situation and options with your doctor.

A new vaccine, known as “Nuvaxovid” is the first protein COVID-19 vaccine to gain provisional regulatory approval in Australia, and is approved for a selected group of people – those aged 18 years and over who have not yet received a primary course of vaccination and as a booster dose for individuals in whom other vaccines are not suitable. Nuvaxovid became available in Australia in February 2022.

Annual flu-vaccination

The COVID-19 vaccine does not protect you against influenza. It is recommended now that the flu vaccinations are available, to still have this too, speak to your GP or visit your neurologist.

Please note that you should delay getting the influenza vaccine for 14 days before or after receiving a dose of COVID-19 vaccine.