January 28, 2022
We want to assure you that BlueCare is here to support you through COVID-19. Your health and safety is our number one priority.
We’re here to help you continue receiving the vital services you need so you can remain safe and well. As the public health situation continues to develop, it is incredibly important we do what we know is best to protect our clients and support our staff to help them remain safe.
To continue providing a high-level of support and care in a safe environment, BlueCare has practices and conditions in place, including (but not limited to) the below.
UnitingCare’s vaccination policy, which includes BlueCare, requires all our people to be vaccinated for COVID-19. Any services and support supplied by UnitingCare will be facilitated by people who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 – providing you and your families with the assurance that we are doing everything we can to keep a safe and healthy environment.
Vaccination is just one way we are helping to keep you safe. BlueCare staff are also required to adhere to stringent measures when visiting your home. These include, but are not limited to:
Please note that working restrictions for staff are dependent on individual cases.
For the past two years, we have continued to adapt to a rapidly changing situation to help keep you and your loved ones safe. We understand these are challenging times, but we are in this together and will continue to strive to do everything we can to keep you safe in accordance with Federal and State Government guidance and directions.
You can also phone the Federal Government’s National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080 for more information about COVID-19 and vaccines.
Following are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to support you through this challenging time.
BlueCare is here to help you and will continue to offer you support if you are feeling isolated or lonely during this time. It is important that you let your carer know how you are feeling. While you may be physically distancing from family and friends, there are plenty of ways to keep in touch. FaceTime calls, telephone calls, text messages and emails are all easy ways to keep in contact with your family and friends.
Physical distancing means having less contact between you and other people and staying 1.5m away from other people where possible when outdoors, and 2m when indoors.
Here are some things you can do:
The advice from the Australian Government is you may wish to limit your visitor numbers and limit how long your visitors stay.
All of our staff are protecting themselves and you by using good hygiene measures and practising physical distancing where appropriate. Our staff are following the same measures we have given to you and they are doing so because they care about keeping you safe, as well as looking after themselves.
While in your home, staff have been advised to stay inside your home or garden as much as possible and if they are accompanying you on a visit outside of the home, they need to ensure they are adhering to good hygiene and physical distancing practices.
Yes. UnitingCare’s vaccination policy requires all our people to be double vaccinated against COVID-19. This means that any services and support supplied by UnitingCare will be facilitated by people who are double vaccinated for COVID-19 – providing you and your families with the assurance that we are doing everything we can to keep a safe and healthy environment.
The health and safety of our people delivering critical community services is our number one priority. In accordance with UnitingCare policy, all BlueCare staff must be fully vaccinated. This ensures our staff can support and care for you in a safe environment.
All BlueCare staff have been advised not to come to work if any of the following applies to them:
From Sunday, January 2, 2022, Queensland Health announced that a mask must be worn indoors everywhere in Queensland. This means all BlueCare staff are required to wear a surgical mask when providing health care.
In line with recent Queensland Health requirements, the majority of BlueCare staff will be wearing an increased level of personal protection equipment (PPE) which may include gloves, surgical mask, face shield and plastic apron.
We would encourage you to continue to receive BlueCare services to help you stay safe and well. Good hygiene and taking care when interacting with other people are the best defences for you and your family against COVID-19. This includes:
You should also consider limiting physical contact with other people, especially young children, and avoiding large groups of people. This will help protect you and help limit the spread of disease.
All Australians are being asked to practise physical distancing, which means staying 1.5m away from other people where possible. People diagnosed with, or exposed to, COVID-19 and those returning from overseas are required to self-isolate in their homes. Furthermore, close contacts of a diagnosed COVID-positive person must now isolate for seven days from the date they last had contact with the diagnosed person and immediately get tested. For more information, please visit health.qld.gov.au.
The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to colds and flus and can include:
If you develop mild symptoms of COVID-19:
Call 000 if your symptoms get worse and you are concerned for your health.
If you are able to safely source one, a Rapid Antigen Test is a great way to check if you have COVID-19.
We also need you to call your local BlueCare office to inform them that you are potentially unwell so that our staff who visit you can take necessary precautions.
Older people aged 70+ (or 50+ for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people) or people with chronic conditions can seek medical support from their GPs through bulk-billed telehealth (video-link) and telephone services. Examples of possible video applications include FaceTime and Skype. Medical practitioners must be satisfied that the services they use to video link with their patients meet current standards and laws regarding privacy and information security.
We recognise that these times may be stressful for you and your loved ones. A chat over the phone, video call or email – rather than visits in person – may help you continue to feel connected to those around you.
Please note that as of December 17, 2021, unvaccinated people are not permitted to visit vulnerable settings like an aged care home or hospital.
Vaccination is still the best way to keep yourself safe from COVID-19, along with good hand hygiene, wearing of masks when in indoor settings and ensuring you are social distancing.
Having two doses of the COVID-19 vaccination is important, and if the second dose was administered between four and six months ago, it is a great idea to book in today for your booster shot. For more information about the COVID-19 vaccination, visit https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/protect-yourself-others/covid-19-vaccine
You may have heard reports by the Queensland Government and media about getting a COVID-19 kit ready. Some items that are good to have on hand are:
For more information about COVID-19 Ready Kits and some important phone numbers, visit the QLD Health website.
You can ask your BlueCare team to help you get this arranged at your next visit.
The Queensland Government has reinstated the Care Army. If you need assistance getting food or other supplies, you can call your Care Army on 1800 173 349 for assistance.
Many GPs offer telehealth appointments and can send your prescriptions directly through to the pharmacy. Some pharmacies also offer a delivery service.
You may also be able to arrange for a trusted family member or neighbour to pick up your medications for you. For more information about this service, please call your local pharmacy and ask them about arranging this.
If you are over 65 years, or over 50 years for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and need emergency support you may be able to access:
Call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 to see if you are eligible and can arrange the above services.
For more information, visit the Australian Governments health website.
Trusted family, friends and neighbours may also be able to assist with picking up medication (with approval from the pharmacist), as well as shopping and meal deliveries.
Please continue to refer directly to the Queensland Health and the Australian Department of Health websites for the most up-to-date information and public health advice on Coronavirus. You can also call your local BlueCare service for assistance.