Covid-19 Q&As

Updated 4pm | 15th February 2022

Question 1. What are the current restrictions that apply to us in the South West?

Answer. As at 6pm on 17th January 2022, masks are mandatory for the South West region in all indoor public settings. Refer to to the WA Government website for a current list of all restrictions. https://www.wa.gov.au/government/covid-19-coronavirus/covid-19-coronavirus-latest-updates

Question 2. Is anyone exempt from mask wearing?

Answer. Children under the age of 12 years do not need to wear a face mask. People who have a physical or mental illness, condition or disability which makes wearing a face mask unsuitable are also exempt from the requirement. CHC workers and clients applying a mask exemption are required to have and carry a medical note from their doctor stating this.

Refer to: https://www.healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/Coronavirus/Face-masks#:~:text=Children%20under%20the%20age%20of,also%20exempt%20from%20the%20requirement.

Question 3. Why do CHC workers need to wear masks in client’s homes? They aren’t public areas?

Answer. The client’s home is our workplace. Workplaces are included for mask wearing.

Question 4. Where do I find the current exposure list?

Answer. The current exposure list can be found here: It is updated more than once per day if required so it is best to check it a couple of times a day: https://www.healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/Coronavirus/Locations-visited-by-confirmed-cases

Question 5. What do I do if I have been at an exposure site at the time listed?

Answer. Workers should always update their manager/ office immediately. Follow the advice on the exposure site list (each site has different advice) plus any additional controls directed by your manager.

Question 6. Is CHC cancelling any services at present?

Answer. No services should be cancelled by CHC at this time, only client driven. If client driven, we should ensure that the decision is not from lack of information/ reassurance regarding controls.

Question 7. Are we modifying services at present?

Answer. Yes, where ever possible we should ensure the 1.5mt spacing between people (client/ client in activity settings, client/ worker, family/ worker) is planned and maintained. This includes all activities/ groups. Encourage clients to sit in the rear of vehicles if this is an option.

Question 8. How often should staff and volunteer masks be changed?

Answer. Masks should be changed every 4 hours OR before four hours if they become soiled, contaminated, damaged or damp. If masks are removed, they must be immediately disposed of.

Question 9. Do clients need to wear masks? If yes, can clients wear a cloth mask?

Answer. Yes, clients need to wear masks as directed. Clients required to wear a mask (ie outside their own home) can wear a cloth mask, however surgical masks are recommended for people of 60 years of age. As standard/ at present clients are not required to wear a mask in their own home but they do need to wear one in a workers car and indoors outside their home (ie the shops) unless identified as exempt (see question 2).

CHC workers cannot transport a client who refuses to wear a mask (if the client does not have an exemption) in their car. If a client chooses to remove their mask in an indoor public area (informed choice) during a service, CHC workers will remind the client but they are not accountable for enforcing the mask requirement.

If a client has cold like symptoms, this should be reported to the office and they should be asked to please wear a surgical mask while a worker is present.

Question 10. Does CHC provide clients with masks?

Answer. Not as standard, but if the client is going into the community with a worker as part of their service and doesn’t have a mask, we will provide one.

Question 11. Who needs to wear a surgical mask?

Answer. Any worker (staff or volunteer) with likely/ planned client contact (including reception/ office based contact) is required to wear a surgical mask. Office staff not in contact with clients may wear a cloth mask that meets recommended requirements of 3 layers (see guidelines here: Fact Sheet: (health.gov.au)). Garden Home Maintenance team members can be mask-free whilst providing non- client / non-dust outside activities.

Question 12. Will CHC be providing Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) to their staff for testing?

Answer. CHC has organised a supply of RATs for use by staff when the requirement arises. We have supply currently on hand. Testing protocols will be confirmed with workers prior to distribution and use. All Covid Specific Workers will have a daily RAT test if/ when we enter Phase 3 of our COVID Safe Plan in the affected area.

Question 13. Are CHC’s workers vaccinated against Covid-19?

Answer. Yes, all of CHC’s workers (employees and volunteers) had received a minimum of 2 doses of Covid-19 vaccine by 31st December 2021 and they will all receive a third/ booster dose within one month of qualifying.

Question 14. Why is CHC asking clients about their Covid-19 vaccination status?

Answer. CHC clients have been or are being contacted at present and provided with an opportunity to share their Covid-19 vaccination status. This information will confidentially be stored in our client management software. Clients are not required to be vaccinated and choosing not to disclose their vaccination status/ not being vaccinated will have no impact on whether clients can access their services with the exception of social services that are impacted by the Proof of Vaccination Directions (see Qu 15).

In Phases 2 & 3 of outbreak planning and management we will refer to client Covid-19 vaccination status to plan the scheduling of our workers (staff & volunteers) and maximise the safety and outcomes of all parties.

Question 15. How will CHC clients be impacted by the WA Government’s Proof of Vaccination Directions that come into affect 31st January 2022?

Answer. Clients accessing any business identified as a “Specified Vaccination Venue” in the Proof of Vaccination Directions (ie cafes, restaurants, cinemas, pools etc) during CHC services will be required to comply with the direction to carry and show proof of Covid-19 Vaccination.

Any services provided at CHC venues or leased locations (that do not fall within the above mentioned criteria) will not be subject to the vaccine mandate, as it will be considered an “excluded gathering” (refer to Clause 30 (e) of the Proof of Vaccination Directions).

The easiest way to do this is in the ServiceWA App, otherwise the client will need to either carry proof of vaccination or exemption plus identification. Workers will remind clients of the requirement prior to leaving the house and can assist a client to produce their evidence, but they will not be held accountable for the requirement as a part of their role.

Question 16. What PPE (personal protective equipment) will be provided to and worn by community workers in different scenarios?

Answer. CHC has adopted and will provide our staff with PPE in alignment with WA Department of Health and best practice recommendations. We have uploaded a copy of the guide for your information and reference in the below link. On occasion (as is presently the case with the current mask requirements) there will be existing controls already in place, the guide adds to these controls (where applicable) rather than replacing them.

In addition to the minimum PPE as outlined in the guide, some clients who are neither suspected or confirmed Covid positive will be assessed as being at a higher risk or vulnerability to Covid. Additional PPE and controls may be assessed for these clients on a case-by-case basis with the details included in their individual support plan. If you have concerns or wish for your individual situation to be reviewed, please speak to your manager.

Question 17. Will CHC workers be considered “Critical Workers” as defined by the WA Government?

Answer. Yes, to ensure continuity of services to our clients, CHC workers are classified as Critical Workers under the definitions. Refer to the website for more information: COVID-19 coronavirus: Critical worker categories (www.wa.gov.au).

Do you have any concerns or questions for CHC? Speak to your manager or coordinator. If you have any questions that you think we should add to this Q&A list, enter them using the below form.


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