Communique to Members and Staff: Preparing for COVID-19: 18 March 2020

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Australia is increasing. Our community must act with urgency to reduce the spread of this virus among members, staff and others within our networks, as well as with families and the broader community.

Many members of our community are at increased risk for severe disease and we encourage everyone to monitor the situation as it develops.

Current advice indicates non-essential travel should be avoided and physical distancing strategies should be implemented including avoiding close personal contact. Cleaning and personal hygiene practices, particularly hand washing, should be increased and promoted to reduce the spread of the virus.

To protect the health and safety of all staff and members, we are closely monitoring the evolving situation with novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

We are quickly implementing measures and additional prevention procedures including:

  • With the outbreak of the COVID-19, Grow is rapidly expanding its eGrow program to accommodate the growing need for social distancing and self-isolation.
    • Grow has increased its available online groups to 14 running weekly including 3 young adults groups. These are all currently facilitated by an experienced Grow staff member in order to best meet the needs of the community through these difficult times. You can sign up for an eGrow group at www.grow.org.au/egrow
    • Grow sees this as an ideal way to reduce social isolation even as more and more people go into self-isolation: it is important to stay connected
  • We have increased sanitation procedures in all branch offices in accordance with Australian Health Department advice
  • The Grow Community Residential has entered lockdown in order to best protect the health of our residents
  • Staff are ready to work remotely in the event of a potential Office closure and this has commenced in certain locations
  • We will report all cases of fever and respiratory illness in any staff, residents or member of the community with suspected COVID-19 infection, to the correct health authorities

To protect the health and safety of all staff and members, we encourage the community to follow the protective measures supplied by State Health Authorities.

Here are 5 ways we can all help stop the spread of viruses

  • Clean your hands regularly with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rubs.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your face, nose and mouth. And avoid shaking hands.
  • Stay home if you are unwell.
  • Avoid contact with anyone who is unwell – try to stay 1.5m away from anyone coughing or sneezing.

Additionally, looking after yourself by eating a healthy, balanced diet, getting regular physical activity, sleeping well, reducing stress and staying in contact with your community is important all the time.

Face masks

Based on current advice, only people who have travelled overseas, are unwell and have access to a face mask should use it. For anyone else who does not have symptoms, a face mask is not necessary.

Public gatherings
As a precautionary measure to help slow the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), all non-essential organised gatherings including socials should be postponed.

Centre/Household/Office cleaning
We know that germs can survive outside of the body, on surfaces, after a person coughs or sneezes. Regular cleaning is important for reducing the spread of germs and minimising the number of germs surviving on surfaces.

Self-quarantine
If you have been overseas and are feeling well, you need to self-quarantine for 14 days from the date you arrived in Australia.

You must also self-quarantine if you have been in close contact with someone who already has novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Links

National Coronavirus Health Information Line: 1800 020 080

QLD Health – COVID-19
WA Health – COVID-19
NSW Health – COVID-19
VIC Health – COVID-19
NT Health – COVID-19
SA Health – COVID-19
ACT Health – COVID-19
TAS Health – COVID-19

Visit the World Health Organization