COTA ACT acknowledges the threat the coronavirus, COVID-19 poses to our community and across the world.
We are especially conscious that older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease), are more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus. We also recognise the risks of prolonged isolation.
We are monitoring developments and taking the advice of federal and state health officials. We will do all we can to act on that advice for the benefit of the older people we serve, the employees and volunteers who make up the COTA ACT team and the broader community.
As an employer and community citizen, COTA ACT is mindful of our responsibility to do all we can to contribute to efforts to stop the spread of the virus and to minimise risks to our employees, volunteers and community.
In weighing these facts, we advise that COTA ACT will –
- postpone all public events indefinitely
- encourage all employee interactions with older people to be by telephone, or online (excluding Seniors Card applications)
- implement ways of maintaining contact, providing information and continuing to support older people through phone calls
- shift meetings where practicable to electronic, telephone or video formats
- adopt all protocols with regard to social distancing and hygiene
- require that people (employees, volunteers or visitors) do not attend COTA ACT if they are unwell with cough, fever, other respiratory, cold or flu-like symptoms or if they have not isolated themselves for at least 14 days following overseas travel
- require any employee or volunteer diagnosed with COVID-19 by a health professional to remain quarantined for 14 days and return to work only once a medical certificate clears them for work
- require any employee or volunteer with suspected COVID-19 to immediately self-isolate and return to work only if there are no symptoms or earlier if the person has been confirmed as having tested negative for COVID-19
- suspend employees from commercial travel
- require all employees and volunteers to follow good hand and respiratory hygiene including –
- covering coughs and sneezes with an elbow or a tissue and disposing of tissues properly
- washing hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds or more or using alcohol-based hand sanitisers
- cleaning and disinfecting surfaces
- avoiding contact with others if sick
- require a distance of 1.5 metres to be kept between people and avoid physical contact.
We are sorry that we cannot continue being out and about with our community in the short term. We will continue to review our approach. In the interim we will do everything we can to keep in contact with older people and to keep open alternative channels of communication.
For more information please contact:
Jenny Mobbs, Chief Executive Officer on 6282 3777