Interchange IE COVID 19 – Update – 17/03/2020 The health and wellbeing of our participants, families, staff and volunteers is our number one priority at Interchange IE.
Relevant changes to Interchange supports and services
As of the 17/03/2020 the following programs and options have been suspended
- Arts.Co (Music in Me, CreArt and MyStage)
- After 4 at Boroondara Youth 360
- Social Dinner Club
- Girls Group
- Weekend group camps
- Weekend recreation – Closed permanently
- Licola Family Camp is being rescheduled to later in the year
Supports and services still in operation (Further details below)
- Individual Support – In-Home
- Active Days
- Support Coordination
- Behaviour Support
- Host and Mentor Volunteering
Please be aware that during this period, Interchange may be unable to backfill existing Active Days shifts or support rosters. This is due to the unfortunate circumstances linked to COVID19 and means that Interchange is unable to utilize office staff for backfill purposes as they are supporting key Interchange functions to allow the organisation to continue to operate in this crisis period.
If you, a family member or staff or volunteer are experiencing or observing flu-like symptoms, you must alert Interchange IE immediately. This requirement does not necessarily mean Interchange will immediately suspend supports; it does mean that we can develop strategies together to ensure supports can be sustained. We must all work in partnership with our entire Interchange IE community (including the Board) to ensure that we minimise the impact of the pandemic through open, transparent and effective communication. Although the risk to some may be limited, the threat posed to others with complex needs is real and significant.
With this in mind, we ask for your patience, support and goodwill.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), we have implemented preventative strategies under Interchange IE’s pandemic policy. Over time, the impact of the pandemic will pass, and Interchange will return to business as usual. However, these preventative risk minimisation strategies will impact Interchange services for an unpredictable amount of time.
The current preventative measures being implemented are:
Individual Support including Active Days and In-Home supports
The delivery of rostered individual supports will occur as normal, with minimal changes as described below.
Several Team Leaders and rostering personnel (Rebecca Ryan, Rik Rus and Tayla Walsh) are now working from home to reduce the risk of infection. These staff have full functionality to respond to requests and the capacity to roster staff effectively.
We require that all requests and enquiries (including rosters) are emailed directly to email@example.com. This is a centralized email account which is carefully monitored to ensure all messages are responded to.
Many of Interchange’s participants with a physical disability who receive Interchange IE support may be more susceptible to the risk of an actual COVID19 infection. We expect participants & families that fall into this higher risk category to reconsider the potential consequences of their young person attending activities such as Arts.Co or other community access activities/options. Interchange will work closely with families needing to re-assess their supports in these circumstances, to ensure that risk is minimised and support activity is prioritized.
Interchange management is currently prioritising contact with participants with complex in-home support requirements to discuss their individual COVID19 response plan to ensure core supports can be maintained during the pandemic period.
The delivery of support coordination will occur as normal, with minimal changes as below.
As of Monday 16/03/2020, the Interchange Support Coordination Team commenced working from home. Interchange has restricted the capacity for Support Coordinators to participate directly in face to face meetings. However, they are equipped with mobile phones, and the capacity to participate in online meetings. The Support Coordination manager, Rachael Healey will update Support Coordination participants with further information, in relation to these measures, on a regular basis.
Currently, the Behaviour Support program is under review, with service continuing to be delivered. Interchange will advise families of any program changes impacted by COVID19.
Interchange IE participant, family, staff and volunteer guidelines
This applies to all interchange participants, families, staff and volunteers:
Under Federal Law and the Victorian State of Emergency
- As of midnight 15 March 2020, any person arriving in Australia from overseas must self-isolate for 14 days.
- Any travellers returning from any country outside Australia should now be considered at risk.
- Consequently, it is a requirement that you do not attend any Interchange site for 14 days following arrival back into Australia from overseas.
- If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, please seek medical attention and clearance before coming to an Interchange site/activity or receiving direct staff support.
HYGIENE ACTION PLAN
- All participants, family members, staff and volunteers to wash their hands regularly with soap and water or hand sanitiser, especially before and after eating, after using bathroom facilities, before, during and after a shift or activity.
- Additional daily cleaning of workspaces and equipment: this includes regular disinfecting of common items and shared environments.
- Avoiding close contact with those who have been infected
Where to from here?
Interchange’s COVID19 response plan takes a staged approach linked to Interchange’s IE pandemic policy. Interchange IE has a detailed and planned approach to managing our services through the impact of the pandemic, and further measures may be implemented as directed by the Health Department, NDIS and as the risk to our participants, families, staff and volunteers increases.
Interchange is strongly committed to providing continuity of support to our participants and families and is aligning all strategies and practices to the NDIS Provider Guidelines.
Let’s all follow the guidelines recommended by the Government and its experts. Let us NOT panic but continue to participate in gentle exercise, some laughter and to enjoy some fun. Thank you for respecting our necessary restrictions and service protocols. They are imperative to minimise any risk of transmission for our participants, families, staff and volunteers, and also to protect our wider Interchange community. Please refer to the attached Interchange IE Pandemic Policy for further guidance.