Being prepared – Preparing outbreak resources – Department of Health

  • All services need to have resources available to respond quickly to manage a case of COVID-19 or an outbreak. These resources should be easy to access by all staff and have sufficient volume to cover staff, clients and visitors.
  • Tips to prepare resources:
    • in the event of an outbreak, you will need to quickly separate or ‘cohort’ residents and staff in your service. To do this you will need signs and other markers to clearly identify each zone
    • you will need wrist bands for residents
    • you will need Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for staff and be able to set up places to put on and take off PPE as well as places to store the additional PPE stocks. Check your supply of equipment and signs. You should also have a plan to manage contaminated clinical waste
    • plan how you will organise residents in different scenarios and how staff will access those areas, considering the layout of your facility and the implications for staff and equipment
    • identify how you will need to adjust care delivery and services in the event of an outbreak. You will need separate equipment for each zone
    • you will receive lots of telephone calls as entry to the service will be controlled. Make sure you can provide additional phone numbers and staff to cope with the volume
    • catering and laundry services will also be impacted. Think about what disposable equipment you made need such as disposable crockery
    • you will need line lists for your staff.
  • Report the outbreak to the Department of Health by emailing within an hour.

Home Care and CHSP Providers

Preparing for and responding to a COVID-19 outbreak is not just limited to providers in residential aged care settings. Providers of in-home based services (such as those delivered through Home Care Packages or under the Commonwealth Home Support Programme) also need to prepare and respond to changing circumstances in order to effectively manage COVID-19 risks to their care recipients and staff. A range of useful guidance to support in-home providers to do this is available on the department’s website.

Other helpful resources

  • advice from the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission in the Flow chart for managing COVID-19
  • the CDNA guidelines for the prevention, control and public health management of COVID-19 outbreaks in residential aged care facilities provides information on the supplies need to manage an outbreak.


Source: Department of Health