Coronavirus information

Latest customer updates and answers to your most frequently asked questions about our response to the coronavirus.

Scope's response

The health and wellbeing of Scope customers is the highest priority for Scope.

We are following the Australian Government and Department of Health’s advice closely and have taken the following actions:

  • Reminded all Scope employees about Infection Prevention and Control Procedures
  • Reminding everyone about good hygiene practice.
  • Ensured that all sites are equipped with appropriate supplies such as hand sanitiser, disinfectant wipes etc
  • Reminded staff to be vigilant in looking out for signs of the illness and reporting this swiftly
  • We have implemented social distancing and minimised face to face contact and non -essential services.
  • We have established an Incident Management Team (IMT) to act as a response team and who are monitoring the situation daily to ensure we can respond quickly

Scope has plans in place to maintain supplies so we can continue to deliver essential services. This includes medical supplies as well as necessary household items.

All disability support workers are required to wear a single use mask when supporting customers face to face.

SIL customers do not need to wear a face mask in their home.

Across Victoria, it’s now mandatory to wear a mask when you leave home, unless an exception applies. Government advice is that people with disability “must wear a face covering unless it is unsuitable to do so for medical, physical, communication or other individual risk factors.”

In line with current government guidelines, there are limited reasons for face to face visits. These reasons are – for caregiving, providing services such as health or therapy, or for advocacy support.

Families and other visitors will need to ensure they continue to contact the coordinator / house supervisor to schedule visits. This will help us manage the number of visitors we have in each home and practice social distancing.

Customers can have one care or support visit each day by one person and the visit must be for no longer than one hour.

All visitors will need to wash their hands on entry to the home and before entering and leaving a resident’s room and will be encouraged to practise social distancing.

All visitors will need to wear a mask throughout the visit.

People cannot visit if:

  • They have a temperature of above 37.5º (we will be checking temperatures of all visitors)
  • They have returned from overseas in the last 14 days
  • They been in contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19 in the last 14 days
  • They have fever or symptoms of coronavirus.
  • They are under 16, unless they are visiting a resident who is receiving end-of-life care
  • They are unwell or waiting for a coronavirus (COVID-19) test result.

You should also have had your influenza vaccine to visit a service.

Please find here the updated information for customers in SILs

Yes, to ensure the health and well-being of our customers and staff you will require medical clearance before returning to your SIL residence.

If you have any questions, please contact your house coordinator.

Scope strongly encourages customers to download the COVIDSafe app.
The COVIDSafe app helps Government health officials to quickly contact people who may have been exposed to COVID-19. This reduces the chances of you passing on the virus to your family, friends and other people in the community. Once the pandemic is over you will be prompted to delete the app.

The COVIDSafe app is free and you can download it from the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Symptoms, confirmation, isolation & quarantine

You should seek medical attention, if you live in a SIL home we will support you to get this.

If a family member has been exposed to coronavirus (COVID-19) or have any flu-like symptoms like fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, they should self-isolate and seek immediate medical attention.

They can contact the Victorian Government’s ‘Coronavirus Hotline’ on 1800 675 398 for assistance.

Please also inform Scope by calling our Scope COVID-19 Support Line 1300 472 673 or email: covid19@scopeaust.org.au , so we can take necessary action.

Scope is following Australian Government guidance. Testing for coronavirus (COVID- 19) is being done at the discretion of the health care providers. We strongly suggest if you are being assessed by a Medical practitioner you remind the doctor that you live in a shared home environment.

We have a clear plan of action, and local response teams to support customers and staff.

If someone show flu-like symptoms, we will seek immediate medical attention and while they are being tested, the house will be in self isolation.

Should a person test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), they will be quarantined for the period of their treatment and recovery.

We will inform customers and their families if this happens.

At this time we are not routinely taking temperatures unless a person is unwell or is known to have been in direct contact with coronavirus (COVID-19).

Hospitals & medication

If you are admitted to hospital, we will work with the hospital to ensure you receive the care and support needed.

As we always have, Scope will support you to ensure you receive the medical attention needed.

SIL customers
If you are a SIL customers, Scope will work with your regular Pharmacist and Doctors to get access to the medicines you require.

Other customers

For all other customers, we recommend contacting your regular doctor or pharmacist to make sure you have enough supply of the medication you need in case you need to self-isolate.

Please contact the hospital or health provider about any scheduled treatments and procedures. They will be able to provide you with advice.

If you live in a SIL house, we will support you to ensure you have appropriate medical care, please speak to your House Supervisor or Coordinator who will help you get in touch with your health provider.

Transport and community activities

There’s currently only 4 reasons to leave home:

  • Shopping for food and essential supplies that you need
  • To get care or provide caregiving
  • For daily exercise
  • Work and education – if you can’t do it from home

Please see the question above ‘Are there rules for visitors?’ for more details on the changes to SIL visitor guidelines.

A reminder:

  • Think about the health of yourself and others in the decisions you make
  • If you are displaying symptoms seek medical attention and be tested
  • Practice good hygiene

For further details visit:
https://www.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-covid-19-restrictions-victoria

It is advisable not to catch public transport if you have an alternative – especially during peak periods.

If you do need to catch public transport, it is recommended that you wash your hands as soon as you arrive at your destination and avoid touching your face or mouth until you are able to do so.

You could also catch a taxi which minimises the risk due to less exposure to others.

The Australian Government has issued guidelines on social distancing which include restrictions on large gatherings such as sports games. This is to avoid the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) by preventing close person-to-person contact.

Scope has also stopped community inclusion programs and events such as Balloon Football training and matches, until further notice.

We do recommend you avoid gatherings that may increase your exposure.

Scope advises limiting all outings including those that help manage customer behaviours such as bus rides.

The DHHS guidelines relating to disability services state the following should be adopted:

  • ensure clients and staff stay away from other people as much as possible, all unnecessary face to face contact should be avoided
  • ensure clients remain in their homes as much as possible, all unnecessary excursions and transport should be avoided, this means cessation of:
  • activities in the community physical visits to friends and families,
  • daytime activities (including day programs) and
  • work that cannot be done in the home (without other people having to come to the home)

Customers are allowed outside for exercise purposes such as going for a walk.

Please talk to your DSW or house coordinator to discuss other ways Scope can support and manage behaviours during this time.

Services & service changes

As of 8 July 2020:

Scope is continuing to monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) health alert with the safety of our customers and employees our top priority. To this end, we are making some temporary changes to the way services are delivered to make sure we can still support you with essential services while keeping everyone safe.

Therapy – Reducing face to face
All community based face to face therapy in your home or other places including from Scope therapy centres will be postponed until further notice.

Phone meetings and online therapy sessions with your therapist will be available. Should you be interested in this option, please contact your therapist or scheduler who will advise you of programs / apps that can be used.

Therapy – critical services
We will continue to deliver therapy that directly relates to the safety of our customers – this includes swallowing/dysphagia assessments, pressure care issues, manual handling and some behaviour support.

If you think you or the person you support requires therapy directly relating to their safety please ring and discuss with our therapy team.

Day and Lifestyle Options (DLO) – temporary closure
Scope has temporarily closed all our Day and Lifestyle Options services (day centres).

DLO Customers who live in a Scope or Home@Scope SIL home will be supported by their SIL staff.

For DLO customers who don’t live in a Scope or Home@Scope house, please speak with your family / carer or Supported Independent Living provider (the staff at the house where you live).

If you live at home and your family member is unable to support you please let us know.

In home services – essential services only
We continue to support customers in homes with essential services and work closely with your support network to make sure you are supported. However, we are restricting activities in the community until further notice.

If you or a family member has any flu like symptoms and/or has been tested for coronavirus (COVID- 19) we ask you to inform us immediately on Scope COVID-19 Support Line 1300 472 673.

What will Scope do if a child attending an STA service becomes unwell?

We will ensure the child receives medical attention and contact the family or emergency contact.

What happens if our support workers are sick or can’t work?
Scope has put in place a system to ensure we can continue to provide essential support to our customers.  This includes making sure we can reassign staff from other services or offices as needed.

Funding & NDIS

We are working with the NDIS to ensure your funds are allocated correctly during this time.

We advise you to cancel any ongoing services such as transport that you will not be using during this time. Please contact your coordinator if you need support with this.

The NDIS are reducing face-to-face meetings with participants and are offering telephone meetings as a safer way to continue supporting participants.

For further information visit the NDIA website https://www.ndis.gov.au/

Government support

As part of its response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Australian Government will provide a one-off payment of $750 to approximately 6.5 million income support recipients across Australia.

Australian residents who hold a Carer Payment or Disability Support Pension card (among others) will receive their One-Off Economic Support Payment between 31 March and 17 April 2020.

The payment will be paid automatically to eligible recipients.

Please visit the Services Australia website or call 132 717 for more information.

 

Please note: The government may update directions, documents and information in response to the way the coronavirus pandemic evolves. We will do our best to keep this information updated in a timely way. We recommend checking the government’s website for the latest information.