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According to the latest figures released by the Australian Department of Health and Aged Care (DOH), there are currently more than 370,000 active cases in Australia at the time of writing this article.
As Australia’s Federal Health Minister Mark Butler revealed on the 13th July: “There are going to be millions of people infected by COVID in the coming few weeks, we have 250,000 to 300,000 people today who are infected, on official data. The real number is probably twice that, maybe even more.”
A surge in COVID-19 BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants in Australia and around the world is a contributing factor to this rise in cases and the threat of serious illness is still an ongoing concern for many vulnerable people in our communities, especially older Australians and people with disabilities.
With Mable customers relying on a network of support to assist them in their daily lives, this article aims to clarify how both, support workers registered on Mable and those who engage support workers through Mable, can ensure they stay safe by observing COVID-safe practices while receiving or providing support.
On Monday 11th July, an additional 7.4 million Australians became eligible to receive a fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose after ATAGI updated their recommendation. ATAGI now specifically recommends that people aged 50 to 64 years should have their fourth dose, while people aged 30 to 49 years may choose to have a fourth shot, three months after receiving an initial booster dose, or from three months after a COVID-19 positive infection if this occurred after the initial booster dose.
ATAGI does not support making the fourth dose available to healthy adults under the age of 30 years as it is not yet clear whether the benefits outweigh the risks in this population group.
From Monday 11th July, people with disability may be eligible for potentially lifesaving COVID-19 antiviral treatments, including:
- immunocompromised people over the age of 18
- people with a broader range of chronic respiratory issues
- adults living with disability who have multiple medical conditions.
By continuing to provide services on Mable, all independent support workers acknowledge that they have met and will continue to meet any vaccination requirements in their state and territory, and for the services they are offering. Mable and clients have the right to request evidence from support workers registered on Mable, supporting their COVID-19 vaccination status. To stay up to date with the latest information around vaccination, visit this page.
Visit the Mable website to learn more about key information around COVID-19
Staying safe if you’re receiving or providing support
Whether you’re an independent support worker providing aged care or disability support through Mable, or a client who’s engaged a support worker through the platform, it is vital that you stay protected.
- Wear a mask in small indoor spaces
- Practise social distancing
- Undertake regular testing
- Ensure personal hygiene practices such as regular hand washing and sanitisation.
Consider alternative forms of support
Not all forms of support need to be face-to-face. If possible, consider whether you can engage or provide support virtually or in a way that doesn’t include physical contact. For instance, a support worker on Mable can do their client’s shopping and leave the purchases at their front door for them to collect. Social support can be delivered through Facetime or Skype calls.
Check out more ideas on how support can be provided during this time. We also encourage Mable customers and support workers to discuss the COVID-19 vaccination and their expectations. You can also utilise these home support screening questions to ensure the support provided is safe.
At Mable, we have consistently encouraged all independent support workers within our community to stay up to date with the COVID-19 vaccination to protect both themselves and the clients they support.