First, we want to thank you for your ongoing support through these difficult times. And we want you to know that we will continue to be here for you—although in Victoria there continue to be some changes to keep you and your family safe.
In Australia, services for people with disability have been recognised as essential. To make sure we can continue to support you in the safest ways possible, we are following State Government advice closely.
Do you have any questions or concerns? We encourage you to reach out to us on 1300 067 067 or through this contact form.
Update 25 February, 2021
A message to clients and families about COVID vaccinations
The Australian Government has started rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine and Possability is closely monitoring developments.
People with disability and workers in residential services and group homes will be among the first to access the vaccine.
It is still early stages of the rollout and many details of how people will access the vaccine have yet to be worked through.
The Federal Health Department has specific information for people with disability on their website and we encourage you to read this. The website also includes frequently asked questions and Easy Read information.
Keep up to date
Possability will be regularly updating this webpage with vaccination information that is relevant to you.
Update 18 February, 2021
At 11.59 on 12 February, all of Victoria entered into a five-day lockdown and returned to stage four restrictions.
The lockdown lifted as planned on 18 February and there are now no restrictions on reasons for leaving home. However, health authorities advise that masks must be carried at all times and worn when inside (except in a residential home) and outdoors when 1.5m physical distancing cannot be maintained (unless lawfully exempt). See full list of restrictions.
There are still some guidelines in place across Victoria for that affect people we support in supported accommodation and their families.
What has changed?
- One household can visit at the same time.
What is the same?
- Visitors for end-of-life reasons, parents of minor and other permitted exemptions still apply. See 13 Feb factsheet for full visitor exemptions.
- Visitors must still wear a fitted face mask at all times and physically distance where possible.
- Staff, contractors and volunteers must wear a surgical mask at all times.
For more information, please see the Coronavirus website.
Thank you for your continued support and understanding around these often fast-changing guidelines. We know how important it is to see the people most important to you in your life. If you have any questions or concerns, please speak to your local house supervisor.
Update 24 July
Changes in Victoria
There has continued to be concern around the rate of positive coronavirus cases in Victoria, as a result the government has amended their advice on visiting and wearing face masks from 11.59pm on Wednesday 22 July.
The government has brought in new visiting limits that apply to people living in supported accommodation. We want you to know that we will continue to support you and your family to stay connected, safely. We also ask that you let us know if you are planning a visit so we can make sure there are not too many people in one house and that social distancing can be maintained.
What does this mean for you?
The main change is now a parent, guardian, carer, partner or support person (e.g. a friend or sibling) can now only visit:
- Once per day
- For a maximum of one hour
- Only one visitor at a time.
People other than those listed above who wish to visit must be:
- Providing essential care and support necessary for the person’s physical, emotional or social wellbeing that cannot be delivered by the health service care team or by electronic or other means
- Limited to what is considered essential for the care of the person they are visiting.
End of life care is limited to two visitors at a time, with no other restrictions on the number and length of visits.
In all regions of Victoria, the government has asked that all visitors:
- Wear a face covering (unless they have an exemption)
- Not visit if they are unwell or are waiting for a coronavirus test result.
If you have any concerns at any time, please let your local house supervisor know.
Wearing Face Masks
Wearing a face covering when outside the home is compulsory for those living in metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire. A face covering can be anything that covers your nose and mouth, but generally speaking a face mask is the recommended option.
What does this mean for you at home?
If we support you or your family member, you do not need to wear a mask routinely in your home, but we will support you to wear one if you choose. There might also be times when a face mask is important for you to wear, like if you have a respiratory infection. We can support you to follow the medical advice on wearing face masks if you are unwell.
What does this mean for you in the community?
Outside affected areas
If you live outside metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire, there are no changes to health advice as the face covering guidelines do not apply to you.
In affected areas
If you live in metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire, then much of the health advice stays the same and the ‘stay at home’ restrictions still apply. There is one important change in the use of face coverings, which must now be worn when out in the community.
What does this mean for Possability staff?
We have been advised by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) that all our employees must wear a face mask wherever possible while at work, this includes in offices and in people’s homes where they are providing support.
What if I can’t wear a face mask?
There are times when people cannot wear a face mask because they have a certain health condition, like asthma, or because of behaviours of concern. Under these circumstances there can be exemptions made to wearing a face mask, they can speak to their local house supervisor and it will be documented.
You can read more about the DHHS advice around face coverings here.
As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your local house supervisor or contact us through the details above.
Update 9 July
Due to the high number of positive COVID-19 cases, the Victorian Premier announced metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Council would be returning to stage three restrictions from 11.59pm on 8 July 2020. These are the ‘stay at home’ restrictions.
There are only four reasons to leave the home:
- Shopping for food and supplies
- Medical care and caregiving
- Exercise and recreation
- Study and work – if you can’t do it from home.
Visiting is again limited for the following reasons:
- Providing care and support
- Providing end of life support
- Providing treatment under a treatment plan
- Providing services related to
- health, medical, or pharmaceutical goods or services
- behavioural support services
- other support services.
Visits are limited to one per day, for a maximum duration of two hours and with no more than two people visiting at any one time.
Information about our services
We have made contact with Victorians who use our services and their families (if relevant to them) to explain the situation.
We continue to follow the directives of government health authorities and pay close attention to infection control and other safety measures, including temperature checks and social distancing.
What does this mean for you?
If you live outside the affected areas, there are no changes. If you do live in metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Council, the ‘stay at home’ and visiting restrictions do apply to you.
We know how important it is for you to see your friends and family when you need them and to get essential services (in line with the government directives). To make sure we can continue to keep everyone safe, we ask you to speak to your supervisor so we can stagger essential visitor times.
All visitors will be asked to follow stringent health routines, including temperature checks, a disclosure form and infection control. We all must continue to observe social distancing guidelines where possible by keeping a distance of 1.5 metres from everyone we do not share a household with.
There are no changes to day services at this stage. Saying that, we have asked all day services providers for documented evidence of their strict adherence to guidelines and directives.
You can find out more about the current ‘stay at home’ restrictions here.
This is a fast-moving situation, for the latest information about government restrictions it is best to speak to your local supervisor. Or you are welcome to call one of the team on 1300 067 067.
Update 16 June
Across Australia, COVID-19 directives continue to be gradually eased. While we are eager to get back to as much normality as possible, our approach is slow and steady. Health remains our first priority and we continue to be guided by state and federal health authorities.
Underpinning every step of the way forward are our COVIDSafe Principles, you can read more about them in this message from our CEO, Drew Beswick.
Resumption of suspended services
Many centre-based services are resuming and some people are slowly returning. If you or your family member were affected by the temporary suspension of centre-based services and you are now wanting more information, please speak to your local supervisor. Every situation is unique and best handled on a more personal level.
Update 14 May
We are seeing restrictions slowly soften across Australia, what does that mean for you?
As an organisation we are continuing to focus on keeping houses, workplaces and communities safe. While we are optimistic about the direction of State Governments easing restrictions, we are being cautious in our approach.
We are in the process of developing the government required COVID-Safe Plans that will allow us to resume those services that have been suspended or adapted due to the coronavirus, and to re-open our offices for staff currently working from home. We will communicate about those plans once they are finalised.
We are still here to support you. If you have any questions, please do speak to your support staff, or call your local supervisor.
Updates 17 April
Changes to services
We operate in Tasmania, Victoria and Queensland. In all three states, our services have had to change and adapt. It is no longer recommended to go out into the community like we used to, so we can now only head out for essentials and generally on a one-on-one basis.
In Tasmania we have closed all centre-based day services and training at Derwent Park in Hobart. Where requested, these services are being adapted to people’s homes.
Recreational groups in Northern Tasmania have been stopped, including our Gaming Group.
We provide supported accommodation in Victoria, the closures of centre-based day services by other providers have affected a number of people we support. We are working with all involved to ensure employees from day services are able to travel and support people in their own homes.
A safer way to connect
Are you looking for a safer way to check in with your loved ones? If you’re interested in seeing your friends or family members through video calls, photos, phone calls or just emailing—we want to make it happen (where possible).
We are actively encouraging the use of technology to keep connected with those closest to you, keeping relationships going is so important to overall wellbeing.
We are doing everything we can to keep you, your family and our employees safe by closely following the advice of State Government health authorities. Some of the directives for having visitors in your home differ between each state in Australia, so please make sure you check all that are specific to you.
We would like to remind everyone that the Australian Government recommends following good hygiene to stop the spread of the coronavirus, including:
- Washing your hands often with soap and water
- Sneezing or coughing into a tissue or your elbow, followed by washing again
- Avoiding touching your face
- Observing social distancing of 1.5 metres.
State directives on visiting
State Governments are making changes rapidly. We are keeping everyone informed by emailing you and your family directly, and of course letting you know in person where possible.
You can find more information from your state about having visitors on these websites:
- Victoria – Stay at Home Direction
- Queensland Government – Gatherings
- Tasmanian Government – Gatherings FAQs
We’re here to support you and answer any questions you might have. If you are receiving supports in your home you can speak to your support staff, or call your local supervisor, they will have the latest updates and advice around visiting.
We have set up COVID-19 task forces within our Executive and each of our state-based operations teams that meet daily.
Find important information about our response to the coronavirus in out latest news.
How you can help limit the spread of the coronavirus and ensure everyone’s safety.
A message from our CEO, Drew Beswick, on important changes at Possability (video).