What we are doing to protect The Housing Connection community in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The Housing Connection’s (THC’s) response to the Coronavirus is guided by the advice and recommendations from NSW Health and the Australian Government.

Over the last three weeks, our response team has been meeting regularly, and updating our pandemic plan and advice to our staffing teams, family and friends. Our focus has been on doing everything that we can to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing for our community.  Our Board of Directors have encouraged our very proactive approach to minimise risk to our community.

Our team leaders and house coordinators have been developing contingency plans with each person and their family over the last two weeks. Weekly communication has been sent out to family and friends on our contact list, along with regular emails across the organisation and lots of phone calls.

Following the Federal Governments’ announcement on Sunday 22 March, introducing heightened social distancing measures, THC has introduced the following additional measures from Monday 23 March:  

●   Our office in Chatswood has been closed since Tuesday 17 March to effect the 1.2 metre social distancing guidelines. Key personnel have been working remotely, maintaining key operational support. Our support coordination and plan management team services are working as normal through email, telephone and video conferencing

●   Anyone using public transport is advised to wear gloves, and where possible, to avoid the use of public transport. As an alternative, again where possible, to consider the use of Uber or Taxi – and if doing so then to sit in rear passenger seat, with window open and to wear gloves

●   Sourcing alternative accommodation options for anyone who may require this

●   Limiting unnecessary visits to those living in supported living

●   Increase professional cleaning services to twice a week in supported living

●   Implementing regular disinfecting routines and checklists

●   Prioritising critical supports for our most vulnerable participants and developing contingency options for each person, including the capacity to respond to increasing support needs due to other services than may reduce or cease

●   Modifying key support further to reduce all non-essential supports; changing community based activity options that can achieve social distancing requirements and limiting supports to 1:1

●   Stopping any small group activities, replaced by in home options

●   Setting up virtual social gathering options

●   Utilising priority on line grocery delivery options

●   Continuing attention to ongoing attention to hand hygiene, coughing etiquette, wellness checks amongst each other are continuing, including undertaking non-contact temperature tests.

●   Anyone who is unwell we are encouraging to stay at home and to seek medical advice.

THC’s office number is still operating remotely Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm (9415 2311). After hours the on call and emergency contact is 0412 037 719.

Health Direct has registered nurses on dial to answer any health concerns that you might have. Their number is 1800 022 222.

We continue to monitor daily advice and updates and will update our responses accordingly. It is critical that anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 contact us as soon as possible so that we can take any appropriate actions.

I appreciate your ongoing support and assistance during these difficult times,

All the best, 

Nicola (CEO) 

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