From 12.01am 23 November 2022, all remaining COVID-19 legislation in South Australia expired, including the Emergency Management (Residential Aged Care Facilities No 49) (COVID 19) Direction 2022 (RACF Direction).
This change means COVID-19 management in RACFs - previously mandated in the RACF Direction - need to be incorporated in workplace health and safety policies.
COVID-19 cases and close contacts
- Isolation is no longer legally required for COVID-19 cases.
- Staff and visitor COVID-19 close contacts are no longer legally prohibited from entering a RACF.
- Visitors and staff who are COVID-19 cases are strongly encouraged not to enter a RACF for at least 7 days or until symptoms resolve, whichever is later.
- RACFs should update health and safety policies to include management of residents, staff and visitors who are COVID-19 cases and close contacts, as well as those with acute respiratory symptoms (e.g. runny nose, sore throat, cough, and fever).
Staff and visitors are no longer required to wear a mask in an RACF. However, visitor and staff mask use should be reinstated when one resident tests positive to COVID-19 or when advised by SA Health.
COVID-19 vaccination for residents and staff
Vaccination remains to be the most effective protection against severe illness, hospitalisation, and death from COVID-19.
Vaccination is strongly recommended for staff and residents in residential aged care facilities. Please see the latest recommendations from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) regarding COVID-19 boosters in 2023. These recommendations replace previous ATAGI COVID-19 vaccine booster advice.
COVID-19 vaccine access
Residents who wish to be vaccinated should be supported by the RACF to access a COVID-19 vaccine, such as arranging onsite vaccination by a GP or or visiting a local pharmacy.