CORONAVIRUS — DISABILITY SERVICES
149. Hon SIMON O'BRIEN to the Minister for
Can the minister advise what steps the government is taking
to advise and coordinate the disability sector in its response to COVID-19?
Hon STEPHEN DAWSON
I thank the honourable member for the question and for
providing notice of the question.
The Department of Health—WA Health—is the lead
government agency responsible for the COVID-19 response in Western Australia.
Under the state hazard plan, the Department of Communities' key role is
to provide welfare support in the event of a pandemic. Communities is in the
process of communicating with disability service providers to provide
information on the current situation and ensure the sector continues to monitor
the WA Health website for further updates.
For services that Communities directly provides within the
disability services sector, business continuity arrangements are in the process
of being strengthened to ensure essential services are maintained in the event
of a pandemic. Communities takes its
responsibility to safeguard and protect the health and wellbeing of the
individuals it supports and its staff very seriously. All Communities'
residential facilities operate according to stringently enforced infection
prevention and control policies and procedures. All Communities' direct
care staff have been reminded to observe standard infection control prevention
practices to minimise the likelihood of transmission, such as handwashing and
coughing etiquette. All Communities staff have been advised that if they are
displaying COVID-19 symptoms and have had possible exposure to the virus, they should
not present for work until they have medical confirmation that they do not have
the virus. Staff who provide support to people with disability, their families
and carers in non-accommodation settings have been instructed to limit
face-to-face contact wherever possible. Disability services is in discussions
with National Disability Services WA and the National Disability Insurance
Agency about issues relating to COVID-19.