This is the seventh COVID-19 update from WACOSS. We are committed to providing the WA community services sector with crucial information and high level resources as necessary, until the pandemic subsides.
Content from these updates will be posted on the Community Services Resource page on the WACOSS website.
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE)
In the first stage of the COVID-19 epidemic the role of prioritising access to limited stocks of PPE has been managed by the Department of Health, with frontline health and emergency services the first priority.
Access to PPE stocks are expected to improve soon, and the role of managing requests for PPE will be taken up by the Department of Finance (working alongside Health).
However, we are awaiting clarification from the Department of Finance, via the State Emergency Management Committee (SEMC) on whether stocks will extend to other frontline services and community services.
Finance are currently working on a system for Community Service Organisations to make PPE requests. WACOSS will provide an update once that important information is made available, including contact details.
Supplies still remain limited to Health workers. We will see increases in stock, as more arrive and local manufacturing comes online. We hope to receive further advice for frontline community services in coming days. Ideally, frontline staff should also be trained on which PPE to use when and how.
The Federal Government Infection Control online training module is the best and most relevant, and can be paired with WA Government fact sheets for Frontline Responders, and on Environmental Cleaning - these are also listed on our webpage.
In the interim the Department of Health and the Department of Finance are working together to address this gap. Frontline services need to focus on what they can do now without PPE to keep staff and service users as safe as possible. We are expecting more advice on this from Finance and Health in coming days.
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS
The Federal Government has announced a National COVID-19 Coordinated Commission (NCCC) has been formed to anticipate and mitigate the economic and social effects of the global pandemic. Read more.
Following the recent Federal Government announcement that NFPs, charities and small business can obtain cash flow assistance, there is a Fact Sheet explaining how it works.
The Federal Government Department of Education provided an update to early childhood and child care providers this week. Read the email here.
The ACNC have has granted charities reporting extensions to assist those affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Read more.
Links to the World Health Organisation Infection Control Training and the Federal Government Infection Control training along with fact sheets, have been placed on the webpage.
NEW RESOURCES AND INFORMATION
Thank you to all of the community service organisations and peak bodies who have provided links to their specialist advice or resources related to their sub-sector. These are now on the WACOSS website, and include links to:
If you have anything you would like to contribute, please forward via firstname.lastname@example.org
EMERGING ISSUES POSTPONED
The annual Emerging Issues Forum will be postponed for the time being. We are hoping to hold a forum in the not-too-distant future. A date has not yet been confirmed, as we are all working on our COVID-19 responses first and foremost. We will share more information in our future Bulletins.