Urgent NSW COVID-19 update

The NSW Government has issued new Residential Care Facility Directives. As a result, Aruma has made changes to our NSW services.

December 21, 2020

Along with the announcements outlined in our previous news article, there have been new Residential Care Facility Directives issued by the NSW Government.

As a result, Aruma has changed all site ratings across NSW to RED and increased the mask rating level. Find out more about what the RED rating means.

What are the main changes in the Residential Care Directives?


Until at least midnight on Wednesday 23 December 2020 all residential disability care facilities (homes) across NSW must exclude visitors.

Visitors performing essential caring functions and where there are exceptional circumstances (see below) may be allowed but must wear a mask, be escorted to and from the resident’s room by a staff member and remain within the room during the visit.

Exceptional circumstances

In exceptional circumstances, it may be possible for exempted visitors to be allowed entry into the home on compassionate grounds (e.g. imminent death of a loved one.) Similar provisions exist for staff members if their exclusion will result in significant compromise to the resident’s care.

Any decision to admit exempted visitors must be based on an assessment of the risk of the individual, and the ability of the staff at the home to manage their visit.

Community activities and outings – individual and group excursions

Until at least midnight on Wednesday 23 December 2020, residents from residential disability care facilities (homes) in NSW should not leave the home to attend family gatherings or group excursions unless the visit is essential (such as a medical appointment). This advice will be reviewed on 23 December.

Restricting access to our homes

Aruma will need to exclude any staff or exempted visitor who:

  • Has a fever (37.5°C or higher) or any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 infection, even if mild.
  • during the last 14 days have been:
    • a close contact of a person with confirmed COVID-19 and are within their self-isolation period
    • in any of the locations listed on self-isolate and get tested immediately, at the times and dates listed.
    • in any of the locations listed on the NSW Health latest covid-19 case locations, at the times and dates listed, except where noted otherwise

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

All staff across our services in NSW have been directed to wear a mask at all times. All services have sufficient supplies of PPE.

Customers who work

As people are still permitted to leave the home for work where they are not able to work from home, we will continue to support customers to attend their work commitments. We ask that you take into consideration their health and potential vulnerability during this time.

I understand that this is not great news heading up to Christmas, but we respectfully request that you adhere to the Government’s restrictions in the hope that we can get this outbreak under control and still get to spend Christmas with friends and family.

More announcements will be made tomorrow and Wednesday and I will keep you updated on any further developments.

If you have any questions, please speak to your local staff.

We thank you for your ongoing support and assistance.

Laz Cotsios

Chief Operating Officer, Aruma