Formerly House with No Steps and The Tipping Foundation

COVID FAQs

Answers to your most frequently asked questions about our response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

These answers are correct as at 11 August 2020. They will be updated, so please check them regularly.

Our Pandemic Response Team is continuously monitoring the situation and reacting accordingly. As well as our usual strict hygiene policies we have put many special procedures in place. You can see them here. We are also following the Government and Australian Health Department’s advice closely.

We have implemented a number of actions including:

  • Protocols developed for each service type and State based advice
  • Sign in and sign out sheets for contact tracing
  • Daily cleaning of services and offices
  • Use of masks and Personal Protective Equipment where required
  • Limiting number of people on sites / visiting services
  • Regular temperature checks
  • Rapid Response Team for COVID-19 outbreaks

Yes, but rules do vary depending on which state you’re based in (and what the specific State guidelines are).

Queensland

Family / carers visits can go ahead – they can now be both social visits as well as visits for ‘care and support’. Visits will need to continue to be pre-arranged with staff and numbers may be limited.

New South Wales

Family / carers (and their dependent children) visits can go ahead – they can now be both social visits as well as visits for ‘care and support’.

Visits will need to continue to be pre-arranged with staff and numbers may be limited.

ACT

Family / carers visits can go ahead – they can now be both social visits as well as visits for ‘care and support’.

Visits still need to be pre-arranged with staff and numbers may be limited.

Victoria

Family / carers can visit a SIL home for ‘care and support’ only. Find out more about what ‘care and support’ means.

Find out more about our protocols here.

To make sure that you have the most up to date advice and to arrange any care and support visits it is recommended that you ring the home in advance to plan and coordinate.

We understand receiving news of a confirmed case of COVID-19 is upsetting. 

The health, safety and wellbeing of our customers and staff is our priority.  

We have guidelines and protocols in place that are regularly updated in line with Government and Health official’s advice. We are communicating regularly with our staff to ensure they are kept up to date. 

Our staff are always monitoring our customers health and wellbeing and in addition, they are also now keeping an eye out for any symptoms of COVID-19 daily. 

If they see any customer has even the mildest symptoms of COVID-19 and may have been in close or casual contact with others who have, or are being tested for the virus, we will immediately contact health authorities and follow treatment advice. 

We will also be in regular communication with families and next of kin to keep them up to date and informed about the situation. 

The next steps would follow our protocols which are based on Government health advice:

  • If a customer is being tested for COVID-19 or has a confirmed case, we would immediately help the customer to self-isolate and quarantine the service.
  • If we need to quarantine a service, visits other than from medical or emergency services would be limited to essential supports and at the discretion of the relevant manager.
  • A family may remove a customer from the site if they wish, but must then follow Aruma guidelines regarding leaving and returning to the service.
  • If you had visited the service in the 24 hours prior to any suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, and you had close contact with the person being tested, we will notify you.

Overnights stays away from the SIL are now permitted in all states, except Victoria. This includes at the customers’ family, relative, partner or friend’s home.

Overnight accommodation such as hotels, motels, cabins and caravans are permitted but there may be some State-based restrictions for holiday rentals. It is highly recommended that the room/caravan has its own bathroom and food preparation area. Community shared bathrooms and kitchens should be avoided.

There is no limit on the number of nights a customer can be away for or the distance required to be travelled to reach that accommodation, provided State border controls and other government travel restrictions are adhered to.

Unfortunately, we have cancelled all volunteering activities at Summerland Farm and our packaging facility at Belrose, New South Wales for the foreseeable future. This is for the safety of our volunteers and all our employees.

More FAQs

Yes, in all States except for Victoria.

Other providers are now permitted to enter Aruma services, including for care and support, provided social distancing and strict hygiene protocols are adhered to and appropriate Protective Personal Equipment is worn.

All providers must make arrangements with staff in the house to coordinate visits.

We have made changes around access to our sites, particularly our Support Services. Read more about these changes.

If you plan to come onsite, please download and follow this information.

If you have a meeting with an ‘office-based’ staff member, these should ideally be conducted over the phone or via Skype. Please call your contact ahead of time to discuss the options.

We also have restrictions to our Aruma Business sites. Please check here to find out about visits to Aruma Businesses.

From 11:59pm on Sunday 2 August 2020, all Victorians must wear a face covering when they leave home, no matter where they live unless you have a lawful exception for not wearing one.

To ensure the safety of our staff and customers, when at an Aruma site across Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, and the ACT, all staff, supported employees, and visitors must wear a single use disposable surgical mask.

Customer do not need to wear a mask when at their home and socially distanced, but we encourage customers to wear a mask when there are others are around them.

Customers who live in Victoria and New South Wales Hot Zones are required to wear a mask when leaving their home unless there is a lawful exception not to wear one.

We also encourage customers in other regions to wear masks when leaving their home. We understand it may not be suitable for some customers to wear a mask due to medical advice, behaviours of concern, or language and communication difficulties.

If your support worker has worked closely with you and then finds out they are COVID-19 positive, we will continue to support you. You should also get tested and isolate. Aruma will ensure that you have staff to support you throughout.

Our priority is making sure our customers receive the support they need. We will be training more of our staff and, if needed, move them to help out at other services. This will enable us to continue to cater to customers’ needs if some of our staff become unwell and have to self-isolate.

Our staff will ensure that if customers are unwell, and have COVID-19 symptoms, they will be supported to get tested. We are following the Department of Health guidelines as to the best way to do this.

We will continue take customers with any medical needs to the doctor or other health specialists as we usually do in line with Government advice.

Where customers are not comfortable with getting tested outside the home, we will arrange for a mobile nursing service to visit them at the home.

Yes. We have plans in place to maintain essential supplies.

Our current approach is for all services to have at least four weeks of supplies in place. Staff will also ensure that each customer requiring medication will have at least four weeks supply on hand.

We have bulk supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as well as hand sanitiser. This is available through the Warrabrook central store. We also have COVID-19 PPE Kits deployed to services for use with suspected or confirmed cases.

We know our customers often like to choose their own supplies, and we will keep this system in place as long as we are able.

There have been a number of changes to our businesses. Some of our businesses have closed temporarily and some have reduced their services.

You’ll find the details of what’s happening in our businesses here.

Unfortunately, we have cancelled all work experience and educational visits in our businesses for the foreseeable future.

This is for the safety of our volunteers and all our employees. 

Many people are probably feeling anxious, given the huge amount of information appearing around COVID-19.

As well as following the advice here, it’s important to take appropriate steps and actions to proiritise your health and wellbeing.

The Australian Government is providing 10 additional Medicare-subsidised psychological therapy sessions for Australians affected by the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. You need to discuss this option with your GP to access additional sessions.

These posters have ideas on how you can help protect your mental health and the mental wellbeing of your children.

Helping children cope with stress

Coping with stress

Aruma is committed to the safety of our customers. If you still have a question about Aruma’s response to COVID-19 please speak to the staff or managers at our sites.

You can also phone our Customer Service team on 1300 538 746.

You can also call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080. The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.