UPDATED – IOE AND COVID-19
IMPORTANT INFORMATION for the IOE community. Interchange Outer East has been monitoring the situation with COVID 19. A state of emergency has been declared in Victoria. This enables the state government to have additional powers to reduce the impact of the spread of the virus. You can access the advice here.
In response to the COVID 19 situation, Interchange Outer East has decided:
Group based services to close from Friday 20 March at 3.30pm until Tuesday 14 April 2020:
- No recreation programs will be operating. This includes all camps, day activities and group based after hours activities.
- No day services, SLES or intensive programs will be operating. No group based services – Boys to Men, carer activities, mums, dads, etc. will be operating.
- In addition, the Family Camp planned for 17 April will not go ahead due to the number of people expected to attend and the risk associated with this.
- 1:1 support will continue to operate for participants who do not have symptoms of the virus or are not living within a household where someone is in isolation.
- Where someone has cold-like symptoms, advice should be obtained from the COVID-19 hotline 1800 020 080 before support goes ahead. Where there is any doubt, support should not occur. The IOE cancellation policy will apply in these cases.
- Where possible, 1:1 support will be extended to people affected by the closures to group based programs particularly day services, SLES, intensives and camps
Support staff have been advised on precautions and hygiene guidelines required to minimise risk. There are a number of support workers who have travelled overseas and are now doing the compulsory 14 day self isolation which may affect some families.
- Where staff have any symptoms they are also required to seek advice before supporting participants on shifts. This may result in late notice cancellations.
- If staff are put in a situation where they arrive on shift and find a participant or anyone they reside with presenting with symptoms they have been advised to leave. The IOE cancellation policy will apply in this case.
These are difficult decisions that have not been taken lightly. They have been made due to the capacity of Interchange Outer East to:
- Practice social distancing;
- Limited access to facilities capable of maximising social distancing and good hygiene practices; and
- Lack of supplies to maintain good hygiene practices.
I understand this decision will cause difficulties and concerns for many people. We have provided notice of the closure to enable people to put other plans in place as best as possible.
CEO, Interchange Outer East
IOE is continuing to monitor the COVID-19 situation and closely follow updates provided by DHHS and the Victorian Chief Medical Officer.
As you may be aware, over the weekend, the Prime Minister issued a directive that ALL people entering Australia from overseas must now self-isolate for 14 days. This is not an advisory measure, it is now law. If you have returned from overseas, or will be in the near future, you must stay home for 14 days. If you are an IOE staff member, participant, family and/or volunteer, please let us know as soon as possible if you are self isolating.
The Prime Minister has also banned all overseas travel from Australia. Non-essential indoor gatherings of people over 100 people have also been banned. Outdoor gatherings remain at 500 people.
It is essential to get your Coronavirus updates and information from a reputable source. Do not believe everything you read on social media or from media sources. For the latest COVID-19 updates, head to www.health.vic.gov.au