COVID-19: Updates & Information

COVID-19: Updates & Information

Please ensure you are aware of the latest travel restrictions and requirements prior to visiting one of our Aged Care Homes or Villages. Visit coronavirus.tas.gov.au

If you experience any symptoms, even if they are mild, contact the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 to arrange a test. Please remember our residents are among the most vulnerable people within the community. If you have come into contact directly or indirectly with someone who may have had contact with a person from a COVID-19 hotspot, please reconsider your visit.

Monday, February 22, 2021

The first COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Tasmania yesterday afternoon.

One tray of the vaccine is the responsibility of the federal government, with the rollout beginning at aged care homes across the state, while the other tray is at the Royal Hobart Hospital’s vaccine centre, to be given to frontline workers.

COVID-19 vaccinations in aged care homes will be administered by qualified immunisation teams who have been appointed and are managed by the Government.

While vaccinations are an important step in reducing the spread of COVID-19 within our community, it is important to remember that we currently do not know how effective COVID-19 vaccines are at preventing spread of the virus. This is why it is important to continue other preventative measures like:
• physical distancing
• hand washing
• wearing a face mask
• COVID-19 testing and quarantine/isolation

For more information on the vaccine, visit coronavirus.tas.gov.au

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

The Royal Hobart Hospital is in the final stages of preparation for the start of COVID-19 vaccination program, which will commence in Hobart next week before extending statewide in March.

The first phase of the vaccination program will target people who are at heightened risk of getting COVID or getting very sick from it. These are quarantine and border staff, and specific groups of front-line healthcare workers.

Aged and disability care residents and staff will also be vaccinated in the coming weeks through the Commonwealth Government vaccination program.

Once the early phases of the roll out are completed, the vaccination program will be expanded to include other groups of the community, as per the Commonwealth’s guidelines. There will be further detail and information provided publicly on these groups once finalised on expert advice.

However, it’s important to remember the vaccine is not a silver bullet, and Tasmanians must continue to follow COVID-safe guidelines.

Remember to maintain physical distancing and good hand hygiene, stay home if you’re sick, and make sure you get tested even if you have the mildest of symptoms. For more information on the vaccine, visit coronavirus.tas.gov.au

Monday, February 15, 2021

Victoria was designated a high-risk area by Tasmanian Health Authorities from 12.01am on Saturday February 13.

Travellers who have spent time in Victoria in the 14 days prior to their travel to Tasmania will not be permitted to enter Tasmania from 12.01am Saturday February 13 unless approved as an Essential Traveller.

The designation of Victoria is in addition to the declaration of individual high-risk premises and transport routes, at specific recent dates and times.

If you are now in Tasmania and have been in Victoria in the 14 days before you arrived, you are not required to self-isolate unless you have been at one of the high-risk premises at the specified dates and times. The list of locations is available at: https://coronavirus.tas.gov.au/travellers-and-visitors/coming-to-tasmania/travel-alert

Please visit coronavirus.tas.gov.au for more information, and if you experience any symptoms, even if they are mild, contact the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 to arrange a test.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Tasmanian health authorities are monitoring the situation in NSW and Victoria where two people have recently been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Contact tracing of the NSW case by the NSW government has identified 12 locations, 11 in the Wollongong area and one in Brighton Le Sands in Sydney, visited by the person while he may have been infectious.

These locations have now been declared high risk by the Tasmanian Director of Public Health.

Anyone who is currently in Tasmania who was in NSW on or after 2 February should check the list of high risk locations at www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au/travelalert.

Please visit coronavirus.tas.gov.au for more information, and if you experience any symptoms, even if they are mild, contact the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 to arrange a test.

Friday, February 5, 2021

Tasmanian health authorities are monitoring the situation in Victoria where a quarantine worker was diagnosed with COVID-19 on February 3.

Anyone who is currently in Tasmania who was in Victoria on or after 29 January should check the updated list of high-risk locations. If you were at any of the premises at the specified dates and times, self-isolate immediately and call the Public Health Hotline for further advice. 

Four people who are now in Tasmania have been identified as having been in Victorian exposure locations. All are in quarantine and are being tested. Tasmania will continue to work with Victoria to contact any person who is identified as being at risk of COVID-19 while in Victoria.

Tasmania is taking a precautionary and proportionate approach in response to this case to help minimise the risk of COVID-19 spreading in our community.

Please visit coronavirus.tas.gov.au for more information, and if you experience any symptoms, even if they are mild, contact the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 to arrange a test.

Monday, February 1, 2021

Yesterday, the Perth Metropolitan Region, Peel Region, and South West Region in Western Australia were declared High Risk Areas following the confirmation of a COVID-19 case in that state.

Anyone currently in Tasmania who was in WA on or since 25 January should check the WA risk location list. Anyone who was at any of the locations listed at the specific date and time should self-isolate immediately in their accommodation and call the Public Health Hotline.

Anyone who wishes to travel to Tasmania who has been in any of these High Risk Areas in the past 14 days will not be permitted to enter Tasmania unless approved by the Deputy State Controller.

Please visit coronavirus.tas.gov.au for more information, and if you experience any symptoms, even if they are mild, contact the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 to arrange a test.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Yesterday, Premier Peter Gutwein announced that Greater Brisbane’s Coronavirus risk rating was scaled down in Tasmania , from high risk to medium risk.

He said that meant travellers from Greater Brisbane would be able to travel to Tasmania, but would still need to quarantine at a suitable residence or government hotel at their own expense.

It was also announced that from this coming Friday, it will be mandatory to wear facemasks in airport terminals, including in outdoor drop-off and pick-up areas, and on commercial flights in Tasmanian airspace.

Please visit coronavirus.tas.gov.au for more information.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Tasmanian Public Health authorities have said all 14 travellers who had been in quarantine after having been at the Brisbane Grand Chancellor on or since December 30 will be released from quarantine.

Deputy State Controller Tilyard said although the 14 people from the Brisbane Grand Chancellor were able to be released, the greater Brisbane area remained a high risk area and people from those areas currently in quarantine would need to remain in quarantine at this stage.

Please visit coronavirus.tas.gov.au for more information. As always, we encourage everyone to remain vigilant to keep themselves, and their families, friends, and loved ones, safe.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Premier Peter Gutwein has announced that the coronavirus vaccine will begin to be administered in Tasmania from late February, with high-risk Tasmanians targeted first to receive the vaccine over a six-month rollout.

The Pfizer vaccine, which is expected to be approved for use by the end of the month, will be stored at the Royal Hobart Hospital, Launceston General Hospital and the North West Regional Hospital.

Health Department secretary Kathrine Morgan-Wicks said that priority population groups will include quarantine and border workers, critical health care worker sub-groups, residential aged care and disability care staff, and residential aged care and disability residents.

She said the second stage of the rollout would involve vaccinations at a number of general practitioner and respiratory clinics.

Friday, January 8, 2021

Tasmania has declared Greater Brisbane a high risk area following the Queensland Government’s announcement of a three day lockdown of residents of this area.

This follows a city hotel quarantine worker being diagnosed with a more infectious ‘new variant’ strain of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Any traveller arriving in Tasmania from today who has been in the Greater Brisbane area since 2 January will need to immediately quarantine for up to 14 days.

Please visit coronavirus.tas.gov.au for more information, and if you experience any symptoms, even if they are mild, contact the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 to arrange a test. Please remember our residents are among the most vulnerable people within the community. If you have come into contact directly or indirectly with someone who may have had contact with a person from a COVID-19 hotspot, please reconsider your visit.

Monday, January 4, 2021

Tasmanian Public Health officials have continued to monitor the COVID-19 situations in Victoria and NSW throughout the holiday period.

In response to the outbreak linked to the Smile Buffalo Thai Restaurant in Victoria, Tasmania has designated certain premises in Victoria as high risk premises. These are listed here: https://coronavirus.tas.gov.au/travellers-and-visitors/coming-to-tasmania/travel-alert#victoriahigh. Anyone who was at those high risk premises at the specified dates and times will not be allowed to enter Tasmania for at least 14 days after their last time at the premises, unless approved by the Deputy State Controller. If you have been at any of the Victorian sites at the specified dates and times, contact the Tasmanian Public health Hotline on 1800 671 738 for further advice.

Tasmania currently lists the Greater Sydney region and the Wollongong Local Government Area (LGA) as medium risk locations. While case numbers have declined significantly in much of Sydney, the Northern Beaches LGA remains designated as a high-risk location for the time being. If you are now in Tasmania and have been in NSW since 20 December please check the NSW Health list of potential exposure settings https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/latest-news-and-updates every day. If you have been at any of the NSW sites at the specified dates and times, contact the Tasmanian Public health Hotline on 1800 671 738 for further advice.

Please visit coronavirus.tas.gov.au for more information, and if you experience any symptoms, even if they are mild, contact the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 to arrange a test. Please remember our residents are among the most vulnerable people within the community. If you have come into contact directly or indirectly with someone who may have had contact with a person from a COVID-19 hotspot, please reconsider your visit.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

The Christmas and New Year period can be a stressful time of year. With the added uncertainty and unprecedented circumstances caused by COVID-19, Southern Cross Care (TAS) Inc. wanted to remind our residents, consumers, staff, and their family and friends, that there are resources available to help support your wellbeing and mental health during this period, and throughout the year.

  • The Older Persons Advocacy Network can be reached on 1800 700 600
  • The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement can be reached on 1800 22 22 00
  • The Essential Network – a website and mobile application for health professionals by the Black Dog Institute is available at blackdoginstitute.org.au/ten or via the Google Play and Apple Store
  • Smiling Mind – a mobile application which offers practical tools to support good mental health during challenging times is available via the Google Play and Apple Store.

Aged care workers, residents, consumers and their loved ones can also access mental health supports available to all Australians including:

  • Beyond Blue Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service which can be reached on 1800 512 348 or at coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au.
  • Lifeline which can be reached on 13 11 14
  • Head to Health – provides access to free and low cost digital and phone mental health services and supports, available at headtohealth.gov.au

Monday, December 21, 2020

Screening process reminder – Residential Aged Care Homes

We kindly remind all visitors to our Aged Care Homes to remain vigilant when completing the entry screening process. It is critical that all screening forms are completed correctly upon entry, to keep our residents and staff as safe as possible.

Please ensure you are familiar with the screening process to all Southern Cross Care (Tas) Inc. Aged Care Homes. Please remember our residents are among the most vulnerable people within the community. If you have come into contact directly or indirectly with someone who may have had contact with a person from a COVID-19 hotspot, please reconsider your visit.

Screening process reminder – Lifestyle Villages

We kindly remind residents of our Lifestyle Villages to notify the Village Manager of any “overnight guests” staying in your unit, and ask that all visitors complete the visitor register on arrival.

Please remember that border restrictions are constantly changing. Please monitor the Tasmanian Government Coronavirus website to stay up-to-date. In addition, visitors to our Villages should be cautious and remain vigilant as our residents are at greater risk within the community.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

The Richmond Fellowship Tasmania Aged Care Resident Mental Health Program.

2020 has been a difficult year to say the least. We have been faced with so much uncertainty, change, and unprecedented circumstances. It is important to know that there are resources available to help support your mental health during this challenging time.

Did you know that the Richmond Fellowship Tasmania offer an Aged Care Resident Mental Health Program? This program offers evidence based mental health interventions to Tasmanians living in Residential Aged Care Facilities.

These interventions, which have been designed to provide long term relief and eventual recovery, are delivered by their specialist clinicians who are based throughout to state.

The Richmond Health Aged Care Resident Mental Health Care Program allows for up to 10 free sessions with a clinician each year. These can be group sessions, one-on-one, or a mixture of both.

To access this service, any of our Aged Care Home Residents can speak with their Facility Manager or Clinical Care Coordinator.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

The new Check in TAS app is now available for download.

The free app will help patrons and venues comply with compulsary COVID-19 contact tracing requirements.

patrons/visitors can check-in to businesses, venues and events and have their data stored securely with the Tasmanian Department of Health in the event contract tracing is needed due to COVID-19.

The application can be downloaded via both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

For more information visit www.health.tas.gov.au/covid19/check_in_tas

Sunday, December 6, 2020

An international flight returning Australians from overseas arrived in Tasmania earlier today. Passengers will be in hotel quarantine in Hobart.

The Tasmanian Government are taking every precaution in managing and overseeing the arrival, transportation and accommodation of these returning Australians, informed by the learnings of other states and the various reviews.

The Tasmanian Government will support hotel quarantine workers during this time, to minimise their need to work in other settings. Those measures include avoiding spending time in settings where there are vulnerable people, such as aged care and healthcare facilities, and avoiding larger social gatherings where possible.

Please visit coronavirus.tas.gov.au for more information on the measures being taken to protect the health and safety of Tasmanians during this time.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

The Tasmanian Public Health Services have advised that South Australia will be classified as a low-risk area from 12.01am on Thursday, December 3. Tasmania will re-open its borders to the state from that time.

Southern Cross Care (Tas) Inc. are excited at the prospect of families being reunited for Christmas, but as always, encourage everyone to remain vigilant to keep themselves, and their families, friends, and loved ones, safe.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

The Tasmanian Public Health Services have advised that Victoria will be classified as a low-risk area from Friday 27 November. Travellers who have only spent time in Victoria and other current low-risk areas, in the 14 days prior to arrival in Tasmania will not have to quarantine.

All people arriving in Tasmania, including the friends, families and loved ones visiting a resident at an SCC aged care facility, should register their travel and contact details via the Tas e-Travel system. For more information visit www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au

Monday, November 23, 2020

The Tasmanian Public Health Services have advised that some travellers who have recently arrived in Tasmania from South Australia will be allowed to leave self-isloation early.

Those who arrived in Tasmania before 5.30pm on November 16 and who spend time in South Australia in the 14 days prior will no longer be required to self-isolate, unless they are waiting for a COVID-19 test result or are experiencing symptoms.

People who arrived in Tasmania from South Australia after 5.30pm on November 16 must remain in quarantine for 14 days from the day the arrived.

For further information regarding these restrictions, visit www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au

Monday, November 16, 2020

The Tasmanian Public Health Services has recently issued the below advice in response to outbreak of COVID-19 in Adelaide.

If you are now in Tasmania and have been in South Australia at any time since Monday, 7 November 2020, you should immediately self-isolate in your residence or accommodation until further advice is provided this afternoon.

If you are in Tasmania and have recently been in South Australia, please be alert for symptoms of COVID-19 and seek testing through the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 if you have any symptoms, even mild.

For further information regarding these restrictions, visit www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au


Wednesday, November 11, 2020

The Tasmanian Government has announced that border restrictions will be fully eased between Victoria and Tasmania from Friday, November 27. This is ahead of the previously planned date of Tuesday, December 1, and is pending Public Health advice that Victoria is classified as a low-risk area from Friday, November 27.

We are excited at the prospect of families being reunited for Christmas, but as always, encourage everyone to remain vigilant to keep themselves, and their families, friends, and loved ones, safe.


Monday, October 26, 2020

In light of the opening of Tasmanian borders for interstate travel, a new screening tool is now in place at all Southern Cross Care (TAS) Inc. Aged Care Homes.

The form that all staff and visitors must sign upon entry has been updated by the Tasmanian Department of Health. All those entering a facility must also declare whether they have been in an area identified as a high or medium risk for COVID-19 (check the Tasmanian Government COVID-19 website here).


Thursday, October 8, 2020

A message from Jo Perry, Executive Manager Care Services.


Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Hay fever symptoms and coronavirus

Dr Mark Veitch, Director of Public Health is advising Tasmanians who suffer from hay fever to get tested for coronavirus if they experience symptoms.

Hay fever can cause a runny, itchy or blocked nose, sneezing, itchy, sore and watery eyes and sometimes a cough. These can also be symptoms of a cold, influenza or coronavirus. Without a test, it can be hard to tell them apart. 
With as many as one in four Tasmanian’s living with hay fever, it is vital that people don’t dismiss any symptoms as simply being a “normal” response to a seasonal flareup of their hay fever.

There is evidence that some people who have caught coronavirus first believed they were simply suffering from hay fever.

The message to Tasmanians is if you have hay fever, even mildly, please get tested for coronavirus, just in case.

While you wait for the result, please stay at home. Don’t go to work and please do not go to a residential aged care home or visit the vulnerable.

For more information, visit www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au


Wednesday, September 16, 2020

When to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in Aged Care
PPE isn’t always necessary. The Department of Health recommends donning PPE only when you are caring for someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19 OR a suspected case of COVID-19, or when in quarantine.


Tuesday, September 1, 2020

To our valued Residents, Families and Friends,

Southern Cross Care have been closely monitoring the current COVID-19 outbreak that is occurring in Victoria. We are also members of a Victorian and Tasmanian advisory group which is working together to ensure the lessons learned on mainland Australia are incorporated into our plan to manage the risk of COVID-19 in Tasmania.

Additionally, a number of Southern Cross Care homes were recently visited by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (ACQSC) to undertake a COVID-19 infection control audit. These audits are currently happening statewide across all organisations and aged care providers

During their visit the ACQSC made a few recommendations to remove double lounges, and communal books/magazines and to increase the signage, all of which have been actioned accordingly. However overall, they were satisfied with our preparedness.

There has been no change to the current visitation for Aged Care, which remain as per the below:

  1. No more than two people can visit each resident at any time.
  2. Visits must take place in the resident’s room, outdoors, or in a non-communal area, as designated by the facility.
  3. Visitors must not have any symptoms of acute respiratory infection, including fever, history of fever (e.g. chills, night sweats), cough, sore throat, runny nose, or shortness of breath.
  4. Visitors must not have been interstate or overseas in the previous 14 days.
  5. Visitors must not have had contact with anyone known to have COVID-19, or reasonably suspected of having COVID-19, within the previous 14 days.
  6. All visitors must have had the 2020 influenza vaccine.

Additional visitation will be allowed for end-of-life care, and significant support as per previous exemptions.

Southern Cross Care would like to thank you for your ongoing understanding and support during this difficult time.

Although, Tasmania currently remains in a good position, it is important to remain vigilant. Social distancing and hand hygiene are important components to minimising risk of transmission, we ask you to please keep this in mind when visiting your loved ones.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to raise these with your Facility Manager.

Yours sincerely,

Jo Perry
Executive Manager Care Services


Wednesday, August 27 2020

Australia’s COVID-19 Vaccine and Treatment Strategy supports early access to, and delivery of, safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, as soon as they become available.
This document outlines how the Australian Government is investing in promising vaccines and treatments, and how they will be delivered to Australians, safely, fairly and rapidly.

You can view the Australian COVID-19 Vaccine & Treatment Strategy here.


Friday, August 14, 2020

Did you know there have been changes to the screening procedures at Aged Care Homes?

In line with advice from Tasmania Public Health, new screening procedures on entering a facility have now come into place.

The major change is that each visitor to the facility must sign a statement declaring the information they have provided is true and correct in regards to whether they are feeling unwell, and symptoms and their contact with suspected or confirmed cases. You can view the new Staff/Visitor Screening Tool for Residential Care Services here.


Monday, August 10, 2020

Dear Residents, Care Receivers, Staff, Families and Friends,

Southern Cross Care would like to inform all residents, staff, families and friends that we have reinstated our Outbreak Management Team and our Emergency Outbreak Preparedness Management Plan for COVID-19 in light of the current situation in Victoria and NSW.

While there is currently no immediate threat of community transmission in Tasmania, we remain vigilant and continue to screen all staff, contractors, and visitors before they enter any of our premises. This screening procedure includes temperature and symptom checks, flu vaccination record checks, and keeping thorough visitor logs in the event transmission tracing is required. Preventative hygiene measures are also strictly adhered to on site in line with the Department of Health recommendations.

In the event the situation escalates in Tasmania, Southern Cross Care’s Emergency Preparedness Outbreak Plan is in place and being monitored and updated frequently in line with current learnings from the Victorian and NSW outbreak. This plan has been designed and tested to provide the best possible continuity of quality care for all our residents.

The situation is evolving constantly and Southern Cross Care (Tas) Inc is committed to providing regular updates for our community to ensure they are informed of all measures being implemented to support our residents, who are most vulnerable to the disease.

Kind regards,

Robyn Boyd
Chief Executive Officer