Yesterday, the Victorian Government announced that Metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire Local Government Area will go back into Stage 3 COVID-19 restrictions from midnight Wednesday 8 July 2020. There will only be four reasons to leave home: work, care, shopping and exercise. In addition, the border to New South Wales has also been closed to Victorians.
The same rules will apply that were in place when the whole of Victoria was subject to Stage 3 restrictions several weeks ago, with some minor changes around exercise and visitors to the home. Check out the Victorian Health Department website for more information.
We will continue to provide essential services during this period to our customers, with additional safety measures and changes in place. This will include ceasing community visits with our disability customers, implementing dedicated staffing rosters, and using PPE in line with government guidance.
As providers of health, care and disability services our work has never been more important. However, we know that it is a worrying and uncertain time. While we all keep our physical distance from each other, it’s important that we find other ways to come together and to look out for each other in the community during this time.
- Stay connected and reach out to your manager or team leader. Make sure you are doing regular supervision meetings, team meetings and individual check-ins. It’s important that wellbeing and safety are part of the conversation you have with your manager and your teams.
- Stay in contact with friends and family. Maintaining connections are important during times of uncertainty. Check in with your family and friends, via Zoom, telephone or text, especially those who are older or may be socially isolated. Ask for support if you need. Offer support if you can.
- Take time out for self-care. Make time to engage in activities that you enjoy – escape with music, books, tv or exercise with pets – whatever helps get you through.
- Seek support if you need it. If you do find yourself struggling, please reach out for help. There are a number of official support networks available for healthcare workers in Australia – this includes DRS4DRS, RACGP GP Support Program and Nurse & Midwife Support. Our Employee Assistance Provider (ACACIA) provides support through web or phone channels on 1300 304 273. Beyond Blue also has some good suggestions for ways you can look after your mental health that you can read here.