From Wednesday 15th December 2021 all MS Queensland staff will be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. MS Queensland will continue to provide services to those who are both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated against COVID-19. To continue to keep our staff, customers, and community safe, some additional measures will be put in place from Wednesday 15th December 2021 and the way we provide services will differ for vaccinated and unvaccinated people. What to expect when accessing our services is outlined below.
Across our services, MS Queensland may ask you to disclose your COVID-19 vaccination status. This is to ensure that we are able to offer you the most supportive, tailored service possible. You do not have to share this information, but if you choose to do so your vaccination status will be recorded securely on the customer profile or records.
In the case that a staff member tests positive to COVID-19 at any of our sites they must follow the guidelines set by Queensland Health. If they test positive via a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT), then they are to register their results with Queensland Health and isolate for 7 days. Employees will be able to end isolation as per Queensland Health after 7 days if they have not had symptoms for the last 48 hours.
MS Queensland will provide support to residents in our accommodation who have tested positive to COVID-19 using heightened Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) measures in line with Queensland Health’s directions. MS Queensland has an internal Infectious Disease Case Management Guideline to support us in assisting staff, residents, and customers. In the event, MS Queensland is unable to provide the support required due to unforeseeable staffing circumstances, or other events, MS Queensland will work with the customer and community supports (including hospitals) to ensure that our residents have the support they require.
In all instances, we ask that people follow Queensland Health’s advice. Staff and managers have access to our internal reporting tool enabling them to report that they are a suspected or positive COVID-19 case. By reporting this information, we can review internal contract tracing needs, roster impacts, support cleaning, and notification to appropriate people (customers, staff, and visitors).
MS Queensland will continue to conduct off-site or home visits for unvaccinated customers after completing a risk assessment. Personal protective equipment (PPE) procedures, including mask-wearing, and social distancing will be followed during these visits. Depending on the outcome of the risk assessment, there will be circumstances where our staff won’t be able to attend face-to-face (eg. flu-like symptoms or after you have visited a hotspot) and they will recommend moving the appointment to a Telehealth or virtual appointment. If you are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or decline to wear a mask without having a clinical exemption, it will be at the discretion of the MS Queensland team member if they chose to continue with the appointment or move the session to Telehealth or a virtual appointment.
Everyone who visits or works at our Wellbeing Centre sites must comply with the Queensland Government COVID-19 protocols including using the Queensland Government check-in app when accessing the site, temperature checking, and good hygiene practices. We are also asking that all visitors returning from overseas and have come into contact with someone with COVID-19 or are showing flu-like symptoms please not come to our Wellbeing Centres. Customers, family, friends, or support workers who are not able to prove vaccination status via the COVID Safe App at the time of check-in will not be able to access our Wellbeing Centres. If they attend with a Physiotherapy customer, they can take the customer to the door of the Wellbeing Centre and will need to wait for the customer to complete their appointment outside the premises. If there is a positive case at our Wellbeing Centre, we will follow Queensland Health directions and communicate with anyone who has visited an affected site.
Personal protective equipment (PPE)
Our Wellbeing Centre staff will be wearing masks and additional PPE at times. All customers accessing the Wellbeing Centres and receiving home visits will be required to wear masks, including any support people who are assisting them to the entrance of the Wellbeing Centre. During all appointments, we ask that all customers wear masks which can be provided to you as you arrive at your appointment. If you have a clinical exemption from wearing a mask or being vaccinated, please advise MS Queensland staff ahead of your appointment. If you decline to wear a mask without an exemption, it will be at the discretion of the Physiotherapist or Exercise Therapist if they chose to continue with the appointment or move the session to Telehealth or virtual.
Everyone who visits or works at an MS Queensland accommodation site must comply with the Queensland Government COVID-19 protocols including using the Queensland Government check-in app when entering the site, temperature checking, and good hygiene practices. We are also asking that all visitors who are showing flu-like symptoms please not come to our accommodation sites. Once all site check-in procedures have been followed, residents and visitors to the site who are unvaccinated WILL be able to access the site and a resident’s apartment as normal. We ask that all visitors who are not fully vaccinated wear a mask while onsite and follow all site protocols as directed (via staff or signage). If there is a positive case at our Accommodation site, we will follow Queensland Health directions and communicate with anyone who has visited an affected site.
Common area access
In accessing common areas, unvaccinated residents will be able to do so for essential activities which you are unable to do in your apartment (eg. food preparation). We request that these residents wear a mask, and practice hand hygiene (washing and sanitising), and social distancing. This is to protect our staff and other residents to limit the risk of exposure and transmission where possible. Unvaccinated visitors will NOT be allowed access to any common areas. If residents or visitors do not comply with these requirements, staff will escalate to management and if required, law enforcement.
Any staff members (including Support Workers and Nurses) will be required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) including masks and gloves when caring for any residents who are not fully vaccinated, have not disclosed their vaccine status, or are experiencing any flu symptoms.
MS Queensland staff are continuing to work remotely where their role enables them to do so. We have in place the IT infrastructure and technology platforms to ensure our staff remain connected and can collaborate to continue to provide support and service to our customers and partners. The MS Queensland team are fully available to support you and to continue to deliver exceptional service to ensure our MS community are not facing MS alone. These measures have been implemented to support the wellbeing of our staff, community, and partners while we continue to deliver the high standard of services that our customers have come to expect.
MS & COVID-19 resources
We encourage our community to check MS Australia’s page for the latest information on COVID-19 and MS.