Important message from CEO re: Covid vaccine
Things move quickly in a global pandemic, and Wednesday’s announcement from the NT Government Chief Minister Michael Gunner is no exception.
The new Chief Health Officer Direction states that workers who, “during the course of their work, are likely to come into contact with a vulnerable person,” will need to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
Specifically, workers who work with:
- Disabled or elderly people
- Aboriginal people
- Others vulnerable to Covid infection with COVID-19, such as children –
will need to have a Covid-19 vaccine to keep working with them.
If a worker has not had their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by 12 November 2021, they will not be permitted to attend the workplace.
Staff will need to have had two doses of an approved Covid-19 vaccine (fully vaccinated) by 24 December 2021.
This CHO Directive is to protect the vulnerable people in disability care. It is also to protect the disability workforce.
NT has been lucky to have been spared serious Covid outbreaks like those on the Eastern seaboard.
But sadly, as borders re-open and travellers move freely, it’s inevitable that Covid will reach Alice Springs too.
As Mr Gunner said: “The Delta strain of COVID-19 is much more infectious, and will make its way to the NT.”
Unfortunately, the minority of people who stay unvaccinated, Aboriginal people, and people with disabilities, are at the highest risk of all from severe illness, long-term health damage, and death from Covid.
That means our valuable clients, and the people who care for them, are in the very highest risk category of Australia’s population.
The NT Government has now moved to protect this highly vulnerable population, by making Covid-19 vaccination essential.
71% (130 staff) of Casa’s staff are already vaccinated.
I encourage everyone to get the safe, free Covid vaccine as the best way to protect themselves, their loved ones, and our vulnerable clients.
I understand that this new CHO Direction may be challenging for some staff.
This is a Territory-wide, mandatory policy that will apply to all disability and health sector service providers in the NT, not just Casa.
Whilst acknowledging the reservations some Casa staff may feel, it is important to note there has been a great deal of false, damaging misinformation on social media about the vaccines.
I encourage all our valued staff to explore deeply and widely, any misgivings or assumptions they may have about the vaccines. And to consider the real-world consequences to their employment, finances, and health, of not being vaccinated.
More information is coming soon about specifics of the Direction.
In the meantime, we are here to help. Please reach out to your supervisor in the first instance, and let us know how we can best support you in the coming weeks.
Welcome to Casa Services
Casa Services has been supporting people with disabilities in Central Australia since 1976.
We are a local not for profit organisation based in Alice Springs, so we completely understand what it takes to operate in our region. We have a total commitment to quality and service, based on years of practical experience, delivered by a skilled and passionate workforce.
A superior personal support service which puts our participants at the centre of everything we do.
We maximise choices for individuals, allowing them to best meet their own needs and personal goals.
We encourage independence and personal growth by supporting activities that engage people in the local community as a part of everyday life.