The Chief Health Officer recently approved new public health directions making the COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for all WA health care and support workers across health care facilities.
These have implications for Community Service Organisations who attend any health care facilities or health care activities provided on site at community organisations. Peaks have met with the Department of Communities for a briefing, to seek further clarification and with a view for clear direction and communication to be provided to the community sector.
Health Worker (Restrictions on Access) Directions
This requires evidence of vaccination status or exemption to enter health facilities where employees undertake functions related to social work, social care or allied health services. From 1 October 2021 to 1 January 2022, a staged schedule for implementing the new requirements will commence with Tier One health facilities, which include emergency departments and COVID-19 clinics and finish with Tier Three health facilities requiring full vaccination or an approved exemption by 1 January 2022.
Tier One and and Tier Two healthcare facilities refer exclusively to hospitals and COVID vaccination clinics. Tier Three healthcare facilities are broader and will have the greatest implications for the community sector.
The directions are likely to impact on your organisation if you:
- Provide on-site healthcare services;
- Employ staff who provide transport to and from a Tier One or Tier Two healthcare facility;
- Employs staff who provide regular inpatient support at a Tier One or Tier Two healthcare facility;
- Are assisting with vaccination coordination in any capacity; or
- Receive direct funding from either the Department of Health, the Mental Health Commission or an area health service.
There is a possibility that the Directions will apply to your entire workforce, staff who are in the same building or location as staff who perform these tasks.
WA Police Mission Critical Areas Direction
This states anyone undertaking work or attending meetings at various Police facilities will need to show evidence of their first vaccination from 27 September 2021, and then from 27 October 2021 show evidence of full vaccination before entering Police facilities.
Further information on the types of workers included in the Directions as well as FAQs can be found on the WA Department of Health website.
Organisations who would like further clarification about the implications of the Directions for their organisation or their staff are able to contact the Chief Health Officer via email.
Organisation who would like consideration of vaccines being mandated in their workplace under these Directions can raise this with the Chief Health Officer via email.