The safety and wellbeing of our clients, their families and carers, is of paramount importance.
We understand that the coronavirus, or COVID-19 as it has been named by the World Health Organisation, is causing concern for many people. We are closely monitoring all local, national and international developments to make sure we are doing all that we can to make sure the Novita community is protected when you’re accessing our services.
We are also following the health advice and recommendations from the Australian and South Australian Governments, and should circumstances change or new information comes to light, we will act immediately to advise our clients, their families and carers, and our staff.
We recognise that many kids, young people and adults living with disability rely on Novita’s services and supports, so for now our therapy, community programs, accommodation services and Novitatech are continuing to operate with extra measures in place to ensure the health and wellbeing of all clients and staff.
Here is some important information about COVID-19, and how you can help to prevent the spread of the virus.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can affect people of all ages – although older people, young children, people with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and asthma are more likely to become seriously ill.
People most at risk are those who have recently been overseas, especially in a high risk country or region, and those people who have been in close contact with someone who has a confirmed case of the virus.
The symptoms of COVID-19 can range from a mild cough to pneumonia, as well as flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and fatigue, and shortness of breath.
The virus can spread through close contact with an infected person, contact with droplets from an infected person’s coughing and sneezing, and touching objects like door knobs and hand rails that carry cough or sneeze droplets from an infected person, and then touching your mouth or face.
Where can I get more information about the virus?
A number of websites have up-to-date and reliable information about COVID-19.
- Australian Government Department of Health
- Health Direct
- SA Department of Health
- Smart Traveller
- World Health Organisation
We also recommend that you visit the Australian Government COVID advice for people with disability (and their families/ carers).
How to avoid infection?
The best way to avoid infection and the spreading of COVID-19 is to avoid contact with the virus. This image shows you what to do.
Infographic courtesy of healthdirect.
How can I help to prevent the spread of the virus?
It is very important that if you’re planning to access any of our Novita metropolitan and regional therapy hubs, and you or a family member or carer are not feeling well, you contact us BEFORE you come in.
You should also contact us BEFORE arriving at a Novita hub if you have recently visited a high risk country or region, and if you have been in close contact with someone who has a confirmed case of the virus.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should immediately get a medical assessment, and make sure you contact your doctor or medical clinic before you visit them.
The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is to regularly wash your hands with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser. You should also cover your mouth or nose with your elbow or a tissue if you cough or sneeze, and if you use a tissue dispose of it immediately. Regularly cleaning surfaces can also help to prevent the spread of the virus.
Avoiding handshakes and unnecessary contact can also help to protect you.
It is also important that you maintain a distance of at least 1.5 metres between yourself and other people.
What happens if COVID-19 presents at a Novita hub?
If the virus presents at any of our metropolitan and regional service locations, we will take immediate action to protect our clients, their families and carers, and our staff. This action might include temporary site closures and exploring alternative support arrangements.
We will keep all of our clients and families fully advised if there are any COVID-19 related developments or circumstances change.
What is Novita doing to prevent the spread of the virus?
Novita’s Executive Leadership Team is monitoring developments and is meeting regularly to ensure we are taking all the necessary steps to protect the Novita community. We are also following the health advice and recommendations from the Australian and South Australian Governments.
We have advised all our clients that they should contact us before accessing any of our services locations if they, or a family member or carer, are feeling unwell, and that they should seek an immediate medical assessment.
We have initiated infection control measures such as providing alcohol-based hand rub and have distributed information about correct handwashing techniques, and our therapy, community, accommodation and Novitatech operations are continuing with increased infection control measures in place.
We have cancelled all overseas and domestic business travel, and we have advised our staff to avoid attending non-essential business meetings. We are also in close contact with key peak bodies, including the NDIS, Ability First Australia, the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, and other service providers.