In great news the ACT government’s announced it will (temporarily) provide Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) for disability workers through their employers for the next four weeks. This means workers will be able to ensure they’re not infected with Covid-19 when they’re providing care to people with disability.
Similar arrangements have been made for workers in the aged care sector. The move to expand the availability of the tests should guarantee workers have the ability to test themselves on a daily basis before they provide personal care or other services to people with increased vulnerability to COVID-19.
The Covid tests will be available to both organisations employing front-line workers and self-managing NDIS participants, but not to individual workers. Eligible providers will be able to obtain five tests per week for each worker they employ, with a similar allocation for NDIS participants who use support workers to provide in-home personal care.
The ACT Government’s release accepted that aged care and disability supports are funded and regulated by the Australian Government but, “in an environment where supply and access to RATs is quite difficult, we are responding to community needs as best we can”. Noting that this is only a temporary solution to the problem to overcome the urgent needs of providers. The statement urged service suppliers to only access tests as a last resort and to allow continued delivery of their services.
The statement insisted that the Territory would be continuing to “advocate for the Commonwealth to assume appropriate responsibility for the provision of RATs”. It insisted this was a temporary, rather than permanent solution that had been put in place for the next four weeks to allow the market to establish stable supplies to meet demand.
More information is online.