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COVID-19: Update for Local Government
20 January 2022

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COVID-19 Incident Controller Update 
The State COVID-19 Incident Controller, Dr Tudor Codreanu has provided the following update on the State’s preparations for the opening of Western Australia’s borders on 5 February.
This update is for all stakeholders who have engaged with the State Health Incident Coordination Centre (SHICC) over the past 18 months in developing and exercising state-level outbreak management plans for high risk settings such as schools, prisons, congregate living arrangements, aged care and remote Aboriginal communities. Thank you for your support and guidance to date.
When Western Australia opens its national and international borders, currently expected on 5th February 2022, phase D of the National Plan to Transition Australia's National COVID-19 Response (‘Living with COVID’) identifies the aim to manage COVID-19 consistent with Public Health management of other infectious diseases. SHICC has recently gained learnings and information from other jurisdictions on the adaptations they are making to their planning to respond to the high volume of daily cases as a result of Omicron becoming prevalent in the community.
As we have done throughout the pandemic, SHICC is updating its planning accordingly. An overarching plan which addresses the key principles for outbreak management once our borders are opened, will be shared with you in the next few days.
Emergency management principles of a graduated response remain, that is, decisions should be made at the local level. If you experience cases in your facility or workplace and you are confident your local planning is working well, the situation can be managed independently. If extra guidance or support is needed and/or a situation becomes overwhelming it can be escalated to SHICC for state-level support (after any regional level governance for non-metropolitan areas).
There are things that you can do to prepare now, such as:
  • Review your local COVID plan / business continuity plan
  • Look at your workforce contingency planning
  • Refresh your Infection Prevention and Control Practices / training etc
  • Review your PPE stocks
  • Think about how to access testing for your setting
Many stakeholders have been asking specific questions in relation to other key areas, including rapid antigen testing and managing COVID at home. More information on these will be available soon. Please also check our HealthyWA website for the most up to date information on other topics such as: 13 COVID (13 26843) provides information on a range of individual issues / concerns / queries; it is also the central point for reaching Department of Communities State Welfare Incident Coordination Centre (SWICC) for welfare services, such as emergency accommodation.
Vaccination (including boosters) – State vaccination clinics are still able to accept walk-ins for health, aged care and disability care workforce and persons with disability, including for boosters. Please inform security on arrival, and take your work identification, or a letter indicating you are soon to be employed in an aged or disability care organisation. Clinics are busy and you may have to wait in line, but they will do their very best to accommodate you.
Thank you again. As promised, the outbreak response plan will be shared with you in the next few days.
Dr Codreanu and Deputy Incident Controller, Dr Revle Bangor-Jones, will be presenting at a WALGA Sector Briefing webinar, Preparing for Omicron, tomorrow, Friday, 21 January, from 10:30am to 12:00pm. LGIS will also provide information for Local Governments on business continuity planning, crisis management and work health and safety considerations.
To register for the webinar, click here.
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