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Where possible, limit non-essential face-to-face contact. We recommend arranging a phone or video call instead of home visits if appropriate.
If you need to conduct a home visit, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and others.
Conduct a risk assessment via a phone call before visiting the home. Ask if anyone the household has been:
If the answer is yes, consider other ways of conducting the appointment or reschedule for as soon as possible after the required self-isolation period.
If it is not appropriate to contact the family before the visit, the caseworker should assess the risk based on available information.
In the case where a risk assessment could not be made before the visit, staff should take universal precautions:
If your role involves interacting with clients in the community, it is important that you speak with your local team and manager about the circumstances first.
If you can’t schedule an alternative contact method (phone, email, video call), you should screen clients by asking them a few simple questions:
Stand at least 1.5 metres away from the client while screening. If a client is sick, ask them to call you for assistance or delay their visit until they are well again.
Protect yourself if a client is sick. If you cannot delay a client meeting:
Where the children are not sick or unwell, universal precautions should be followed:
Firstly refer to the NSW Health household and close contact guidelines. You should also monitor your health for 14 days after you were last exposed to the infectious person for COVID-19 symptoms:
It is good practice to routinely clean surfaces:
You are able to continue your usual duties. If you become unwell, please leave the workplace and seek medical advice.
If you are concerned about environmental contamination, purposeful cleaning with a disposable cloth with detergent followed by an anti-viral disinfectant (or one with more than 70% alcohol content) is appropriate. Or by disposable cloth with combined detergent/disinfectant.
Universal precautions should be followed:
You should screen clients by asking them a few simple questions:
Stand at least 1.5 metres away from the client while screening. If a client is sick, ask them to call your office for assistance or delay their visit until they are well again.
There are posters you can print for your local office, to let clients know other ways to contact your office. Some offices have also prepared signage.
Steps to reduce the risk of infection include:
If you are concerned about environmental contamination, purposeful cleaning with a disposable cloth using detergent and followed by disinfectant (or by disposable cloth with combined detergent/disinfectant) is appropriate.
Customer service staff need to use hand sanitiser regularly.
Follow all mask wearing advice from your manager and divisional leader.
Precautions you can take include:
NSW Health suggests to keep a minimum physical distance of 1.5 metres. If you can’t maintain a physical distance of 1.5 metres then wear a mask.
Cleaning is an essential part of disinfection. Organic matter can inactivate many disinfectants. Cleaning reduces the soil load, allowing the disinfectant to work.
Removing germs, like the virus that causes COVID-19, requires thorough cleaning followed by disinfection.
This information applies to any work environment, including offices, residential settings, pool cars and other facilities.
It is good practice to routinely clean surfaces as follows:
Before cleaning Office Multi-Function Devices (MFD) and Printers, it is important that you read our MFD and printer cleaning guidance.
Find out more about environmental cleaning from the Australian Government factsheet.
Staff who have been in the worplace within a 48-hour period of becoming positive to COVID-19 must report this via SafetySuite.
If you have been in contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive refer to the NSW Goverment Information for people exposed to COVID-19 page.
DCJ follows the medical advice and protocols of NSW Health as provided on the NSW Goverment Information for people exposed to COVID-19 page.
You are not required to contact anyone yourself, although you may wish to contact your network of family, friends and work colleagues if you become COVID-19 positive and were in their company at the time of becoming or being infectious.
There is no need to contact NSW Health however if the staff member was infectious in the workplace within a 48-hour period they will need to self-report this to DCJ via SafetySuite. If they are unable to do this you may assist them in reporting this on their behalf.
Once a person has tested negative to COVID-19 on their last day of isolation and are not displaying COVID-19 symptoms they are able to leave self-isolation and return to work. More information about this is available on NSW Government page When to leave self-isolation.
Documents could be a source of infection if they have been contaminated with droplets spread by coughing or sneezing, or by contact with contaminated hands, surfaces or objects.
To limit document contamination, enforce the use of hand sanitizer before and after handling documents.
Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment).
Where possible try to hold large meetings via video conferencing or phone call or split the attendees up so that not everyone is in the one room and some attend via video conferencing or phone call.
Our webpage Returning to workplaces in a COVID-safe way provides information and guidance on what staff can do to help keep DCJ a safe and healthy place to work, this includes information on what COVID-safe measures are in place across DCJ.
14 Sep 2022
We acknowledge Aboriginal people as the First Nations Peoples of NSW and pay our respects to Elders past, present, and future.
Informed by lessons of the past, Department of Communities and Justice is improving how we work with Aboriginal people and communities. We listen and learn from the knowledge, strength and resilience of Stolen Generations Survivors, Aboriginal Elders and Aboriginal communities.
You can access our apology to the Stolen Generations.