Open for emergency careOpen for routine careOpen for click and collectMasks for optometrists and staffMasks for patients over 12Mandatory vaccinationDistancing
YesYesYesYesYesCOVID-19 Mandatory Vaccine

UPDATE 25-11-2021

The Northern Territory Government has advised lockdown for the Municipality of Katherine (including Tindal) will extend until Saturday 4 December 2021.

Lockdown details for Katherine

Residents must stay at home for the lockdown period and are only permitted to leave for the five reasons listed here.

What does this mean for optometrists in Katherine?

Double vaccinated essential workers (which includes allied health professionals when providing critical clinical care) can go to work and are allowed to leave the area for work if required.

Everyone must wear a mask outside of their home.

Lockout details for Robinson River

Robinson River, including surrounding homelands, transitioned to a lockout. This will remain in place until Wednesday, 1 December 2021.

Everyone must wear a mask outside of their home.

FAQs: Lockout Robinson River and surrounding homelands

Binjari and Rockhole communities

The Binjari and Rockhole communities are currently in a hard lockdown.

Please refer to the NT Government website for further details.

Update 23-11-2021

The lockdown for the Municipality of Katherine (including Tindal) will extend for a further 48 hours, until 6pm, Wednesday 24 November 2021.

The extended lockdown in Katherine is due to pending COVID-9 test results and persistent positive wastewater results.

Lockdown details for Katherine

Residents must stay at home for the lockdown period and are only permitted to leave for the five reasons listed here.

What does this mean for optometrists in Katherine?

Double vaccinated essential workers (which includes allied health professionals when providing critical clinical care) can go to work and are allowed to leave the area for work if required.

Everyone must wear a mask outside of their home.

Lockout details for Robinson River

Robinson River, including surrounding homelands, will transition from a lockdown to a lockout, effective immediately, until Wednesday, 1 December 2021.

Under a lockout, fully vaccinated residents are able to live normally within the lockout area. Travel is not permitted outside of the lockout area.

Unvaccinated residents, including those people who have received only their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, must stay at home during a lockout period and are only permitted to leave for the five reasons listed here.

Everyone must wear a mask outside of their home.

What does this mean for optometrists in Robinson River?

Vaccinated and unvaccinated essential workers (which includes allied health professionals when providing critical clinical care) can go to work. Travel is not permitted outside of the lockout area.

Binjari and Rockhole communities

The Binjari and Rockhole communities remain in a hard lockdown.

Please refer to the NT Government website for further details.

Update 5-11-2021

NT Community lockdown and lockout

Following a positive COVID-19 case in the Northern Territory, parts of the Northern Territory have gone into a lockdown or a lockout.

Lockdown areas – Katherine including Tindal 

Effective from 12.01am, 5 November 2021, the Municipality of Katherine including Tindal  entered into a full lockdown for 72 hours.

Residents must stay at home for the lockdown period and are only permitted to leave for the following five reasons:

  • Medical treatment, including COVID testing or vaccination
  • For essential goods and services, like groceries and medications
  • For work that is considered essential
  • For one hour of outdoor exercise a day within 5 km from your home with one other person or people from your house
  • To provide care and support to a family member or person who cannot support themselves. Face masks are mandatory outside the home.

What does this mean for optometrists in lockdown areas?

Vaccinated and unvaccinated essential workers (which includes allied health professionals when providing critical clinical care) can go to work in both Katherine and Darwin. Only vaccinated essential workers are allowed to leave the area for work.

Lockout areas – Greater Darwin Region

As a result of high vaccination rates in the Greater Darwin Region, the below areas entered into a lockout for 72 hours. This means fully-vaccinated people are able to continue to live as normal within the following Local Government Areas:

  • City of Darwin
  • City of Palmerston
  • Litchfield Council
  • Wagait Shire
  • Belyuen Shire
  • Dundee
  • Bynoe
  • Charlotte
  • Cox Peninsula
    Unvaccinated residents, including those people who have received only their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, must stay at home for the 72 hour lockout period and are only permitted to leave for the following four reasons:
  • Medical treatment, including COVID testing or vaccination
  • For essential goods and services, like groceries and medications
  • For work that is considered essential and can’t be done at home
  • For one hour of outdoor exercise a day within 5km from your home with one other person or people from your house
  • To provide care and support to a family member or person who cannot support themselves.Face masks are mandatory outside the home.

What does this mean for optometrists in lockout areas?

Vaccinated and unvaccinated essential workers (which includes allied health professionals when providing critical clinical care) can go to work in both Katherine and Darwin. Only vaccinated essential workers are allowed to leave the area for work.

Businesses and organisations are obligated to ensure employees, customers, visitors and participants are fully vaccinated.

Please refer to the NT Government website for further details.

Optometry QLD NT will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as required.

Update 13-10-2021

Mandatory vaccination update from NT CHO:

Please find attached CHO Directions (No.55) of 2021: Directions for mandatory vaccination of workers to attend the workplace- signed by the CHO on 13 October 2021.

These Directions take effect at midday today.

These Directions apply to the following workers:

  1. A worker who, during the course of work is likely to come into contact with a vulnerable person.

A vulnerable person is defined as:

  1. A child under 12
  2. A person who cannot be vaccinated due to a contraindication to all available vaccines
  3. An Aboriginal person
  4. A person at risk of severe illness of COVID-19 for medical reasons such as being on immune suppressive therapy after an organ transplant, being over 70 years old, having chronic kidney, heart, liver or lung disease and other examples listed here:

https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/ongoing-support-during-coronavirus-covid-19/what-you-need-to-know-about-coronavirus-covid-19/people-at-higher-risk-of-coronavirus-covid-19

Examples of workers who are likely to come into contact with vulnerable people are: teachers, disability care workers, workers in customer facing roles in retail and hospitality, workers who work in patient facing roles in health care settings, workers who work in remote communities, legal service providers etc. Please refer to the Schedule for a non-exhaustive list of examples.

  1. A worker who is at risk of infection with COVID-19 because the worker, during the course of work, is likely to come into contact with a person or thing that poses a risk of infection.

Examples include health workers in hospitals and emergency departments, police and emergency service workers, border control workers, and workers at places to which symptomatic people may go e.g pharmacies. Please refer to the Schedule.

  1. A worker whose workplace poses a high risk of infection with COVID-19;

Examples include correction facilities, mining sites, cruise ships and abattoirs. Please refer to the Schedule.

  1. A worker who performs work that is necessary for the operation or maintenance of essential infrastructure or essential logistics in the Territory.

Examples include LNG facilities, electricity generation facilities, telecommunications systems and the Emergency Operations Centre. Please refer to the Schedule.

A worker who has not been vaccinated must not attend the workplace. The first dose must be obtained by 13 November 2021. The second dose must be obtained by 24 December 2021.

A person conducting a business or undertaking must ensure that an unvaccinated worker does not attend the worker’s workplace.

Workers with evidence of a contraindication to all available vaccines are exempt and may continue to attend the workplace.

A workplace may make reasonable adjustments to accommodate a worker who is not vaccinated. For example, moving the worker to a workplace where the worker is not likely to come into contact with a vulnerable person or be exposed to a high risk of infection.

A person conducting a business or undertaking must take reasonable steps to determine the extent of vaccination of their workers. This involves determining whether the worker is unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or fully vaccinated, and can be verified in a number of ways, for example sighting a vaccination certificate on a mobile phone.

A person conducting a business or undertaking must keep a register setting out the extent of vaccination of each worker, and must provide it to an authorised officer upon request.

Director, Legal Services & Information & Privacy

Department of Health

Update 19-08-2021

The following communication has been received from the NT CAHO:

For NT, the Lockdown lifted in Greater Darwin from noon today but it has been extended in Katherine for an additional 24 hours until noon tomorrow (with no change in conditions), while they await further COVID-19 test results.

If you live in Greater Darwin from noon today there are no restrictions on the reasons to leave home but some restrictions will remain in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 in community. These will be reviewed in seven days on 26 August 2021.

A quick summary of those restrictions is below.

  • Travel will be permitted across the Territory but restrictions continue to apply if you travel outside of the former Greater Darwin lockdown area.
  • Face masks must be worn when you are unable to physically distance. Workers who come into close contact with patrons, or who work in crowded environments will need to wear a mask.
  • The Territory Check-In App is mandatory for business, organisations and places. Customers and visitors must check-in every time, no matter how long they are there for.
  • Private gathering of up to 10 people at a time in homes are allowed.
  • Restaurants, cafes and pubs will re-open for seated service only. Patrons will be required to wear a mask when at the bar. Dance floors will remain closed. Markets will remain closed.
  • Non-contact sports are permitted. Indoor exercise including at gyms, Zumba, barre, pilates and yoga studios will remain closed.
  • Schools and childcare centres will open for learning from tomorrow. Children in Middle School and Senior School will be required to wear a mask, but those students at primary school who are under 12 years are encouraged but not required to.

Taking these next steps will continue to provide protection to NT communities while we review and monitor the situation.

I encourage all Allied Health practitioners in NT to continue to observe physical distancing, hand hygiene, surface sanitising, use of Territory Check in app and wearing of masks in their clinics for both staff and clients.

I have advocated since our previous lockdown in June 2021 for a change of wording around who can ask a person to remove a mask, and you will note the wording on CHO Direction 45 is now more generic:

‘is requested by a health practitioner to remove the face mask in order to enable the practitioner to administer treatment to the person’

Update 16-08-2021

Communication from Adj Prof Heather Malcolm, NT Chief Allied Health Officer

The following LGA’s:

(i) City of Darwin; (ii) City of Palmerston; (iii) Litchfield (iv) Wagait Shire; (v) Belyuen Shire; (vi) Municipality of Katherine, have gone into a three day lockdown from 12 noon 16 August until 12 noon 19 August. I attach the CHO Direction to cover this. The definition of essential worker includes Allied Health providing critical clinical care as defined similarly to last lockdown.

The definition of critical clinical services agreed by our Senior Allied Health Group that I have provided to the CHO’s Office is

  • to prevent a significant change/deterioration in functional independence which would result in an escalation of care needs (e.g. an increase in frequency of treatment needed, an increased need for prescription medication due to a significant increase in pain, requirement for specialist input or review, an increase in care needs, and/or a substantial increase to anticipated recovery time associated with a delay in receiving services)
  • to provide assessment and diagnostic services to clients / patients where if care is delayed it is likely to result in adverse health outcomes (including access to diagnostic imaging services or assessment for prescription of assistive equipment and technology)
  • to provide services that are essential as part of a broader plan of care with a medical practitioner (e.g. fitting a brace post-surgery)
  • to provide services that are part of a conservative management plan to avoid or delay elective surgery (as agreed with treating team)
  • to provide services immediately following elective surgery that prevent secondary complications or aid functional recovery (as agreed with treating team).

Given the three day period, we encourage Allied Health professionals to use their discretion and clinical reasoning skills to prioritise the patients coming into clinics to minimise community movements in the lockdown locations and support the use of telehealth where possible. We also encourage use of the NT check-in app, wearing of masks and restricting numbers attending clinics to the patient and one support person if required

Update 04-08-2021

 Currently, there is no evidence of community transmission* in the Northern Territory. States and Territories may introduce additional measures, such as enhanced testing, to control community transmission of infection if it occurs. It may be important that these additional measures are localised to a town, region, or larger geographical area depending on the circumstances.

 The NT Health Website links back to the Australian Government Department of Health, Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance on use of personal protective equipment (PPE) in non-inpatient health care settings, during the COVID-19 outbreak.

(when) COVID-19 is not suspected

For a patient where there is no clinical or epidemiological evidence of COVID-19, who has no respiratory symptoms and is not in quarantine:

  • Standard precautions apply as for all patients, including hand hygiene (5 Moments).
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) use should be determined by risk assessment, based on the patient’s presenting complaint or condition.
  • PPE should be used according to the Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare (2019)2

In the context of the low rate of community transmission of COVID-19 in Australia, routine use of masks is not recommended.

Need more information?
If you require further COVID-19 clarification or advice, please don’t hesitate to contact the Optometry Australia Optometry Advisor Helpdesk on 03 9668 8500 or at national@optometry.org.au

 

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