Announcements - March 17, 2020
Intereach response to preventing the risk of COVID-19 infection
Community service provider Intereach is taking proactive steps in its efforts to help prevent the risk of COVID-19 infection to its staff, participants and communities.
Intereach has 16 offices and nearly 400 staff across a footprint that covers northern and central Victoria, the Mallee and the Riverina region of NSW.
Its executive and management team met on Monday (March 16) to discuss and prepare for preventing the risk of Coronavirus infection, in line with advice from the relevant government health departments.
Intereach offices will remain open at this stage as per usual operating hours (9am-5pm), however the organisation is encouraging participants where possible to use telephone and video technology to contact staff. CEO Keryn Fox said Intereach will implement the following:
- Staff are encouraged to work from home where possible, advice that will be effective from 9am on Wednesday, March 18 and continue until close of business on Friday, March 27 unless otherwise notified.
- Most participant meetings will be conducted over the phone with the NDIS Local Area Coordinator or Early Childhood Early Intervention Coordinator.
- Family Day Care and OOSH services will continue to operate as usual until further notice, which is in line with Department of Education strategies.
- Other programs will be reducing face to face servicing where possible without impacting on our ability to provide core services
- Intereach recognises that some programs such as Community Transport, Community Support and Children’s Services have unique needs and considerations. The executive will work closely with these programs to ensure reasonable and appropriate action is being taken.
- The Intereach strategy is aimed at reducing staff numbers in its 16 offices at any one point in time, but is not an exclusion strategy.
Ms Fox said an action plan for self-isolation has been prepared, however it is somewhat fluid and will be adjusted according to the advice provided by government and health officials.
We will continue to have all offices open, however we are encouraging phone meetings being undertaken with our participants/clients whenever possible.”
“Face to face meetings can only proceed in circumstances where phone servicing is not an option,” she said.
Intereach has also advised staff that all non-essential travel must be cancelled.
Ms Fox said Intereach, as a major community service provider, was acutely aware of the need to be proactive during these difficult times.
Anyone with queries about the Covid-19 response, or any other Intereach matter, can phone 1300 488 226.
Intereach support and assistance is offered across community services, children and families, older people, people living with disability, mental health and carers. More information is available at www.intereach.com.au