NEWS

COVID-19 frequently asked questions


This page will be continually updated. Last update: 18.5.20

For general advice, visit the NSW Health frequently asked questions (FAQs) page here.

In addition to our dedicated coronavirus news and resources for organisations and frontline workers and their clients, NADA will maintain a collation of members’ FAQs.

To tailor the information to your needs, we have organised the FAQs into four sections:

Remember, we’re here to support you. If there’s anything we can do, don’t hesitate to reach out by calling or emailing us. Key contacts are included in each section.

Key
Recently added = New!

NADA programs and services

Is NADA still operating?

NADA staff are mostly working from home. We have commenced a process of partially returning to the office, with only a limited number of staff at any one time to maintain social distancing.

We may be physically distant, but we’re still here for you. Feel free to contact us at any time.

Is the NADA Conference going ahead?
The ‘NADA Conference 2020: Enhancing connections’ has been postponed. We are greatly disappointed, but also hopeful for the future. We have received a record number of quality abstracts, the conference website traffic tripled, and award nominations were already trickling in. We will be in touch with the new conference dates in due course. If you have any questions, please email Michelle Ridley.

Who do I contact for information and advice relating to NADA programs and services?
If you have any questions relating to NADA business and operations, please contact Larry, Robert or Suzie.

Larry Pierce
Larry Pierce
Chief Executive Officer
Available Monday to Friday
M: 0411 747 106
E: larry@nada.org.au  

Robert Stirling
Robert Stirling
Deputy Chief Executive Officer
Available Monday to Friday
M:  0421 647 099
E:  robert@nada.org.au

Dr Suzie Hudson
Dr Suzie Hudson
Clinical Director
Available Monday to Friday
M:  0410 708 670
E:  suzie@nada.org.au

Member programs and services

Where are the most recent updates from the NSW Ministry of Health?
Please see coronavirus news and resources for managers and leaders.

Here is where the Ministry is providing updates to NGOs:
Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for NSW Health funded NGOs New!
Guidance for AOD services about COVID-19

How can we get immediate support to respond to a COVID-19 issue?
If you require urgent advice regarding a COVID-19 infection, please contact 1300 066 055. They will direct you to your local Public Health Unit. If the matter is not urgent contact your contract manager and/or NADA.

Is AOD treatment considered an ‘essential service’?
We have received advice from the NSW Health that AOD treatment is an essential service. Whilst we wait to have that confirmed in writing, NADA has developed a template for your staff to continue to be able to undertake their work. Essential worker template letter [DOCX]

How do people find out what AOD services are currently available?
As you would be aware, Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) is a NSW state-wide 24/7 anonymous and confidential counselling service for people with AOD concerns, and also provides information to people looking for service availability in the sector. We encourage members to provide ADIS with the latest information about your service amidst COVID-19 by clicking this link, otherwise please call ADIS on 1800 250 015 to provide the information.

What information has NADA received regarding member funding continuity?
Both levels of government have assured NADA and its members that there will be no impact to funding should you need to adjust the way you deliver services, or cease them, due to the impact of COVID-19. As with the advice from your funders, please notify your contract managers of any major changes to your business operations

What government support will be made available to members?
We encourage members to keep up to date with the Federal Government’s economic response. View the full list of COVID-19 support measures on the ATO website. You can contact the ATO to request assistance on their Emergency Support Infoline 1800 806 218.

What additional measures do services need to take with regards to infection control?
Proper hand washing with soap and water is the best form of infection control. Surgical masks don’t filter the air, they are appropriate only for someone who is sick to prevent them from spreading droplets. They aren’t useful for well people and may be harmful due to incorrect use/increased face touching.

In addition to PPE and usual infection control, services need to consider how their workflow (i.e. how people physically move through the service, whether people come into close contact, how waiting rooms are configured etc.) might be altered to allow for social distancing.

Services should evaluate whether people need to physically attend the service or whether services can be delivered remotely. If tele/digital support is possible then this option should be utilized.

Where can members access essential supplies?
NADA has received the following information:

  • St John Ambulance have a range of PPE available for delivery 27 April. Products available: surgical face masks, N95 masks, hand sanitiser, surface wipes (available mid-May), infrared thermometer – non-contact, medical eye goggles, clear protective glasses, full face shield and full coveralls. Call David Perkovic on 0439 771 850 or email david.perkovic@stjohnnsw.com.au.
  • Hand sanitiser is available from Ethical Merch Co with a reduced minimum order of 50 or 100 pieces for NADA members. They can also arrange delivery of safety masks, alcohol wipes and Infrared Forehead Thermometers if required. Email Nathan or phone 02 8814 7770. Thanks to ONE80TC.
  • Level 2 surgical masks are available from Goodthings with a minimum order of 1000 units, delivered to one address. $3 + GST per mask with free shipping. Phone Tim on 407 006 628 or email hello@goodthings.com.au. Thanks to The Haymarket Foundation.
  • Liquid hand sanitiser can be purchased from Newcastle’s Earp Distilling Co. Phone 8317 5777 to ensure they have stock, then pick it up at the distillery. One litre bottle $40.
  • Access to food and supplies
    Bid Food is a distributor to a range of providers (Aged Care, Health, restaurants, schools). You can contact them for ongoing access to food and supplies. Bid Food website: https://www.bidfood.com.au/about. Thanks to The Haymarket Foundation.

The Ministry has released guidance for NGOs to request PPE
Guidance: Process for NSW Health funded non-government organisation providers to request personal protective equipment New!

How is NADA contributing to the Ministry’s COVID-19 response governance structures
The NSW Ministry of Health has established a COVID-19 Clinical Council that will coordinate the activities of the 24 Communities of Practice (CoP) established beneath it. Larry Pierce, NADA CEO has been nominated as the lead for the NGO CoP. The NGO CoP provides an opportunity for sharing of ideas, strategies, local solutions and concerns with respect to COVID-19 pandemic preparedness. Representation on these structures means NADA is able to provide expert advice and guidance to the system based on your feedback, and to escalate matters that require a state-wide or system response. Dr Suzie Hudson, NADA Clinical Director, will be representing NADA on the AOD CoP that has recently been established.

Who do I contact at NADA for information and advice relating to member programs and services? Please contact Larry or Robert:

Larry Pierce
Larry Pierce
Chief Executive Officer
Available Monday to Friday
M: 0411 747 106
E: larry@nada.org.au  

Robert Stirling
Robert Stirling
Deputy Chief Executive Officer
Available Monday to Friday
M:  0421 647 099
E:  robert@nada.org.au  

Navigating workforce matters

Where do I find information on key workforce matters?
We know that many of you are concerned about the health and wellbeing of your workforce and the impact of COVID-19 on working from home, staff leave entitlements and other industrial relations matters. The best sources of information are:

What level of symptoms does an employee need to be showing before they should stay at home? How long do they need to stay at home?Isolation is strongly encouraged i.e. keeping the workforce at home even if they have only mild cold symptoms. ‘Sick’ should be defined as any sign of respiratory infection, including the common cold.  Employees should remain at home until they feel completely better (no coughing, no sneezing), unless they are suspected to have COVID-19 or are confirmed to have COVID-19, in which case they should follow the guidance on the NSW Health COVID-19 website. Persons with suspected/confirmed COVID-19 should follow the advice on the self-isolation fact sheet.

What is NADA doing to support workforce training needs?
NADA will be posting a weekly timetable that outlines workforce development opportunities on topics relevant to member requests such as:

  • tips for telephone, telehealth and video-conferencing counselling
  • The ABCs of worker wellbeing
  • remote care planning for vulnerable clients
  • supporting staff who are working from home.

Visit the NADA events page for more information.

Who do I contact at NADA for information and advice on employee-related issues?
Please contact Robert or Suzie:

Robert Stirling
Robert Stirling
Deputy Chief Executive Officer
Available Monday to Friday
M:  0421 647 099
E:  robert@nada.org.au  

Dr Suzie Hudson
Dr Suzie Hudson
Clinical Director
Available Monday to Friday
M:  0410 708 670
E:  suzie@nada.org.au

Who do I contact at NADA for information and advice relating to strategies to support worker wellbeing?
Please contact Sianne or Michelle:

Sianne Hodge
Sianne Hodge
Program Manager
Available Monday to Friday
M:  0410 303 616
E:  sianne@nada.org.au  

michelle
Michelle Ridley
Clinical Program Manager
Available Monday to Thursday
M:  0413 748 453
E:  michelle@nada.org.au

Navigating treatment and support matters

How should detox and residential rehabilitation services respond if a client is suspected of having or tests positive for coronavirus?
If someone at your service develops a fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath and meets the current epidemiological criteria of a suspected case, then call your GP or Healthdirect on 1800 022 222. If the person is seriously unwell and it is an emergency, call 000.

A person with confirmed infection should be isolated at home or in hospital and their contacts will be traced and put into quarantine. In the context of a residential service, the LHD will support you to isolate and treat the case, and then contacts should self-isolate as per usual instructions.

In the event of a confirmed COVID-19 case at your service you will need to make a clinical incident report, in addition to notifying the LHD.

Who do I contact at NADA for information and advice relating to treatment/client information and support?
Please contact Suzie or Michelle:

Dr Suzie Hudson
Dr Suzie Hudson
Clinical Director
Available Monday to Friday
M:  0410 708 670
E:  suzie@nada.org.au

michelle
Michelle Ridley
Clinical Program Manager
Available Monday to Thursday
M:  0413 748 453
E:  michelle@nada.org.au