The health and wellbeing of our community is always of utmost priority, particularly during the current ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus).
We encourage our community to stay up-to-date with the latest information about the spread of COVID-19 and the steps being taken to slow the spread.
Return to centre
We are continuing to develop our plan for a safe return to in-centre services for all our families and clients, as well as ensuring we support our staff during these challenging times.
Hear and Say is adopting all the Government and Health recommendations around establishing a COVIDSafe Australia, by following the national three-step pathway for easing restrictions. With this is mind, we have developed our own Hear and Say Roadmap (below) to guide us towards our return to a ‘new normal’ for our community.
What is our policy?
- If you are attending an audiology or listening and spoken language lesson, our current attendance policy is to have one adult attending with one child. Due to physical distancing restrictions and the size of our clinical spaces, we are limiting the number of attendees within a session.
- We will be asking all our visitors to our centres to sign a health declaration and undertake a non-invasive temperature scan. This involves asking you to confirm that you (and any of your family visiting the centre) are feeling well and asking your consent to record your (or any visitor’s) temperature. If any visitors are feeling unwell or has a temperature above the normal range Hear and Say may refuse entry on that particular day.
- From 10 July 2020, anyone who has been in a hotspot in the last 14 days will only be able to enter Queensland if they are a returning Queensland resident or required to enter for a limited range of essential reasons. Queensland residents returning to Queensland from a hotspot must quarantine for 14 days on entering Queensland. If you (and any of your family visiting the centre) have visited a hotspot, please let us know and contact us to rearrange your appointment. Find out more, here.
Recent border closure
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced a closure to the state border with New South Wales, effective as of 1.00am, Saturday 8 August 2020. Residents of border communities and essential workers will still be permitted to cross the border, with some further, limited exemptions.
This announcement has greatest impact for our Gold Coast Centre, which supports a number of families from Northern New South Wales. Please find below further detail about how we will be operating during this time:
- Wherever possible and as in recent months, we will work with families supported through our Gold Coast Centre to continue listening and spoken language therapy lessons online via telepractice.
- Families who need to cross the state border to attend an essential appointment in-centre must make their own application for a Queensland Border Declaration Pass. Hear and Say will be in touch to provide a Letter of Support to include with your application; however, please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org if you have not received a letter within a week of your appointment.
- Hear and Say staff are unable to provide in-person visits to your child’s childcare, home or school visits in New South Wales while the border remains closed. We are happy to support your child’s educational setting via phone or video call in the interim.
Phase 1 (Commenced 25 May)
- Continuing to provide essential in-centre audiology services.
- Limited in-centre listening and spoken language services offered on case-by-case basis where deemed clinically complex or urgent.
- Minimal, essential in-centre staffing.
- Ongoing health and hygiene procedures.
- Our team will liaise with clients/families eligible to access in-centre services (current attendance policy is 1 adult and 1 child for clinical services).
Phase 2 (From 13 July)
In addition to the activities from Phase 1:
- Limited increase of in-centre services available, particularly audiology or assessment-related services.
- Where possible our team will continue to work from and provide online services from home.
- Limited external visits or group activities where deemed urgent.
Phase 3 (From September)
In addition to Phases 1 and 2 activities:
- Services will continue to be offered via a combination of in-person lessons and via telepractice/online.
- Group social skills programs to take place in-centre.
- Hear to Learn – School Hearing Screening program to recommence.
- Clinician external visits to kindergarten, schools etc. to recommence where possible.
- All events begin to take place (e.g. fundraising and/or professional and parent education events).
Each week Hear and Say’s return to centre operations will be reviewed, we will continue to monitor Government advice and adjust the roadmap, our policies or how we deliver services if directed to or where it is deemed necessary.
Symptoms can range from mild illness to pneumonia. Some people will recover easily, and others may get very sick very quickly. Symptoms may include:
- Sore throat
- Shortness of breath
If you or your child is experiencing any of the above symptoms, please contact us to cancel or re-arrange your appointment, and follow the Government’s recommendation to get tested for coronavirus.
If a child or client is unwell while onsite, our clinicians are also entitled to ask them to leave the centre and seek medical advice.
Protect others and stop the spread
We can all help slow the spread of COVID-19 in Australia.
To protect others you must:
- practise good hygiene
- practise physical distancing
- follow the limits for public gatherings
- understand how to isolate if you need to
- Current status of coronavirus in Australia, here.
- The COVID-19 Isolation Guide, here.
- Information about coronavirus and how to protect yourself, here.
- Coronavirus resources, here.
- Coronavirus Health Information Line:1800 020 080
- Healthdirect hotline:1800 022 222
- Lifeline Australia crisis support hotline: 13 11 14
Content reviewed/updated Wednesday 26 June, 2020.