This afternoon the Premier of South Australia and Chief Public Health Officer announced sweeping restrictions to safeguard our community against COVID-19, which involves a six-day lockdown.

The measures will have a significant but short-term impact on all of us, on both a personal and professional level, but are critical in curbing SA’s growing COVID-19 cluster.

The restrictions mean that from midnight tonight, the following will apply:

  • You must remain at home unless delivering essential services or accessing essential items such as groceries and medical supplies
  • If leaving home, you must wear a face mask at all times
  • Schools and childcare centres will be closed (except for essential workers)
  • Retail and other community spaces including restaurants, food courts, pubs and cafes will be closed
  • Construction will be closed
  • Outdoor sports and exercise are not allowed
  • Elective surgeries are cancelled, except for urgent operations
  • Interstate/regional travel is not permitted

Please visit https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/response for the full list of restrictions.

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR UNITINGSA SERVICES

  • We will transition to essential face-to-face services only until further notice
  • All office-based staff will work from home wherever possible
  • Only sites delivering critical essential support will remain open to the public. This includes our Homelessness Services (124 Lipson St, Port Adelaide SA 5015) and Emergency Relief centre (58 Dale St, Port Adelaide).
  • Our Residential Aged Care homes will remain closed to all visitors, excluding agreed palliative care visits
  • Our Community Services (i.e. mental health and disability) and Community Aged Care programs will only deliver essential outreach and in-home support including medication management, food provision, personal care and clinical interventions
  • Supported employment, delivered through Wesley Social Enterprises, will be temporarily suspended
  • Non-essential support services will be delivered over the phone and via video call technology wherever possible

HOW TO STAY SAFE

Keeping everyone across the UnitingSA community safe during this time is our highest priority. With the growing list of COVID-19 hotspots, it is important you stay informed and protected. Please visit www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/COVIDcontacttracing to view the latest hotspot list, updates around the Government’s tracing efforts and other important COVID-19 health advice.

We also encourage you to remain vigilant around hand hygiene and social distancing measures, and to get tested for COVID-19 if you display any associated symptoms including fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath, or loss of taste or smell.

To our broader community, we understand this is a challenging time for many and encourage you to keep in touch with your loved ones and utilise the counselling support that’s available via South Australia’s many community service agencies. 

To UnitingSA staff who are continuing to deliver critical face-to-face services to our clients and aged care residents, thank you for your unwavering commitment to the people we support at such an unprecedented time for our community.

We appreciate the care and support you provide every day to South Australians in need. Remember, support remains available through our Workplace Wellness Program.

We will continue to provide updates in the coming days as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve and further information comes to light.

Please take good care of yourselves and your families, and stay safe.

Libby Craft
Chief Executive Officer