Click here for the latest COVID-19 updates, protocols and processes in place at Programmed Care

COVID-19 updates for healthcare workers

What to do if a client (or household member) tests positive for COVID-19 or is deemed a “close contact” by NSW Health

NSW Health mandates that you contact your local Public Health Unit immediately on 1300 066 055 if there is a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in a person under your care.

When the diagnosis or close contact situation is brought to your attention, please ensure everybody who supports the client is made aware, including the Programmed management team.


What to do if you observe a client or their family members in breach of Public Health Orders?

As with the general population, there will be participants and/or their family, who routinely make choices that are in breach of the Public Health Orders. This could be a deliberate choice, or it could be related to limitations in Health Literacy or cognitive deficit. Common issues may include not isolating when required, not staying at home or having too many visitors to the household.

Please be advised that Programmed is under no obligation to deliver services within environments that are in breach of the public health orders.

If unsafe behaviour is evident while you are attending a client visit, explain to the participant/family that you cannot deliver a service in an unsafe work environment. Service provision will only recommence if the participant and/or family agree to abide by the rules. You should report this to Programmed to ensure the incident is investigated and addressed.

Breach of the current COVID-19 Public Health Orders may constitute an imminent threat to public health. We would encourage you to discuss this with the participant/family first, and to advise Programmed following your conversation with the client. If you feel the observed behaviour is a public health risk, you can report the situation to Crimestoppers on

As with all risky behaviours, people with compromised cognitive function impacting health literacy and decision-making should be provided with support in accessing information, understanding information and applying the information to keep them and others safe. People with disabilities have the right to dignity of risk and to make informed choices, however, they also therefore accept the consequences of making irresponsible decisions.

NSW Health has provided several information sheets and short videos to assist people in understanding COVID-19. The NDIS has also developed a range of resources for people with disabilities. Printed pamphlets are no substitute, however, for targeted conversations with a family member or service provider who understands the person’s communication limitations and needs. Click here to view NSW health information.


Can I help a client make a decision regarding vaccination?

As a Programmed employee, you are not to permitted to help a client make a decision regarding vaccination.

You may help clients access information from NSW Health and the Australian Government and may help them to understand what the information means.

If your client is seeking personal advice on whether they should/should not get vaccinated, or which vaccine to get, you must redirect them to their GP.


Some clients may be experiencing difficulty accessing COVID-19 vaccination or testing due to barriers such as

  • accessing supported decision-making for informed consent
  • access to care support to attend health/testing facilities
  • access to travel support
  • access to general support in managing the vaccine eligibility checker, book appointments or locate phone numbers.

Please discuss these barriers with your Programmed Care Manager and we will work with you and/or the participant to assist with problem-solving and/or determining and accessing the right support.


Some useful easy read resources have been developed and attached is one from the Australian Department of Health.

link: COVID-19 vaccination – Easy Read resources | Australian Government Department of Health