Hearth COVID–19 Action Plan Update (1)


Hearth COVID–19 Action Plan – Update (1)

Welcome to the Hearth team action plan update. We continue to adapt and respond to the impact of the COVID-19 as it spreads through our community. The following updates from our plan may be of interest;

1. Business Continuity

We are continuing to deliver the essential service of disability support and are taking every step to maintain the safety of our participants and support workers.

The most significant change this week has been the introduction of a stage two shutdown in Victoria which has impacted significantly on community access for our participants. We cover off the restrictions and full implications of this action in section 4 of this update.

2. Extra Support

It is essential that we all adapt to the new circumstances we find ourselves living in. To this end one of our participants requested that we develop a sign for their front door which altered people coming into their home that they had a unique hygiene process that they required people visiting their home to follow.

We thought this was a great idea, so we developed the sign below. We thought it was such a great idea we are going to include one in our care packs. If you would like a copy now download the PDF below.

Great news the 1800 surgical masks we ordered have arrived! We anticipate that the1,000 bottles of hand sanitiser will arrive within the next 3 weeks. We are also trying to find a supply of nitrile or latex gloves with no luck yet.

We will distribute the masks, sanitiser and sign in a care pack to our participant homes and support workers as soon as the hand sanitiser arrives.

If you urgently need some surgical masks please contact us on info@hearthaustralia.com.au and we will organise immediate delivery.

3. Contingency Planning

Hearth is continuing to build a contingent workforce as a matter of urgency, increasing recruitment of support workers to support the need to have back-up supports matched across our participants.

4. Community Access

Federal and State Governments have announced several measures to curb the spread of COVID-19. These measures in Victoria include a shutdown of non-essential services (stage two), however they do not constitute a lockdown like those seen in Europe, or a stay-at-home order like those in place across the United States.

Therefore, we are continuing community access in line with the advice provided by both Federal and State Governments. While it is advisable to stay at home, participants and support workers may still go out for a walk, grab a takeaway coffee/meal, enjoy a stroll/exercise at the park or do grocery shopping.

While out in the community, support workers and participants, will continue to follow social distancing advice by.

  1. avoiding public gatherings
  2. avoiding physical greetings such as handshaking, hugs and kisses
  3. use tap and pay instead of cash

As well as following good hygiene practices such as avoiding touching objects or surface areas shared by the public (such as handrails and door knobs) and then touching their mouth or face, covering coughs and sneezes with elbows, washing hands often with soap and water and the regular use alcohol-based hand sanitisers.

The list of non-essential businesses that participants and support workers may no longer visit is as follows:

  1. Pubs, bars, clubs or nightclubs except for bottle shops
  2. Hotels, whether licensed or unlicensed, except for accommodation, takeaway meals or a meal delivery service
  3. Gyms
  4. Indoor sporting venues
  5. Casino
  6. Entertainment venues
  7. Restaurants or cafés, except for takeaway meals or a meal delivery service
  8. Places of worship, other than for the purposes of a wedding or funeral that otherwise complies with density restrictions
  9. Food courts in shopping centres (delivery and takeaway can remain operational)
  10. Auction houses
  11. Real estate auctions and open house inspections
  12. Beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, nail salons, tattoo parlours
  13. Spas and massage parlours
  14. Amusement parks and arcades
  15. Play centres (indoor and outdoor)
  16. Community and recreation centres 
  17. Health clubs, fitness centres, yoga, barre and spin facilities, saunas, bathhouses and wellness centres
  18. Social sporting-based activities
  19. Swimming pools 
  20. Galleries, museums, national institutions and historic sites
  21. Libraries, community centres and youth centres

For full details please refer to the Victorian Government “Guidance on non-essential closures due to coronavirus” website page: https://www.vic.gov.au/coronavirusresponse

5. In Home Support Resource

One of the obvious outcomes of COVID-19 is the need to spend more time at home. So, what do you do with the extra time inside the home?

The Hearth Website has several Apps listed in its resources section from “Book Creator” to “Nature Sounds: Relax and Sleep” which may assist to create an activity plan which helps manage the time inside the home.


If you find a resource that you think is worth sharing please do not hesitate to share it with us and we will load it onto our website.

Please email any suggestions to info@hearthaustralia.com.au

6. NDIA Updates as of 25/3/20

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic the NDIS has announced some changes to NDIS plans and funding.

The changes that impact participants are:

  1. If your plan is due for renewal, then your plan will automatically be rolled over for one year. 
  2. There is a temporary price increase for some core supports for the next 6 months from 25th March 2020 to assist providers to continue support during this time. This is the addition of 10% to Daily Living and Community Access shifts from your Core funding. Your plans will increase to reflect this price change.  There are no price changes to your shifts under Capacity. 
  3. The NDIS has allowed providers to have a 10-day cancellation notice period. However, at Hearth we have decided to trial a 24-hour cancellation period rather than 10 days for the moment. 

For full details please refer to the NDIS website “NDIS and disaster response”:


We have attached our updated fee schedules and cancellation policy below.

Justin Scanlon | Hearth Support Services

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