COVID-19 Response Kit for the Community Sector
This free, practical kit is designed to help any community sector organisation - whether they be public, private or non-government - to quickly and effectively communicate about and plan for COVID-19 with their staff and the people they support.
It includes materials developed by Amergin as well as links to a range of useful resources developed by other organisations, including the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Australian Government Department of Health and other Federal and State Government agencies.
While we endeavour to make this information and accompanying resources as accurate and useful as possible, the COVID-19 pandemic is a dynamic and rapidly developing situation. In addition, every business is different. We encourage you to regularly refer to official advice from the Australian Government Department of Health and other federal, state and territory authorities and to critically evaluate how to best adapt this kit to your business’ needs.
What is COVID-19?
Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new respiratory virus first detected in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory infections, ranging from the common cold to more serious diseases.
The majority of COVID-19 cases result in mild symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath. However, it can lead to death, particularly in people who are older or who have suppressed immune systems or pre-existing conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
COVID-19 has been rapidly spreading around the world since December 2019. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the outbreak a pandemic and Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
Efforts to contain the outbreak include social distancing, good hygiene and cleaning practices, quarantine and self-isolation. Governments around the world and in Australia are also enacting broader lockdowns of non-essential services. All of these measures have implications for the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable people and continuity of supports provided to them by community sector organisations.
This COVID-19 Response Kit can be adapted and tailored by any community service organisation and comprises the following sections:
Please ensure you thoroughly review the templates provided and tailor them to your business’ circumstances.
Organisational Planning and Response
Planning is everything when it comes to responding effectively to a worldwide crisis like a pandemic, particularly when you support people who are already vulnerable. We recommend establishing a COVID-19 Response Team (CRT) in your organisation that is responsible for supporting your business’ planning and response. They can use the following practical resources to assist them.
Communication is Key
Uncertainty and anxiety caused by COVID-19 can be allayed by communicating calmly, clearly and consistently with your staff, clients and other stakeholders.
Thankfully, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel – a range of quality information resources are already available. Combining these with your own tailored communications (using the templates we’ve provided) will help you distribute accurate and clear information about COVID-19 quickly and easily.
Infographic courtesy of healthdirect.
Your staff are at the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic. They have their own fears and anxieties about the welfare of themselves and their families and are also supporting people who are vulnerable and anxious. Keeping your staff informed with clear concise information is key, so in addition to the above communication resources, the following fact sheets and training resources may also assist.
COVID-19 Symptom Checker
In addition to the Australian Government Department of Health (www.health.gov.au) the following agencies provide a range of information about COVID-19.
The Australian Government has established a National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080 that provides callers with information about COVID-19.
Detailed information about COVID-19 and how the virus spreads is available at healthdirect.
State Government Health Departments
Public Health Units
Should you need advice or response support at a local level, you can contact your local state or territory government Public Health Unit.
We value your feedback. This resource will be continually reviewed and updated to ensure it remains accurate and appropriate for the use of community service organisations. If you have any feedback on how we can improve this resource, we’d love to hear from you, so please get in touch.