March 12, 2020
Updated: Wednesday, 1st April 2020
Dear families, staff and guests of TSH,
Telethon Speech & Hearing regards the safety of our team, our families, our students/clients and guests who access our services as our highest priority. As such, we want to take every precaution to limit the spread of Coronavirus.
This is an everchanging environment with new information released daily. We will continue to look at ways to support our families and clients in any way possible.
If you have any concerns please do not hesitate to contact us. We will keep you informed as new information arises through this challenging time.
Accessing our services and programs
Telethon Speech & Hearing is an Independent School, as well as a therapy provider and a health provider. As such we are registered under and are answerable to the Department of Education and Department of Health. We operate under the auspice of the Minister and for this particular situation are only able to close under directive from the Department of Health.
As per the Prime Minister’s statement (released 20 March 2020) regarding gatherings, schools and travel restrictions, the National Cabinet has accepted the advice of the AHPPC that schools should remain open at this time.
Specifically the National Cabinet has agreed that “pre-emptive closures are not proportionate or effective as a public health intervention to prevent community transmission of COVID-19 at this time.”
As such, our therapy, classroom and school-based programs will continue to run as normal until April 3, with extra precautions around hygiene and personal care being taken in order to keep every child, family and staff member safe.
If you have any concerns about your family’s health and safety at TSH, please contact us.
For helpful information around discussing Coronavirus with your child, click here (from the Telethon Kids Institute).
- Use the alcohol-based hand sanitiser when entering/exiting the centre and rooms.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, before and after eating, and after going to the toilet.
- Cover your cough and sneeze, dispose of tissues, and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
- Avoid contact with others in the centre (touching, kissing, hugging and other intimate contact).
Particularly at this time, we ask that all children who are not feeling well are kept at home. While that illness may have nothing to do with the virus, we are trying to limit any susceptibility to it.
If you or your child is feeling unwell, please follow the government’s recommendations and eligibility around testing for coronavirus. Please also do not come into our centres until a negative test result is confirmed and you are feeling better.
- Please be aware of the signs of coronavirus. Symptoms include shortness of breath or cough, with or without a fever. In some cases, the virus can cause severe pneumonia. From what we know now about COVID-19, the symptoms can start between 2 and 14 days from exposure to the virus.
- The WA State Government announced specialist clinics would open to cater for testing COVID-19 for those who displayed symptoms and have recently returned from overseas.
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 social distancing
- follow the limits for public gatherings
- understand how to self-isolate if you need to
The Prime Minister has announced that as of 12.00am 16 March (AEST) all people returning from international travel must self-isolate for 14 days after the date of return to Australia. Self-isolation does not apply to other members of the household who have not travelled overseas.
The Prime Minister announced further measures and restrictions to slow the transmission of COVID-19. This includes public gatherings, excluding household members, have been reduced to a maximum of two people. Whilst schools remain exempt, he also announced further measures regarding staying at home as below. It is recommended that:
- If you are over 70, you are strongly encouraged to remain at home;
- If you are over 60 with pre-existing conditions, you are strongly encouraged to remain at home;
- If you are Aboriginal and aged over 50, you should stay home wherever possible for your own protection.
The Prime Minister has announced that as of 12.00am 16 March (AEST) all people returning from international travel must self-isolate for 14 days after the date of return to Australia.
Self-isolation does not apply to other members of the household who have not travelled overseas.
The Government has now placed a 14 day self-isolation period on anyone re-entering the country. Please let us know if this applies to you. We ask anyone who has recently travelled or plans to travel to get in touch with us.
Please contact us and do not come into our centres or schools if you, or someone you have regular close contact with has visited or transited through the higher risk countries below.
The recommended exclusion period is 14 days from the date you left the specified country, or last had contact with a specified person who has travelled to or transited through these countries. The Australian Government currently considers the following countries to be at higher risk for COVID-19:
- Mainland China
- South Korea
There are travel restrictions for travellers from mainland China, Iran, Republic of Korea and Italy. Please visit the Department of Health website for ‘What you need to know’ and ‘Isolation guidance’ information sheets.
- Hong Kong
If you have recently travelled to these countries, monitor your health for 14 days after leaving that country. If you develop a fever or cough, seek medical advice urgently and isolate yourself. Please contact us if you have any travel planned in the near future.
The NDIS has recently published information in an Easy Read format on the NDIS website, about their response to the coronavirus (COVID-19).
They have also published translated versions of helpful information about coronavirus (COVID-19) in five different languages.
A number of frequently asked questions and answers are also available on the NDIS website and are updated as more information is available.
Be supportive, careful, alert and kind
While there are a number of COVID-19 cases in Western Australia, plans to contain its spread are in place. As with many viral infections, the severity of any associated illness will vary from person to person, dependent on a number of factors including age and the presence of any associated co-morbidities.
Support our health system – only seek medical attention if you have recently travelled and have respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, sore throat) or fever.
Fact sheets and resources
For the latest advice, information and resources, go to www.health.gov.au.
You can call the National Coronavirus Helpline for information and advice about COVID-19: 1800 020 080. The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you require translating or intepreting services, call 131 450.
- WA Department of Health alerts: https://ww2.health.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/Coronavirus
- World situation reports: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports/
- WA Department of Education advice: https://www.education.wa.edu.au/coronavirus-school-update
- Downloadable resources in different languages: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/collections/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-resources
- How to speak to my child about Coronavirus: COVID-19 parents and carers support for students 10 3 2020