Last updated Monday 20th December 2021
Dear Laurel House Clients and Supporters,
On December 15th Tasmania is opening its borders to the rest of Australia and parts of the world. As such, I am coming to you to let you know about Laurel House’s approach to managing the risks of COVID-19 infection at our offices.
Laurel House is committed to keeping our clients, staff and visitors safe when they visit our offices or interact with our staff in outreach locations. In order to achieve this we have implemented the following COVID-safe practices:
As per Government guidelines, everyone aged 12 years and older (unless exempt) is required to wear a face mask when entering Laurel House from 12.01 am Tuesday 21 December 2021.
You MUST wear a mask unless you can provide medical certification (or other documentation from a medical practitioner) of a physical or mental health condition or disability that makes wearing a fitted mask unsuitable.
Unfortunately, NO MASK, NO ENTRY.
Please call our team if you would like to move your counselling appointment to an online or telephone session.
All Laurel House staff are fully vaccinated for COVID-19.
From 15th December, Laurel House will be asking all clients over 12 years of age about their vaccination status. Understanding the vaccination status of our clients allows our staff to respond appropriately to protect themselves, their colleagues and other clients.
For clients, we will document your disclosure about your vaccination status in your client file. This information will be held confidentially like other information we collect through our interactions with you.
At this stage we will not be routinely seeking evidence of your vaccination and will accept your verbal disclosure of your vaccination status, but we reserve the right to request evidence of your vaccination.
You do not have to provide evidence of your vaccination status if you choose not to. If you choose not to provide this information we will consider ongoing service provision as though you are unvaccinated.
Visitors to Laurel House will be required to notify Laurel House staff about their vaccination status. Depending on the nature of your visit to Laurel House will determine if you are permitted to enter Laurel House’s offices. You will be asked to provide evidence of your vaccination. The following forms of evidence will be accepted as proof of vaccination against COVID-19;
- Check-In Tas App – Green Tick,
- an Australian Government COVID-19 vaccination certification, or
- an Immunisation History Statement recorded on the Australian Immunisation Register.
On arrival at our offices or at our outreach sites, you will be asked the following questions:
- Do you have any COVID-19 symptoms?
- Have you been to any high-risk locations or premises?
- Have you been asked to isolate or quarantine by Public Health?
Text messages will be sent to clients the business day prior to their appointment to remind them not to attend Laurel House offices or outreach sites if they are unwell.
Service Delivery for Children under 12 years
As children under 12 years are not yet able to be fully vaccinated, children are not required to wear a mask to receive face-to-face services, but may choose to wear a mask if they prefer. We encourage children to have their own masks as the masks available at Laurel House are standard adult sized surgical masks. Our staff are required to wear masks.
Check-in Tas App
All clients, staff and visitors will be required to use the Check-in Tas App on arrival to the service. We realise that for some clients they may be anxious about a check in at Laurel House being shown in their check in history stored on their phone. Our counsellors can show you how to delete this from the local history on your phone. Deleting the local history on your phone still allows Public Health to use your check in information for the purposes of contract tracing.
- Stay home if you are sick. If you arrive at our offices unwell, we will ask you to leave immediately.
- Keep your hands clean by using hand sanitiser on arrival.
- Keep your distance – stay 1.5m from other people.
- Wear a mask.
- Minimise the number of people attending your appointment. Where possible do not bring additional visitors (including siblings) to the appointment.
- Please wait in your car or outside until a few minutes before your appointment time.
We recognise that for our community the opening of Tasmania’s border is likely to cause increased levels of stress and anxiety so please call us on 6334 2740 (North) or 6431 9711 (North West) if you have any questions or concerns about your personal circumstance or your preferences for your ongoing service provision.
We appreciate your support in keeping Laurel House as safe as possible for our clients, staff and visitors over the coming months.
Kathryn Fordyce, CEO