A Public Health Emergency has been declared in the ACT for the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The situation is evolving rapidly, and the ACT AOD sector is adapting to ensure the safety and wellbeing of AOD service users and the workforce. The page below compiles information and resources that will be useful for the ACT AOD sector.
General Information and Resources
Information for non-government community, disability and health service providers in relation to COVID-19
Please find below a link to The Information for non-government community, disability and health service providers in relation to COVID-19 page which is now live.
The information contained on this page will assist non-government community, disability and health service providers (NGOs), including staff, volunteers and clients, to protect themselves and the community during the COVID-19 crisis.
This page provides resources and materials for NGOs related to COVID-19 such as:
- Preparedness and business continuity;
- Pandemic planning and managing risk;
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE);
- Management and care of people who are in isolation or quarantine at home; and
- useful links.
Buttons to direct to this new page have been made live on:
ACT Health Directorate Information
Continuously updated information about COVID-19 can be found on the ACT Health website at: https://health.act.gov.au/about-our-health-system/novel-coronavirus-covid-19
ACT COVID-19 Helpline 02 62077244
A COVID-19 Helpline has been established on 02 6207 7244 to access services such as: COVID-19 health advice and referrals; advice and information about the ACT government stimulus packages; requests for assistance by vulnerable and isolated people; community reports of non-compliance with health directions; referral to the ACT Health Protection Services, ACT Policing and Access Canberra Fair Trading; and general COVID-19 related enquiries.
Chief Health Officer Alerts
The Chief Health Officer produces alerts and resources for health professionals in the ACT.
Australian Government Department of Health information
Coronavirus (COVID-19) health alert (website)
Continuously updated information can also be found on the Commonwealth Department of Health website at: https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert
This includes information on how to download the ‘Coronavirus Australia’ government app and join the WhatsApp channel.
Coronavirus Health Information Line
For general information on COVID-19 call the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. This line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
COVIDSafe has been developed by the Australian Government to help protect the health of the community by quickly alerting people who may be at risk of having contact with the virus.
World Health Organization Information
Continuously updated information on the global pandemic can be found on the World Health Organization website at: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
Australian Health Sector Emergency Response Plan
The Australian Health Sector Emergency Response Plan for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) dated 18 February 2020, endorsed by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC), is available at https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/australian-health-sector-emergency-response-plan-for-novel-coronavirus-covid-19
Resources for the AOD Workforce, Services and the Community
A document outlining the operational changes to ACT AOD services as a result of COVID-19 is available.
AOD harm reduction and other resources to support AOD service users to remain safe
These tables provide a summary of useful resources, harm reduction information, mental health support, links and interviews that may be helpful for ATOD and allied health sector workers to assist clients to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. The tables also includes useful material for harm reduction service providers. The information was current at 1 April 2020 and includes Australian and international sources. Please note that ATODA does not take responsibility for the content of, or accuracy of the information contained in, the resources listed in these tables.
Information on continued safe delivery of Opioid Maintenance Treatment
The ACT Health Directorate has prepared information and guidelines on contingencies for the provision of OMT in the ACT during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Canberra Relief Network
The Canberra Relief Network is a collaboration of community service organisations in the ACT supported by the ACT Government in response to the sudden and overwhelming demand for food and non-perishable household essentials item that is occurring and is expected to increase as a direct result of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
For more information see: https://canberrarelief.com.au/
Other resources and information for community services
The ACT Council of Social Service is disseminating frequent bulletins with information on COVID-19 resources for community services. To subscribe contact email@example.com. Past ACTCOSS COVID-19 sector updates and news can be found at: https://www.actcoss.org.au/policy/covid-19.
ATODA Support for the Specialist ACT AOD Sector and Activities
ATODA has suspended or adapted a range of its standard activities to focus on supporting the specialist ACT AOD sector through the coming months of COVID-19 preparations, modifications and responses. ATODA continues to undertake activities to represent and advocate for the AOD sector with a focus on creating enabling contracting and funding environments, supporting the AOD workforce, and securing access to information and resources for essential AOD services. Ultimately, ATODA is seeking to support the sectors agility and adaptability to continue to support the many Canberrans who access AOD services. ATODA’s recent activities include:
- Consulting regularly with AOD services through the Executives Group and Workers Group. This includes opportunities to identify priorities, distribute information and resources for the sector and workforce, and monitor service changes or impacts.
- Participation, representation and leadership in a range of groups including:
- NGO Leadership Group (co-chaired by ATODA and the ACT Health Directorate)
- AOD Sector Contingency Framework and Residential Services Working Groups (convened by ACT Health Directorate)
- Meetings between Canberra Health Services and NGO Peaks
- National Naloxone Reference Group
- Collaborating with our State and Territory AOD Peak colleagues for national representation
- Collaborating with our ACT Peak colleagues in shared priorities
- Regularly meeting, sharing information and progressing priorities in collaboration with Health Improvement Projects, ACT Health Directorate
- Regularly meeting, sharing information and progressing shared priorities with the Capital Health Network
- Meeting and briefing advisors of the Minister for Health
- Monitoring announcements from governments to identify implications for AOD services
The ATODA staff team are currently working from home. To reach us please contact staff via their emails or firstname.lastname@example.org.