*These FAQs will be updated regularly. This version is current at 15 January 2021.

These pages provide employees with information on the Coronavirus and CPL’s response to it. These pages should be read in conjunction with information from credible sources – the Commonwealth Department of Health. Employees are encouraged to refer to these sources for additional information.

Click the link below to navigate to question category:

About coronavirus

According to Federal Department of Health, coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe symptoms.

Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans.

There are a number of symptoms people may experience, but common signs include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath

Here is a helpful guide to identifying the symptoms of COVID-19 compared to other similar illnesses.

The best way to prevent the spread of any illness is to practice good hand and respiratory hygiene. This includes:

  • Cleaning your hands with soap and water regularly, or using alcohol-based hand gel or wipes
  • Covering your nose and mouth with a flexed elbow or a tissue when coughing or sneezing
  • Avoiding contact with anyone who has symptoms such as fever, a cough, sore throat, fatigue, and shortness of breath
  • Staying home if you are unwell.
  • You should also try to stay at least stay 1.5 metres away from others wherever possible. 

Reference: Federal Department of Health

https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/how-to-protect-yourself-and-others-from-coronavirus-covid-19

COVID-19 is transmitted from person to person, usually when an infected person coughs or sneezes. If you begin to exhibit any symptoms of COVID-19, please contact your GP for an appointment and let them know your symptoms before attending the clinic. You can also call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84).

Casual contact involves being in the same general area as someone who has tested positive for the coronavirus while infectious. You have had casual contact if:

  • You were in a closed environment (eg meeting room) with a COVID-19 case for less than 15 min or at a distance of more than two metres
  • You have had had face-to-face contact with a COVID-19 case for less than 15 min and at a distance of less than two metres

Casual contact has a low-risk of transmission and do not need to be excluded from work while you are well. You must closely monitor your health and if you experience any symptoms you are advised to isolate yourself and contact your usual doctor, who will liaise with public health authorities to care for you.

Close contact includes:

  • Living in the same household as a COVID-19 case
  • Direct physical contact with a COVID-19 case (eg shaking hands)
  • Unprotected direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (eg being coughed on, touching used paper tissues with a bare hand)
  • Face-to-face contact (under two metres) with a COVID-19 case for over 15 mins
  • Being in a closed environment (eg classroom, meeting room, hospital waiting room) with a COVID-19 case for 15 minutes or more and at a distance of less than two metres
  • A healthcare worker or other person providing direct care for a COVID-19 case
  • Contact in an aircraft sitting within two seats (in any direction) of the COVID-19 case, travel companions or persons providing care

In response to recent positive COVID-19 cases, a range of measures have been put in place as of 11 January 2021.

Masks for Greater Brisbane

You must carry a face mask with you at all times when you leave home, unless you have a lawful reason not to. You must wear a mask in indoor spaces, except in your home. For example:

  • shopping centres, supermarkets, retail outlets and indoor markets
  • hospitals and aged care facilities
  • indoor workplaces (where safe to wear a mask and you can't physically distance)

Restrictions for Greater Brisbane

Restrictions on aged care, disability accommodation, hospital and corrective services visitors remain in place.

People are permitted to be outside their homes for any purpose, subject to the restrictions below:

  • Gatherings: Up to 20 people in homes and public spaces.
  • Weddings: Up to 100 attendees. No restriction on dancing.
  • Funerals: Up to 100 attendees.

For the full list of restrictions in greater Brisbane and the ongoing restrictions for the rest of Queensland please visit the Queensland Government website. 

CPL’s response

Employees, clients and stakeholders of CPL are regularly receiving updates from us. You can view the most recent communications sent to CPL employees and clients on the CPL intranet. For general updates on work and PPE colour zones, visit our staff portal.

CPL has an established Business Continuity Plan that guides how CPL is to respond in instances of emergency or crisis. 

This response includes the formation of a Working Group comprised of people from across the business, such as Services; Allied Health; Quality, Safety and Risk; People, Learning and Culture; Communications; and Property. 

This group is meeting daily at present to review current conditions and determine appropriate actions for CPL.  

Any actions agreed by the Working Group that relate to employees will be communicated via email.

CPL’s number one priority is the safety and wellbeing of our clients and employees.  To achieve this, we are following directives from the relevant health authorities, as well as introducing measures appropriate to our business operations. 

CPL considers a range of factors when making decisions about how to respond.  This includes the information available from the relevant authorities and their recommendations, the specific conditions of our organisation, and the needs of clients and employees. 

Ultimately, our decisions are based on the safety and wellbeing of our employees and clients, and ensuring these are balanced.

People living in residential support settings are at higher risk of serious infection.  Accordingly, CPL has provided the following advice to employees, clients and families:

  • All employees must have their temperature taken (by another person) on arrival at site (refer here for video on how to take a temperature)
  • All employees to a CPL site must not have a temperature equal to or higher than 37.5 degrees.
  • All employees are required to complete a health declaration
  • No events involving clients and employees without prior Executive approval.
  • If you work for another organisation or agency you must complete a secondary employment form before your next shift with CPL.
  • Adhere to room limits. Where room limits cannot be adhered to (e.g. small therapy rooms) we recommend the use of masks.

Staying up to date

The Australian Government released a new Coronavirus Australia app to give you up to date information and advice related to the virus.

The app is available on the Apple Store or Google Play with information such as key symptoms, health advice and relevant contacts. You can also get push notifications on urgent information.

Coming to work

We ask all of our employees to exercise a high degree of common sense in determining whether they should be at work.  If you are feeling unwell, or have any symptoms of the flu or cold, please do not come to work.

If you notice a colleague is unwell at work, try having a conversation with them. If you remain concerned about their health and presence in the workplace, speak to your supervisor.

This may depend on whether your contact with that person was “close contact” or “casual contact”.

Casual contact involves being in the same general area as someone who has tested positive for the coronavirus while infectious.  You have had casual contact if:

  • You were in a closed environment (eg meeting room) with a COVID-19 case for less than 15 min or at a distance of more than two metres
  • You have had had face-to-face contact with a COVID-19 case for less than 15 min and at a distance of less than two metres

Casual contact has a low-risk of transmission and do not need to be excluded from work while you are well. You must closely monitor your health and if you experience any symptoms you are advised to isolate yourself and contact your usual doctor, who will liaise with public health authorities to care for you.

Close contact includes:

  • Living in the same household as a COVID-19 case
  • Direct physical contact with a COVID-19 case (eg shaking hands)
  • Unprotected direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (eg being coughed on, touching used paper tissues with a bare hand)
  • Face-to-face contact (under two metres) with a COVID-19 case for over 15 mins
  • Being in a closed environment (eg classroom, meeting room, hospital waiting room) with a COVID-19 case for 15 minutes or more and at a distance of less than two metres
  • A healthcare worker or other person providing direct care for a COVID-19 case
  • Contact in an aircraft sitting within two seats (in any direction) of the COVID-19 case, travel companions or persons providing care

Close contact presents a high-risk of exposure.   If you have been identified to have had close contact with someone who is confirmed to have infection with COVID-19 while they were infectious, you must:

  • Isolate yourself at home until 14 days after you were last exposed to the infected person. You should not leave the house, except for seeking medical care. You should stay in a different room to other people as much as possible, and wear a surgical mask when you are in the same room as another person and when seeking medical care. Use a separate bathroom if available. Do not go to work, school, or public areas, and do not use public transportation, taxi services or rideshares.
  • Watch for signs and symptoms including fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other early symptoms such as chills, body aches, sore throat, headache and runny nose, muscle pain or diarrhoea

If you are unsure of your need to self-isolate, contact 13 HEALTH.

If a person you live with is required to self-isolate, they will be provided with instructions on what is required of them. This will include restrictions on sharing the same facilities/rooms, including bedrooms and bathrooms.

  • If this person is not a confirmed case of COVID-19, and you have not had close contact with the person, you should not be required to self-isolate.
  • If the person is a confirmed case of COVID-19, and you have had close contact with the person, you should be required to self-isolate.
  • If you believe you need to self-isolate, you should contact your supervisor immediately. They will ask you to provide details of your need to self-isolate (eg travel history, exposure to others) so that we can better understand the potential risks to others, including clients.

If you have any questions, we encourage you to call the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. The line operates 24 hours, seven days a week.

If you believe you need to self-isolate, you should contact your supervisor immediately. They will ask you to provide details of your need to self-isolate (eg travel history, exposure to others) so that we can better understand the potential risks to others, including clients.

If you are tested for coronavirus, please complete this form. Once you receive your results, you can notify us here.

Yes. CPL employees who are not working will need to take appropriate leave for this period. Employees are able to draw down on their sick leave or annual leave to cover periods of self-isolation. Those fulfilling a caring role for another person may also use their carer’s leave. If you have insufficient leave to cover your absence, CPL will allow you to accumulate a deficit of up to five days.

In line with ordinary leave practices, you may be required to provide supporting documentation (eg medical certificate) or information regarding your need for self-isolation to support your leave application.

CPL is offering casuals the opportunity to transition to permanent part time to enable employees to accumulate leave and access the additional offer of the annual leave deficit.

If you have cold or flu like symptoms, such as a cough, fever, sore throat, shortness of breath or runny nose, even if these are mild, you should get tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible. People with mild symptoms can still spread the virus. To help stop the spread of COVID-19, anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms should get tested. 

If you are tested for coronavirus, please complete this form. Once you receive your results, you can notify us here.

If you are symptom-free and have had no contact with people with Coronavirus during your isolation, you should be OK to return to work. We ask that you contact 13 HEALTH or your medical practitioner to confirm this, before contacting your supervisor.

Anyone who has been tested for Coronavirus should seek advice from their treating medical professional before returning to work. We are keeping a record of all client and employee tests, so please notify your supervisor if you are tested for coronavirus and also when you receive your results.   

If you are tested for coronavirus, please complete this form. Once you receive your results, you can notify us here.

Employee Wellbeing

The safety and wellbeing of our employees and our clients is our number one priority. We are considering a wide range of measures for employees who are deemed higher risk or need to take further personal precautions to avoid contracting COVID-19.

We understand each person’s situation is unique, so please discuss your circumstances with your supervisor as soon as possible.

I’m feeling anxious about this situation. How can I seek support? We understand this situation may be creating anxiety, uncertainty and confusion for many of our employees and clients. It is normal to feel overwhelmed and it is important you know what services are available to you.

CPL’s Employee Assistance Program (EA) provider Lifeworks offers free and confidential counselling 24/7 to CPL employees and their family members. To access this service, please call 1300 361 008 or visit the member portal and use the code CPLQ.

LifeWorks is continuing to operate and provide support throughout this period and have produced a number of factsheets that you may find useful at this time:

LifeWorks - Resilience during a pandemic

LifeWorks - Media coverage and children

LifeWorks - When you or your children are upset by the news

There are also a range of resources available online at beyondblue.org.au

Working from home

Decisions about who can work from home are being made by CPL’s Executive team based on business needs. If you wish to work from home, you must seek approval from your Regional Manager or above.

If you are required to work from home, normal work hours apply. If you have special circumstances which prevent you from doing this, please speak to your supervisor immediately.

If you do not have the equipment you need to work from home, then you will be required to work from a CPL office. Alternatively, you may choose to take annual leave.

Working with clients

If you suspect that a person you are supporting has symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Contact your supervisor and the person’s family
  • Contact the local home doctor service, ensuring you advise them of the symptoms over the phone
  • If appropriate and available, place a mask on the person
  • Isolate the person in their bedroom with the door closed
  • Explain to the person what you are doing and why.  Tell them when you will return and how a staff member can be raised for support. Conduct regular checks.
  • Any person entering the room before medical attention is available and a diagnosis has been received should take personal precautions including mask (if available) and gloves 
  • Isolation should discontinue if there is no diagnosis of Coronavirus and the person returned to their normal routine and activities once well

The best thing you can do is ensure you and your colleagues maintain high levels of personal hand and respiratory hygiene, and high levels of cleanliness.

Ensure shared surfaces – such as desks, tables, countertops, phones, door handles and bathrooms – are cleaned regularly with alcohol-based wipes or anti-bacterial spray.

Please take the time to read the email updates being sent to you by CPL leaders. These updates are important and contain information to help you best respond during this unprecedented time.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

In response to recent positive COVID-19 cases, a range of measures have been put in place as of 11 January 2021.

Masks for Greater Brisbane

You must carry a face mask with you at all times when you leave home, unless you have a lawful reason not to. You must wear a mask in indoor spaces, except in your home. For example:

  • shopping centres, supermarkets, retail outlets and indoor markets
  • hospitals and aged care facilities
  • indoor workplaces (where safe to wear a mask and you can't physically distance)

CPL will provide the PPE for all shifts and services, so please contact your on-call supervisor to arrange pick up. A reminder to please only use the PPE provided to you by CPL.   

Please take the time to watch this video from the Australian Government about how and when to use PPE as a disability support worker.   

CPL has also created the following videos for the safe wearing of PPE: 

If a client has questions or requests that you wear PPE or a mask while at work, please contact your supervisor for further advice. 

For more information on masks including the latest requirements across greater Brisbane visit the Staff Portal.

PPE will be distributed to CPL sites based directly. Your area manager will coordinate the ordering for your site. You will also be provided with information and guidelines on how to effectively use and dispose of PPE.