AHN COVID-19 Safety Policy

AHN COVID-19 Safety Policy

Note: Due to the nature of this disease and the everchanging status in Australia, this policy may be updated at any time.  Please check back regularly for new information.

What Is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a virus that emerged in late 2019.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring hospitalisation. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems, are more likely to develop serious illness.

Symptoms

The following symptoms are based on advice from healthdirect.

Mild symptoms:

  • Congested or runny nose, sneezing, or a scratchy or sore throat
  • cough with no difficulty breathing
  • new aches and pains, or lethargy or weakness without shortness of breath
  • mild headache
  • mild fever that responds to treatment
  • loss of smell or taste
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • occasional vomiting or diarrhoea
  • not drinking as much fluid (such as water) as usual in the last 24 hours

Moderate symptoms:

  • shortness of breath while walking around
  • persistent fever above 38oC that’s not responding to treatment
  • persistent worsening cough that regularly produces mucus
  • struggling to get out of bed and feeling dizzy or weak
  • vomiting or diarrhoea (more than 4 times in the last 24 hours, of either)

Severe Symptoms:

  • breathlessness at rest and/or you’re unable to speak in sentences
  • being unconscious, fainting or drowsy
  • skin turning blue or pale
  • cold and clammy, or pale and mottled, skin
  • pain or pressure in the chest lasting more than 10 minutes
  • confusion
  • passing no urine or a lot less urine than usual
  • coughing up blood

How it spreads

The virus can spread through:

  • close contact with an infectious person
  • contact with droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze
  • touching objects or surfaces that have droplets from an infected person, and then touching your mouth or face.

Protecting the community through vaccination

Several safe and effective vaccines have been developed to prevent people from getting seriously ill from COVID-19.

Vaccination is an important step for people to protect themselves and the community against the virus.

All hosts (including residents aged 12 years and over who are eligible to receive the vaccine) and guests have been asked to enter their COVID-19 vaccination status on their AHN profile so we can appropriately match participants for upcoming placements. All homestay participants can indicate if they require their host/guest to be vaccinated to assist with this process.

International Students arriving In Australia

Most COVID-19 travel restrictions have lifted to enter and leave Australia. However, you will still need to check that you meet the requirements of your airline and any countries you transit through. You should also monitor closely for symptoms of COVID-19.

Please refer to the resources below for more information:

What Do I Need To Do To Stay Safe?

Check local advice where you live, study and work. Do it all!

There are ways that we can all help stop the spread of viruses:

  1. Wash your hands often, or use hand sanitiser containing 60-80% alcohol when soap and water is not available.
  2. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. If you do not have a tissue, cough, or sneeze into your bent elbow.
  3. Try not to touch your face.
  4. Do not shake hands.
  5. Stay home if you’re unwell.
  6. Social distance. This means 2 big steps away.

Household cleaning is important.

  • Ensure appropriate cleaning and disinfecting of the guest’s room and communal areas is carried out prior to the commencement of each placement (Safe Work Australia has some handy tips around cleaning during the COVID-19 pandemic)
  • Frequently clean and disinfect surfaces that are used often such as benchtops, desks and doorknobs
  • Frequently clean and disinfect objects that are used often such as dishes, cutlery, remote controls, mobile phones, keys, wallets and work passes
  • Increase the amount of fresh air by opening windows or changing air conditioning filters
  • Regular cleaning of the entire home is important to reduce the spread of germs

You can call the National Coronavirus Helpline at any time for advice and support on 1800 020 080.

What Happens of a Guest or Host is Unwell Prior to a Placement Commencing?

If a guest is unwell and/or has been exposed to COVID-19, they will be required to postpone their arrival for the placement. They will need to follow local health recommendations (see below) and provide a negative COVID test prior to arriving in the home.

If a host is unwell and/or has been exposed to COVID-19 prior to a guest arriving at their home, the placement will need to be cancelled and the guest placed with an alternative host to avoid putting the guest at risk of contracting the virus.

When You or Someone in Your Home is Sick During a Placement

As we move towards living COVID Safe, it is important that anyone who is unwell stays at home where practical. 

If any residents or guests have COVID-19 symptoms seek medical advice and test for COVID-19, even if symptoms are mild.

If a member of the host family or a guest in an AHN placement tests positive to COVID-19 – or is a close contact of someone with COVID-19 – that person must follow local health recommendations. Please ensure you contact AHN as soon as possible to advise of your situation if you are in an active placement. 

COVID-19 health information in your state / territory:

Australian Capital Territory
New South Wales
Northern Territory
Queensland
South Australia
Tasmania
Victoria
Western Australia

The Australian Department of Health and Aged Care also provides useful advice.

Important Notice

All participants must commit to COVID-safe practices to help safeguard the health and wellbeing of everyone in the homestay.

AHN will provide the necessary facility for host families and guests to register their COVID-19 vaccination status on their AHN profile, which will be referred to during the placement process.

As the transmission of COVID-19 may occur in a variety of ways and circumstances, and despite the best efforts and precautions taken, AHN cannot be held responsible if a guest or member of a host family is exposed to COVID-19 during a placement.

Reviewed: January 2023