Childhood Cancer Support Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response
Dated 31 March 2020
As an organisation that relies on regular face-to-face contact with paediatric oncology families, managing the risk of coronavirus is critically important. The health, safety and well-being of our families, volunteers and staff is our highest priority.
Queensland Health and the Australian Department of Health are working tirelessly to manage and contain the impact of this virus for Australians and Queenslanders alike. Childhood Cancer Support will continue to monitor the situation as outlined by Queensland Health and the Australian Department of Health recommendations.
For up to date information on COVID-19 and your child, please refer to the Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service advice https://www.childrens.health.qld.gov.au/covid-19/
Below are links to the latest information for oncology families from the Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service:
Reinforced Cleaning and Hygiene
- Due to the nature of the essential services we provide to paediatric oncology families, our cleaning practices have always been of the utmost importance. We are ensuring that cleaning is paid extra attention to, with extra cleaning and sanitisation of important areas such as door handles, surfaces, shared community areas including the community room kitchen and Woolloongabba house kitchen
- Staff are ensuring hygiene practices in offices and shared areas by regularly wiping surfaces around desk spaces and office areas to minimise cross-infection
- Signage has been installed around our properties to encourage healthy hygiene practices
- As families move out professional cleaning is to be undertaken, as per our standard procedure with extra sanitisation to be provided.
In the event of a COVID-19 case at our accommodation
It is important to note that Childhood Cancer Support does not have any confirmed cases of COVID-19 on any of our facilities.
If a case is identified in our accommodation facilities, Childhood Cancer Support and Queensland Health will work closely together in managing our response and our actions will be taken with the health of our in-house families and the health of the community at the centre of our decision making.
If there is a confirmed case at our accommodation facilities, it is likely that Childhood Cancer Support will need to close for the required period to allow Queensland Health to assess the situation and to perform contact tracing as required to identify people who may have come in contact with the COVID-19 case. Closure will mean that no newly diagnosed families will be able to move into our accommodation facilities and all current in-house families will be quarantined to their respective Childhood Cancer Support unit until further instruction from Queensland Health. Quarantining may mean being tested for COVID-19. Your child’s oncologist should also be notified if a COVID-19 case is confirmed within our accommodation facilities.
Our organisation will work with Queensland Health to conduct any specialised cleaning of our facilities as required to ensure our accommodation facilities are safe for our families and staff and to ensure clearance is given. A closure is likely to include any on-site services such as transport runs.
Childhood Cancer Support already provide our in-house families with wall mounted hand sanitisers which we encourage your family to use at all times to maintain health hygiene.
If you or any member of your family staying at our accommodation develops flu-like symptoms, please:
- stay at home in your Childhood Cancer Support unit and seek medical advice from your treating medical practitioner at Queensland Children’s Hospital; or contact 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) immediately;
- avoid close contact with others such as touching, kissing or hugging, or any mass gatherings, especially those involving other children; and
- notify our Family Social Worker.
Due to the community nature of our accommodation facilities, we ask that no new visitors enter our current family units or our grounds – only current immediate family members already onsite are permitted on our grounds.
The Queensland Children’s Hospital have a number of restrictions regarding visitor numbers asking that visitors (including parents and carers) are limited to two per inpatient within a 24-hour period.
Please refer to this webpage for further advice on visitor restrictions https://www.childrens.health.qld.gov.au/covid-19/
Family Social Worker Service
- Our Family Social Worker Monique will continue her support to families at this time with telephone and online support and minimised face-to-face support to adhere to social distancing requirements.
- Our transport services to and from hospital, our accommodation and the airport will continue to run as this is an essential and trusted service of our families. This service is available to paediatric oncology families staying at Childhood Cancer Support only.
- Detailed sanitisation is being carried out on all our vehicles after each transport run
- As Childhood Cancer Support operates with a small staff of six people we are still fully operational, with some staff making use of flexible working arrangements to minimise contact with others.
- We are minimising the chance of infection among staff and families by not allowing staff to visit other accommodation sites or offices and stay at their own location.
- We are working towards a plan of working from home should this be required of us in the future. In the event of this, essential staff will either be present as per usual or come in intermittently to continue services as required (e.g. checking in diagnosed families in our long-term accommodation or changing of linen in short term accommodation). Our Transport and Maintenance Officer will continue to be onsite for transportation and onsite maintenance matters.
- All monthly BBQs and Coffee Cake and Chat events have been cancelled until further notice to ensure social distancing measures are being adhered to.
- Our Annual Family Camp ‘Camp Crystal’ has been cancelled for 2020. You can read a letter regarding the cancellation from our President here https://www.ccs.org.au/wp-content/uploads/Message-to-Camp-Crystal-attendees-re-COVID-19.pdf
Impact on Fundraising Events
Our organisation relies heavily on support from the community through fundraising and donations to continue the services we provide to families. Our scheduled fundraising events including; Bosses Behind Bars and Community Fundraisers hosted by wonderful supporters, such as Ride For Love and Mackay Charity Ride have been cancelled due to the public nature of these events.
The cancelling of these events will have a significant impact on our ability to raise much-needed funds this year and we encourage you, if you have the means, to make a donation. A once-off donation would be greatly appreciated. To see our families through this tumultuous season the best way to support our services is to sign up as a regular giver (Heartfelt Supporter) and donate monthly.
Even a $10 a month donation can make a big difference to our organisation and see us through this shortfall.
Make a once-off donation here: https://www.ccs.org.au/get-involved/make-a-donation/
Sign up to be a regular giver here: https://www.ccs.org.au/become-regular-donor/heartfelt-supporter/
Make a once-off donation
Become a regular giver
We thank you for your continued support and please know that your contribution either big or small is appreciated and felt by the families going through childhood cancer treatment, even more so at this time.
- For the health and safety of our highly-valued volunteers, as well as, staff and our families we have ceased onsite volunteering until further notice.
- Current status of coronavirus in Australia, here.
- The COVID-19 Isolation Guide, here.
- Information about coronavirus and how to protect yourself, here.
- Coronavirus resources, here.
- Coronavirus Health Information Line: 1800 020 080
- Healthdirect hotline: 1800 022 222
- Lifeline Australia crisis support hotline: 13 11 14