Mission Australia’s Common Ground facility in Camperdown, Sydney has been placed into lockdown from 8am on Thursday 2 September for 14 days until Wednesday 15 September after four tenants tested positive to COVID-19.

Mission Australia supports NSW Health’s decision to lockdown the 104-unit facility, after the charity was notified on Sunday 29 August that two tenants had tested positive to COVID-19. A further two tenants tested positive on Wednesday 1 September.

Lockdown activates additional powers enabling NSW Health to take the lead on stronger outbreak management measures to reduce further risks to tenants, staff, the wider community and the multi-agency teams (including Department of Communities and Justice) who support Mission Australia’s tenants at Common Ground.

Mission Australia’s CEO James Toomey said: “Mission Australia remains committed to continuing to provide remote tenant support, providing essentials to tenants and facility management under a lockdown arrangement.

“People who have been homeless for a long period of time, like many residents at Common Ground, are more likely to be facing complex physical and mental health concerns. This places them at greater risk of their health being compromised if they are infected with the Delta strain of COVID-19. It also makes the process of managing COVID Safe practices all the more challenging.

Mission Australia is working alongside NSW Health, the Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) and other tenancy support teams to provide support to tenants and staff and prevent further spread of the COVID-19 Delta strain. Mission Australia has also offered contactless counselling, chaplaincy and other wellbeing support to tenants and staff.

"We’re also very grateful for the incredible local community support for Common Ground tenants while they’re in lockdown."

A deep clean of Common Ground has been completed and rigorous daily cleaning continues. Door-to-door COVID-19 testing at Common Ground has continued to be provided by NSW Health.

Mission Australia has robust COVID-19 action plans in place nationally across all housing and services, including office spaces and unit complexes. These include rigorous infection control, hygiene, PPE and physical distancing measures. These plans ensure the safe continuity of accommodation for tenants and the safety of Mission Australia staff.

Mission Australia worked with NSW Health to host two in-house pop up vaccination clinics at Common Ground on 14 July and 4 August. More than a third of tenants and the majority of staff accessed vaccinations at these clinics.

“We know that protecting people who are most vulnerable by providing in-house access to COVID-19 vaccinations will help ensure the wellbeing of tenants, as well as support the health of the broader local community. We’ve consistently encouraged all eligible staff to receive the COVID-19 vaccination.

“As a community housing provider and community services provider working with people who are vulnerable, the ongoing need to ensure safety and wellbeing for everyone is at the front of our thinking. Our focus continues to be on doing everything we can to support the people and communities we serve and the safety and wellbeing of our staff,” Mr Toomey added.

About Common Ground

The socially integrated six storey residential building at Common Ground Sydney includes 104 units, 24/7 concierge service and proactive tenancy and support services.

Common Ground operates an integrated Housing First model that gives people who have experienced long-term homelessness a safe and secure place to call home, while providing support services and connections to other supports so they can achieve health, stability and maximise their ability to live independently.

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