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Key messages

Older Victorians, who may also have co-existing illnesses, are at increased risk of serious complications if they contract COVID-19.

Research into COVID-19 highlights different symptoms may be present in older people. Instead of fever and sore throat, atypical signs such as seeming unwell, being upset or sleeping more may indicate illness and require further investigation.

Broader and regular screening of older people living in aged care is encouraged to ensure early identification and response to symptoms of deterioration.

On this page

    Using the COVID-19 screening tool

    Use this screening tool to identify typical and atypical signs of COVID-19 in the residents you care for.  We encourage you to screen each resident every day.

    Download the tool

    Screening takes less than five minutes to complete for each resident.

    The screening tool is based on evidence and includes the public health screening criteria for COVID-19. It will help you identify subtle changes in residents and escalate any concerns.

    Implementation toolkit

    This provides a step-by-step guide to planning, implementing and evaluating the use of the screening tool in residential aged care services. It contains:

    • background on the development of the screening tool and the benefits of using it
    • how to implement the screening tool, including shared experiences from pilot services
    • how to evaluate the use of the screening tool using measurement.

    Download the toolkit

    Download our flyer to help communicate the change to staff


    Data collection tool

    We've suggested some easy ‘counts’ you can collect to understand your progress when implementing the screening tool. 

    Download the spreadsheet 

    VICNISS has developed a portal for services to easily report screening results.


    The screening tool was piloted at 16 public and one private residential aged care facilities with more than 1000 residents screened.

    Please note: This tool was developed and published in 2020, and has not been subject to revision since that date. Users are encouraged to consider contemporary evidence and literature in deciding on any approach to screening for COVID-19.   

    Get in touch

    Centre of Clinical Excellence - Older People
    Safer Care Victoria

    Page last updated: 11 Oct 2022

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