Delivering support services during COVID-19

Submitted by Georgia oa on 13 Apr 2022
13 Apr 2022

Amidst the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, Canteen is reinstating face to face services alongside online support in order to ensure that young people impacted by cancer get the vital support they need. 

People with compromised immune systems, including cancer patients, face a greater risk of contracting COVID-19 as well as a greater risk of a more severe infection. In order to enhance the safety and wellbeing of young people and their families, we are therefore implementing the following policies and procedures for face-to-face services.

Online support will continue to be available for all young people and parents impacted by cancer, regardless of their vaccination status.


1.    Vaccination


  • All Canteen staff members delivering face-to-face support are required to be double vaccinated and to receive a booster vaccination if eligible. 
  • All young people and/or parents attending face-to-face events or services are required to be double vaccinated. 
  • Any external volunteers / agencies / contractors involved with face-to-face support must be double vaccinated

Online support will continue to be available for all young people and parents impacted by cancer, regardless of their vaccination status. 

Cancer Australia has compiled answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about COVID-19 vaccines for people affected by cancer based on information and evidence currently available in Australia and internationally.

2.    Medical exemptions

People with a medical exemption can have the same (or even higher) risk of acquiring or transmitting COVID-19 as unvaccinated people. As a result, Canteen’s policy is that:

  • Staff with a medical exemption cannot deliver face to face support
  • Young people and parents with a valid medical exemption can access online support from Canteen, but cannot attend face to face services.


3.    Requirements for face-to-face support


  • Proof of vaccination will be required either upon arrival or in advance for overnight or longer programs
  • Support people – such as a parent, carer or sibling – transporting young people to a Canteen office or event will also need to provide evidence of vaccination
  • Temperature checks will be carried out on arrival. Anyone registering a temperature above 37.5°C will not be permitted to take part
  • Vaccinated young people who are currently in treatment are required to provide Canteen with a medical clearance certificate from their treating doctor.
  • Anyone attending a Canteen office or event will be required to sign in using a state specific QR code and a Canteen QR code to assist with contact tracing in the event of a COVID-19 case.
  • Canteen will require mask-wearing in line with state-based public health orders. 
  • Anyone presenting with COVID-19 symptoms must stay at home.


4.    Responding to a case of COVID-19

In the event that someone tests positive for COVID-19 having attended a Canteen office or community event, Canteen will:

  • contact the local public health unit and follow their advice 
  • arrange a deep clean of the Canteen office, if required. 
  • ensure the person does not return to a Canteen office or community event until they meet the criteria for release from isolation, and as instructed by the public health unit
  • assist the local public health unit in contact tracing, if required.


We will continuously review our approach as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves.