Procedure for COVID-19 positive test in southwest workplaces
WITH Miles and Chinchilla confirming positive cases of coronavirus this week, it is important to know the procedure for workplaces if an employee is diagnosed with COVID-19.
The Chief Health Officer for Queensland, Dr Jeanette Young has delivered a clear message to help workplaces take action and minimise the impact if there is a confirmed case.
The most important thing is that if workers feel unwell for any reason what so ever, they shouldn't be going to work.
All workplaces need to have a process in place that workers understand that if they are not unwell, they don't come to work. It's that simple.
Employers can ring 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) at any time if you need advice.
If there is any chance that there might have been transmission in the workplace, the local public health unit will call the workplace contact person.
What happens if someone tests positive for coronavirus:
1. If one of your workers is a confirmed case, these are the steps that will happen.
2. South West Hospital and Health Service will speak to the worker, and the workplace to determine who has been in contact with the person.
3. 'Contact' is defined as 15 minutes of close contact or two hours working in the same room with the confirmed case. Any of your workers that fit these categories for they will be required to go into quarantine for two weeks.
4. Contact tracing will go back 24 hours before their first symptom.
5. Any decisions around business closures and cleaning will be made in conjunction with the workplace. If this happens, you will receive help to manage it.
What you can do to minimise risk and impact on your business
• Eliminate close contact among people as much as possible.
• Avoid having high numbers of workers in the same room for more than two hours, in particular workers who have a similar skill set.
• Review the skills and expertise of your workers and do what you can to reduce the interaction between workers with similar skill sets.
In an Australian first, the Palaszczuk Government will establish a dedicated team to boost tracking in the government's fight against coronavirus.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the enforcement team would form an important part of the Queensland Health's efforts to tackle the pandemic.
"My government is throwing everything we have got at COVID-19," she said.
"Law enforcement officials will now be able to assist the Public Health Units with contact tracing people who have come into contact with a known coronavirus case.
"They will also lead the enforcement of people who have been ordered to quarantine, making sure they stay inside their homes, to protect others and slow the spread of coronavirus.
"The enforcement team will also assist with ensuring the self-isolation of people diagnosed with coronavirus.
"The vast majority are doing the right thing and following the rules, but we need to ensure there's 100 per cent compliance."
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D'Ath said the new unit would form an important part of Queensland Health's coronavirus contact tracing and monitoring efforts.
"This new enforcement unit has one purpose, and that's to protect public health - it will have strong powers and won't hesitate to use them," Ms D'Ath said.
Health Minister Steven Miles said Queensland's Public Health Units, under the leadership of the Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young, have done an outstanding job in contact tracing and keeping in touch with those who have been diagnosed with coronavirus but are being treated at home.
"We have quadrupled the number of staff members working for our Public Health Units already and this announcement will significantly increase resources," Mr Miles said.
"Self-isolation and quarantine means you can't go out for a walk, you can't pop down to the shops or get a takeaway coffee from your local cafe.
"While most people are following the rules, there are some people putting the public at risk.
"This new enforcement team will help ensure all Queenslanders are doing the right thing.
"We all need to work together to tackle this virus."
Visit the Australian Government Health Department website for further advice: https://www.health.gov.au/