Last updated 4.30pm 16-03-20
Note that items that are subject to change are highlighted in yellow, and should be confirmed on the Department of Health website at least daily https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov
Dentist Melbourne CBD is closely monitoring the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The health, safety, and well-being of our staff, patients and community is our top priority. At this time the number of cases in Australia is relatively small in number but contingency planning is well underway. We will continue to update everyone regularly to keep you informed.
Common COVID-19 symptoms
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new virus that can cause an infection in people, including a severe respiratory illness. Many people who contract COVID–19 will suffer only mild symptoms. However early indications are that the elderly and people with pre-existing medical conditions are more at risk of experiencing severe symptoms. The most common symptoms reported include:
- Breathing difficulties such as breathlessness
- Sore throat
- Fatigue or tiredness.
Confirmed COVID-19 case
A person who tests positive to a validated SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid test or has the virus identified by electron microscopy or viral culture.
- If the patient satisfies both clinical and epidemiological criteria, they are classified as a suspected case:
Acute respiratory infection (for example, shortness of breath or cough) with or without fever
International travel in the 14 days before the onset of illness
Close or casual contact in the 14 days before illness onset with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
- If the patient has severe community-acquired pneumonia (critically ill) and no other cause is identified, with or without recent international travel, they are classified as a suspect case.
- If the patient has moderate or severe community-acquired pneumonia (hospitalised) and is a healthcare worker, with or without international travel, they are classified as a suspect case.
Contact Definitions and Isolation Requirements
Staff may come in contact with someone who is suspected of having COVID-19 and may or may not subsequently be confirmed as positive.
A “close contact” is defined as someone who:
- spent more than 15 minutes face-to-face with a person who has tested positive for coronavirus in the period extending from 24 hours before the onset of symptoms in that case, or
- shared a closed space with a confirmed case for more than two hours in the period extending from 24 hours before the onset of symptoms.
Close contacts will be advised self-quarantine including restriction on travel until 14 days from the last contact with confirmed case.
A “casual contact” is any person having less than 15 minutes face-to-face contact with a symptomatic confirmed case in any setting, or sharing a closed space with a symptomatic person for less than two hours.
- Casual contacts can attend public settings but should self-monitor for illness for 14 days after the last unprotected contact with the infectious case. They should isolate at home if they develop symptoms and call the dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398.
- Casual contacts do not need to restrict their movement. However, they should isolate themselves and contact the department if they develop symptoms in the 14 daysafter last contact with the infectious case.
Healthcare workers and other contacts who use full PPE while caring for a symptomatic confirmed COVID-19 case are not considered to be close contacts, but they should be alert to symptoms.
Effective now through to at least April 30:
- All work-related domestic or international air travel must be approved by Dr. Leila Zamani.
- All personal internationaltravel is strongly discouraged.
- Staff with existing travel arrangements should discuss these with Dr. Leila Zamani at the earliest possible time.
- The Federal Government will now require all people returning from overseas to self-isolate for 14 days.
- We strongly urge caution and judgment for your personal domestic travel.
- Seek advice on travel at https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/news-and-updates/coronavirus-covid-19
- Advice on self-isolation for returned travellers is available here: https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/how-to-protect-yourself-and-others-from-coronavirus-covid-19/isolation-for-coronavirus-covid-19
Exclusion from work
- If you develop any symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue or shortness of breath), you MUST advise Dr. Leila Zamani and not attend work until you receive further advice.
- Anyone returning from overseastravel during this period must contact Dr. Leila Zamani prior to returning to work. The Federal Government will now require all people returning from overseas to self-isolate for 14 days.
- Any healthcare worker who has compatible illness (COVID-19 symptoms), whether having travelled internationally or not, must not attend work until they have been assessed by a medical practitioner as being clear. This will involve having a medical assessment and a swab test for COVID-19, which must be negative. It is recommended that medical practitioners do not test or treat themselves and seek medical care from another medical practitioner.
- If a member of staff has a confirmed case of COVID-19 they must not return to work until they have been assessed by a medical practitioner as fully recovered and have returned a negative COVID-19 test.
- Anyone who works in healthcare or residential care and has been to a higher risk country (mainland China, Iran, South Korea or Italy)should not attend work for 14 days since leaving that country.
- Information on self-isolation can be found here – https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/how-to-protect-yourself-and-others-from-coronavirus-covid-19/isolation-for-coronavirus-covid-19
Work from Home (if applicable)
Dentist Melbourne cbd has plans in place for staff members to work from home if required.
- Wash hands often with soap and running water, for at least 20 seconds. Dry with paper towel or hand dryer.
- Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow.
- Isolate yourself at home if you feel sick. If you take medication ensure you have adequate supplies.
- Phone your GP first if you need medical attention. They will tell you what to do.
- Continue healthy habits: exercise, drink water, get plenty of sleep.
- Don’t wear a face mask if you are well.
- Buy an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with over 60 per cent alcohol.
- Get the flu shot (available April).
- Shaking hands is optional!
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
Effective Monday 16 March, the Australian Government has advised that non-essential gatherings of more than 500 people should be cancelled. At present this does not include schools, universities, public transport or airports. Therefore, larger meetings and gatherings such as conferences and sporting events are likely to be cancelled.
- Staff should not attend any face-to-face work-related external events
- Staff are also strongly encouraged not to attend non-essential large gatherings of people for personal reasons
- Anyone, who has attended a face-to-face gathering of more than 500 peoplemust contact Dr. Leila Zamani and not attend work until you receive further advice.