Posted on 7 January 2021
By Tegan Carrison, Executive Director, AAPi
We hope you have had a lovely holiday season and that you have enjoyed some downtime.
Revised Covid-19 restrictions issued by the Victorian Government under the ‘CovidSafe Summer’ plan that came into effect at 11:59pm on Sunday 6 December 2020. These restrictions were updated at 5:00pm on Thursday 31st December 2020.
The CovidSafe Summer restrictions apply to all businesses operating on-site operations (including registered home-based businesses).
A COVID Safe Plan is still required for all business and should be updated regularly with the current health advice.
The Industry Restart Guidelines: Allied Health and other primary health services document details the obligations and current restrictions for businesses in our industry.
Clinic density quotient: a maximum occupancy of one person per 2 square meters applies.
Record keeping: businesses must keep records for all visitors and workers who attend the workplace for more than 15 minutes. Business may choose to use the Workplace Attendance Template or use the Victorian Government’s free QR Code Service to maintain their records. For practices already capturing attendance data (e.g. practice management software), this will capture the recording of client and practitioner records. Businesses are also required to keep records for other visitors to the workplace that stay longer that 15 minutes (e.g. tradespeople or support workers and family members) and it is strongly recommended that this record be kept electronically (e.g. Workplace Attendance Template, on an Excel spreadsheet or via the QR Code Service).
Physical distancing: continue to follow physical distancing measures of 1.5 metres within the workplace.
Face masks: there has been no change to the Tier 1 PPE requirements for Allied Health practitioners. If you work in a private setting, please refer to the document: PPE for Allied Health in Private Practice Settings Update 16 December 2020. Allied health practitioners must continue to wear a disposable surgical mask when providing services. Masks must be worn for no longer that 4 hours duration before being replaced with a new mask. The only lawful exception for health care professionals not wearing a mask is for those professions where clear enunciation or visibility of their mouth is required, such as speech pathology and audiology. Administrative staff must also wear a surgical mask in public-facing areas.
Clients are required to wear a face mask when receiving services unless they have a lawful reason not to wear one (a lawful excuse includes a person who is affected by a relevant medical condition, a disability or a mental health condition and children under the age of 12 years). Face masks must be carried at all times.
Hygiene: continue to maintain good hygiene practices.
Signage: must be displayed on publicly accessible spaces to indicate the maximum capacity of occupants (e.g. waiting rooms)
Cleaning: regular cleaning of shared and public spaces
Telehealth: telehealth services should remain preferred option (where appropriate) for service delivery.
Ventilation: it is recommended to improve ventilation by opening windows and using air conditioners and fans where possible.
Limit people: limit or decrease the number of visitors or workers attending multiple worksites where possible, avoid overlap of shifts and try to keep same pools of workers rostered on together
Enclosed spaces: interaction in enclosed spaces should be avoided).
Worker Health Declaration: it is recommended that workers complete a pre-shift Staff Corona Virus Health Questionnaire at the start of each shift (this template can be found on the last page of the Industry Restart Guidelines: Allied Health and other primary health services document).
We hope this summary has been helpful. We strongly encourage you to familiarise yourself with the Industry Restart Guidelines: Allied Health and other primary health services.