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Managing Covid-19 in our Workplace

Navigating the Covid-19 pandemic has been a challenging time for all businesses and all individuals. It is essential that as a business we do everything, as far as is reasonably practicable, to ensure that our workforce, our clients and our visitors are protected from the risk of Covid-19 infection in the workplace.

This outlines all the considerations we have made to eliminate or minimize exposure to the Covid-19 virus in the workplace, in order to meet our obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (SA).  We are also bound by additional workplace legislation which we have taken into consideration when managing and preventing the risk of Covid-19 infection in our workplace.

In the event that any of our staff, patients or visitors have a confirmed case of COVID-19 we will be following the SA Health guidelines. This will likely involve closing the practice temporarily whilst we follow further instructions. We will be sure to communicate to you in the event that this occurs.

 

STAFF STRATEGIES FOR PREVENTING AND MINIMISING THE RISK OF INFECTION

Below are the control measures that we have in place to eliminate or minimize exposure to the Covid-19 virus in the workplace. These measures are followed by all staff;

  • Regular cleaning regime for all shared equipment and spaces;
  • Where appropriate, holding virtual appointments and meetings;
  • Non-attendance to work when unwell for any reason;
  • Maintaining social distancing;
  • Signing in via QR code or manual sign in;
  • Practicing good personal hygiene;
  • Following the limits for public gatherings;
  • Keeping reception door open at all times when weather permits;
  • Encouraging the use of hand sanitizers;
  • Masks are to be worn, except if an exemption has been given;
  • Rapid Antigen Tests are used before a staff member returns to work after being unwell, and if staff has been exposed to a known COVID hot spot/person.

 

IMPORTANT WAITING ROOM INFORMATION:

MASKS IN THE PRACTICE

It’s important that all patients wear a mask inside the clinic. We appreciate some people may have an exemption, so please let the reception team know on arrival.  Masks will be provided if you have forgotten to bring one with you.

HYGEINE

Hand sanitizer is provided in the reception area and also in the individual consulting rooms.  The bathroom includes a hand washing facility that patients are also welcome to use.

SOCIAL DISTANCING

The waiting room chairs abide by the 1.5m social distancing rules, and there is also outdoor seating for those people that prefer to wait outside where a mask is not required.

The front door will remain open (weather permitting) to assist with air circulation in the reception area, and also throughout the rest of the consulting rooms in the building.

 

WE WELCOME EVERYONE

Our business is working to keep people safe whilst also meeting our obligations under the laws of privacy and anti-discrimination, and as such we have a strict policy in regards to discussing vaccination status with patients, staff and visitors.

As per the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, the definition of a disability includes “the presence in the body of organisms capable of causing disease or illness”[1].  Therefore, we do not discriminate between people that have been vaccinated and those that have chosen not to be.  We have always been an inclusive practice that welcomes everyone.  This will not change.

As per the The Privacy Act 1988,  ‘Sensitive information’ includes health information. The privacy protections apply to a person’s COVID-19 vaccination status, as this is considered ‘sensitive information’.

Importantly, we do not breach the doctor/patient relationship or infringe on your right to medical privacy in disclosing your medical status.  We may ask your vaccination status only in the context of your presenting health concern, as this may be a contributing factor for us to consider in order to give you the best level of care during an appointment.

[1] https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2018C00125