Frequently Asked Questions

We are closely monitoring Australian Government sources and the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the most up to date information and advice.

The following list of the Frequently Asked Questions has been complied to help you navigate these uncertain times. We are keeping this page up to date with relevant information and references to government websites.

General questions:

How can I prevent the spread of COVID-19?

Practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene is the best defence against most viruses. You should:
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, before and after eating, and after going to the bathroom.
  • Cover your cough and sneeze with your elbow or a tissue. Dispose of tissues and wash your hands with soap and water or use alcohol -based hand sanitiser.
  • If unwell, seek medical advice and avoid contact with others (stay more than 1.5 meters from people).

What is PPE?

PPE is stands for personal protective equipment. The appropriate personal protective equipment is prescribed based on a risk assessment of your work tasks.

NON HEALTHCARE WORKERS - do not need to wear a mask as there is less chance of coming into close contact with suspect or confirmed cases.

HEALTHCARE WORKERS - when caring for patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, health care workers are required to wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) which may include masks, gloves, eye shields and/or gowns, to protect themselves from infectious illnesses and help stop the spread of disease. PPE is in short supply, so risk assessments are conducted to ensure it's use is conserved for high risk encounters. Government Health Guidelines are consulted.

ALL WORKERS are required to practice social distancing and good hygiene practises.

If you feel unwell, stay at home, let your supervisor know and seek further medical advice.

The PPE required will depend on the type of interaction and the health status of the care recipient. It is important that our health workforce remains strong and healthy during this time.


Should I wear a face mask?

You do not need to wear a mask if you are healthy. For more information on the use of surgical masks, visit this page on the Department of Health website.


How do I know if I need to self-quarantine?

There are four scenarios in which you may need to self-quarantine:
  1. Related to Travel - Anyone entering or returning to Australia must observe the mandatory 14 day quarantine requirement at designated facilities as required by the Department of Home Affairs.
  2. If you have recently returned from interstate and meet current state border restrictions you must observe the mandatory self-quarantine requirement in your home for 14 days other than for seeking medical care (emergency and health workers and essential workers ma be considered exempt).
  3. If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19. The medical team will advise you in relation to your quarantine and medical requirements and support.
  4. If you have been assessed as a close contact of a confirmed person with COVID-19, you will be contacted by the Public Health Unit and they will assess and determine if you are required to self-quarantine. This is assessed on a case by case basis.

Where is my closest fever clinic (COVID-19 testing clinic)?

Each state Department of Health has dedicated COVID-19 testing resources. You can either access these through calling the National Coronavirus Help Line on 1800 020 080 or by their respective websites.



Workforce questions:


Do I get paid sick pay if I contract COVID-19?

If you are working as a casual employee and you contract COVID -19 or acquire any other illness, you will not be paid for your sick period. As a casual employee you are paid a 25% loading to compensate for (amongst other things) sick leave, carers leave, annual leave, etc.
If you are unable to work due to illness you may be entitled to receive the JobSeeker Payment. Go to for more information.
If you are working as a permanent or part-time employee, you will be able to access your sick leave entitlement. Please speak with your manager.  


How will ExtraStaff support me if I contract COVID-19 whilst working?

If you test positive for COVID-19, the Public Health Unit will review and assess your close contacts and provide advice in relation to your medical care and isolation requirements. You are required to advise the branch office if you test positive for COVID-19 and report any isolation requirements that you have.
You are able to access our Employee Assistance Program (EAP), please contact your branch office for details.
A medical clearance will be required for you to return to work.


What do I do if I don’t feel safe or protected where I am working for reasons such as limited or inaccessible Personal Protective Equipment?

The first action is to escalate your concerns with site management. If you are not satisfied with that response contact you branch manager to discuss your concerns. It is also useful to read the relevant Health Department fact sheets.


I’ve been overseas. I’ve returned and self-quarantined for 14 days with no flu like symptoms, do I need a medical clearance to return to work?

Yes, you require a medical clearance to return to work. It gives all parties piece of mind.

My housemate has been told to self-isolate for 14 days, what do I do?

If a household member is a suspected case, you may need to be isolated. This will be determined by the Public Health Unit on a case-by case basis. Your public health unit will contact you if you need to isolate. If you are required to self-isolate you will also need to inform the office on 1300 662 511.

If you are unclear, best to call the National Coronavirus Help Line on 1800 020 080.

I have flu like symptoms but have been in self-quarantine for 14 days, what do I do?

If you have not already sought medical advice, please do. You will need to provide a medical clearance before you recommence work.

If I have self-quarantined for 14 days, and am not displaying symptoms, do I need medical clearance before returning to work?

Yes, you require a medical clearance to return to work. It gives all parties piece of mind.

What do I do if I feel like I am in a vulnerable situation, whereby someone I work with is displaying symptoms but refusing to go home or seek medical advice?

The first thing you should do is to have a respectful chat with your work colleague to express your concerns.

If you remain concerned following your conversation, discuss these concerns with the site manager. If not resolved speak to your branch manager.

The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other colds and flus and include:
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty breathing

While COVID-19 is a concern, it is important to remember that most people displaying these symptoms are could be suffering with a cold or other respiratory illness – not necessarily COVID-19.

Always maintain good hygiene and hand washing practice.


If the doctors believe I meet the criteria of COVID-19 symptoms, is a test compulsory?

If the medical officer assesses the person to have symptoms and characteristics that aligned to COVID-19, they will be tested. Without patient consent, a doctor cannot generally perform testing. However, if a doctor is concerned about a patient who has refused testing, they will contact the public health unit for advice. There are powers under state and territory-based legislation to compel testing in certain circumstances and the Public Health Unit has further powers to compel.


If my workplace shuts down as a result of COVID-19, do I still get paid?

Where shifts to casual employees are reduced on account of business downturn, the employees will not be entitled to payment during this period.
For permanent or permanent part time employees, you need to refer to your employee contract and relevant award conditions (which can be found on the Fair Work website).