Frequently Asked Questions

You will be well aware that the COVID-19 situation is now impacting all of us in some way, shape or form.
 
It is important that our team and our community follow the guidelines below, to protect each other, and to ensure that we can continue to provide our clients with quality service standards.
 
For the latest information on the Coronavirus, please visit the Australian Government Department of Health for guidance or call the National Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health Information Line on 1800 020 080.
 

1. What are my responsibilities?

 
When should staff not come to work?

  • All staff, whether or not they are in healthcare with patient contact, should not come to work if they:
    have a fever
  • have a symptom, even a minor symptom, of respiratory illness, such as a cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose or nasal congestion
  • Are awaiting results of a COVID-19 test
  • Have tested positive for COVID-19
  • Are deemed a close contact and required to self-isolate to stop the spread of COVID-19
 
If you feel unwell with COVID-19 symptoms, even mild ones, stay home and get tested for COVID-19.
 
Be familiar with the Extrastaff Mandatory Notification Protocol.
 
Prevent the Spread
  • 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 metres from people).
  • Stay informed – complete your further education and review current resources.
 
Keep us in the loop
Whilst we are reaching out to our clients and staff more than ever, so we can work with you to ensure proper precautions for everyone’s safety, we encourage you to let us know in the case of any of the following:  
  • If you are unwell in any way
  • If a family member or house guest is unwell or is isolating at home
  • If you or a house guest has had contact with COVID-19 or suspected COVID-19, whether they have symptoms or not
  • Concerns about your work

Your Extrastaff Consultant is your first port of call with any feedback or concerns.
 
Be familiar with the Extrastaff mandatory notification protocol.
 

2. How will Extrastaff support me if I contract COVID-19 whilst working?

If you test positive for COVID-19, the Public Health Unit may review and assess your close contacts and provide advice in relation to your medical care and isolation requirements.
 
You are required to advise your Extrastaff Consultant if you:
  1. Are being tested for COVID or are required to isolate
  2. Test positive for COVID-19 and report any quarantine or  isolation requirements that you have.

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.

If you are working as a casual employee, you do not receive sick leave. Your pay includes a 25% loading to compensate for (amongst other things) sick leave, carers leave, annual leave, etc.

However, you may be eligible for the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment.

Extrastaff can refer you into the current government advice for income support for individuals.

Refer: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/subjects/coronavirus-covid-19-and-how-we-may-help
 
You are able to access our Employee Assistance Program (EAP), please contact your Extrastaff Consultant for details.
 
A medical clearance will be required to return to work. It provides peace of mind for all parties.
 

3. What do I do if I don’t feel safe or protected from COVID-19 where I am working?

Escalate your concerns with your Supervisor or Extrastaff Consultant.

It is also useful to read the relevant Health Department fact sheets: https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/coronavirus-covid-19-resources

 

4. If I’ve been unwell and now not displaying symptoms, do I need a medical certificate to return to work?

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

5. 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 Coordinator or Manager.
The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other colds and flus and include:
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of smell and taste
 
While COVID-19 is a concern, it is important to remember that most people displaying these symptoms could be suffering with a cold or other respiratory illness – not necessarily COVID-19.
Always maintain good personal and environmental hygiene, hand washing practice and physical distancing.
 

6. 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.
 

7. What is PPE and should I be wearing a face mask?

 
PPE = Personal Protective Equipment
PPE is stands for personal protective equipment. The type of PPE you may require is prescribed based on a risk assessment of your work tasks and the existing client site protocols.

The use of some masks, gowns and disposable suits is restricted to healthcare settings. It is not recommended that these types of PPE are used outside of healthcare to protect against COVID-19. More information about using these PPE in health care can be found on the Australian Government Department of Health website. 

Risk assessments for workplaces are conducted to ensure PPE protocols are as per Government Health Guidelines and the worksite task requirements.

All staff are required to practice social distancing and good hygiene practises.

It is important that our workforce remains strong and healthy during this time.

Refer to https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/covid-19-information-workplaces/industry-information/general-industry-information/ppe?tab=tab-toc-worker

Should I be wearing a face mask at work?
Where there is low community transmission of COVID-19, wearing a mask in the community when you are well is not generally recommended.

However, where there is significant community transmission (as determined by jurisdictional public health authorities), you may choose, or be required to, wear a mask. If physical distancing is difficult to maintain, for example on public transport, covering your face with a mask can provide some extra protection.

Risk assessments for workplaces are conducted to ensure PPE protocols are as per Government Health Guidelines and the worksite task requirements.

Generally, under current guidelines, workers (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 and where Covid safe physical distancing is observed.

If there is a rise in community transmission in your state or territory then the advice on masks may change. It’s important to stay up to date with the advice in your local area. Your state or territory government will provide this.

To stay up to date on the latest mask advice, follow your local government’s updates in the links below.

Refer:
https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/how-to-protect-yourself-and-others-from-coronavirus-covid-19/masks

https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/covid-19-information-workplaces/industry-information/general-industry-information/masks?tab=tab-toc-worker
 

8. Where is my closest COVID-19 testing clinic?

Each state Department of Health has dedicated COVID-19 testing resources.
If you are having a medical emergency, please call 000.

GP respiratory clinics around the country to clinically assess people with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms (a fever, cough, shortness of breath, a sore throat and/or tiredness).

Find out below if there is a GP respiratory clinic in your state/territory and near your area and how to register for an appointment:  
Fever clinics Fever clinics operated by public hospitals are generally staffed by nurses. They are not the same as a GP respiratory clinic but they also help to reduce pressure on emergency departments and other services.
You can either access these through calling the National Coronavirus Help Line on 1800 020 080 or by their respective state depart of health website.
 

9. What is the advice about travelling?

Extrastaff has an obligation to staff, clients, patients & participants to ensure the safety of all concerned and will continue to monitor and update guidelines and processes based on the health departments recommendations.

As your employer, we request that we are kept informed of any change in your status and your progress as per the Extrastaff Mandatory Notification Protocol.

If you believe, your circumstances are within the criteria above or if you wish to speak to someone regarding your personal circumstances, please contact your Extrastaff Consultant IMMEDIATELY.

 

10. How are you Looking after my mental health and wellbeing?

During this time, it’s important to do things that help us to cope and maintain good mental health.
Whilst we are reaching out to our clients and staff more than ever, we encourage you to let us know directly if you have any concerns. Alternatively these resources are available:
  • Speak to your Coordinator or Manager about our Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

General advice for looking after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak:


11. When can I get vaccinated?

Australia’s COVID-19 vaccines will become available in phases.  Refer to the Australian Department of Heath website to find out more: https://www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/covid-19-vaccines.

 

 

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