ALERT: If you have a fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath and you have travelled, please contact us via phone prior to making a booking or visiting the medical centre.

COVID-19 Workplace Preparedness

COVID-19 Workplace Preparedness

Workplace Preparedness

Sonic HealthPlus and Travel Doctor-TMVC can support your workplaces through the following COVID-19 services.

Contact us via the web form below if you require assistance in your workplace.

Comprehensive COVID-19 Medical Advisory Service
Protecting your Workforce, your clients and your reputation

  • Return to Work and Stay at Work with Confidence – Comprehensive COVID-19 Advice
  • Medical Support – 24/7 on call COVID-19 Doctor Team
  • Targeted Screening – Accredited PCR Employee Screening Program
  • Rapid Response Team – Medical Personnel Deployed to site

Monitoring and maintaining a healthy workforce has never been so important. In the COVID-19 environment, it’s vital that companies do all they can to protect their employees, their clients and, by extension, their brand and reputation from this deadly disease.

Sonic HealthPlus is ideally placed to provide a comprehensive Medical Advisory Service comprising three main elements.

  • Return to Work
    Read more
  • Stay at Work
    Read more
  • Rapid Response Protocol
    Read more

Return to Work

  • Workplace Planning and Workforce Risk analysis
    • Allocation of Senior COVID-19 Doctor and Client Liaison Manager;
    • Examination of jurisdictions in which the company operates and liaise with relevant Public Health departments;
    • Examination of workplace size and layout, and associated HSE requirements;
    • Development of tailored COVID-19 educational materials;
    • Revise company precautions to maximise infection control; and
    • Examination of workforce vulnerabilities, including at-risk personnel (eg. age-related, medical conditions, travel-related).

Stay at Work

  • Ongoing targeted COVID-19 assessments
    • Questionnaires and Temperature screening
    • Targeted Serial PCR Screening: In clinic, drive through or on location
    • Fast and secure results generally available within 24 hours of lab receival
  • Comprehensive Data Collection, Analysis and Reporting;
  • Access to the SHP On Call 24/7 COVID Docs team; and
  • Deployment Certification where travel is required

Rapid Response Protocol

  • Activation of Rapid Response Team in the event a positive PCR is returned at the workplace. In consultation with Public Health, this will include:
    • Mobilisation of SHP Rapid Response Medical Team;
    • Consultation with relevant Public Health unit;
    • Immediate advice around workforce management;
    • Contact Tracing, where required; and
    • On-location/offsite screening of contacts, including casual contacts

The services listed above can be activated individually or as a combination of different elements.

Stand Alone Services

  • Doctor Consultancy Services & COVID-19 Presentation
    Read more
  • COVID-19 Workplace Screening Services
    Read more
  • Pandemic Plan Development
    Read more
  • Doctor on Call (DOC) – COVID-19
    Read more

Doctor Consultancy Services & COVID-19 Presentation

Delivered by our expert doctors, Sonic HealthPlus offers an informative and interactive information session and presentation on COVID-19, workplace risk mitigation strategies and specialist medical prevention and management advice.

The presentation will end with a Q&A session, which will be open to all employees to ask questions.

Additionally we have the capability for your organisation to access Doctor Consultancy services. We can allocate a Doctor to your organisation to work directly with your management team and executive personnel as needed to navigate COVID-19, and to provide specific advice tailored to your business.

COVID-19 Workplace Screening Services

Sonic HealthPlus has developed a COVID-19 screening procedure used to identify ‘at risk’ individuals, which is facilitated at your workplace by a Sonic HealthPlus Medical Screener.

Questionnaires can be completed in the hours before the Medical Screener attends your worksite for more efficient screening. Over the course of the screening session a Doctor on Call service will be available to answer any questions.

Pandemic Plan Development

Our Doctors will assess your business’ operations, job roles, needs and impact on community to guide your organisation in creating a plan that is customised for use by your company during pandemic situations generally, and incorporating the current COVID-19 pandemic. Our Doctors will provide expert occupational health advice to guide your businesses pandemic plan.

Doctor on Call (DOC) – COVID-19

Delivered by our expert pool of doctors, we have the capability for your organisation’s managers and supervisors to access a Doctor hotline, as needed, to navigate COVID-19. The hotline will be available between 8am AEST and 7pm AEST, business days.

What is a Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses can cause illness similar to the common cold and others can cause more serious diseases, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). On the 30 January, 2020, the World Health Organisation declared the current outbreak of a Coronavirus COVID-19, to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. It is a rapidly changing situation, and information is likely to change; please ensure refer to the relevant links provided for the most up-to-date information on the situation.

To keep up to date on COVID-19 visit:

Prevention

Good hygiene and cough/sneeze etiquette are the best methods to prevent the spread of most viruses:

1. Wash hands regularly with soap and water, including before and after eating, and after going to the toilet

2. Cough and sneeze into a disposable tissue, or into the elbow, and use alcohol based hand sanitiser

3. If unwell, avoid contact with others

The routine use of surgical masks is not recommended for members of the general public who are well. Further information on the use of surgical masks may be found here.

What should I do if I need to self-isolate?

If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, you must stay at home to prevent it spreading to other people. You might also be asked to stay at home if you have potentially been exposed to the virus.


Staying at home means you:

do not go to public places such as work, school, shopping centres, childcare or university

ask someone to get food and other necessities for you and leave them at your front door

do not let visitors in — only people who usually live with you should be in your home

you should stay in touch by phone and on-line with your family and friends

Read the home isolation guidance document

What is the difference between Isolation and Quarantine?
Quarantine is another term used for isolation in returned travellers, where they are unwell but serving out time to avoid risk to others in the community. Currently the term isolation is being used by the government in the information provided to returning travellers.

Read the returning travellers information

What is Social Distancing?

Social distancing is the act of limiting contact with others in order to limit or stop the spread of infectious diseases. In encompasses many things and employers and employees all have an obligation to do their utmost to limit the spread of disease in the current environment.

For an individual it is staying at home as much as possible – this includes working from home where you have the capabilities to.

When out in public try to stay at least 1.5m from others where possible

Avoid non-essential commitments. New restrictions have been placed on social gatherings, weddings, and more. Further information can be found here.

For the population it is more preventing incoming people from high risk areas, travellers having to quarantine for 2 weeks, reducing access to high risk places – nursing homes, etc. Protecting those at increased risk. This has progressed to reducing sizes of gatherings, stating “Australians should stay at home, unless shopping for essentials, travelling to and from work - where you cannot work from home, going to school and exercising. Keep visitors to your home at a minimum. In outdoor spaces do not congregate in groups.”

Specific limitations here

How do we practice Social Distancing in the workplace?

For some business and essential services you will be unable to work from home. Below are recommendations from the Department of Health in maintaining social distancing within the workplace.

Department of Health recommendation:

  • Stay at home if you are sick, or suspect you have been in contact with someone who is sick.
  • Stop shaking hands.
  • Hold meetings via video conferencing or phone call.
  • Enable any and/or all employees to work from home.
  • Make changes to how your business operates to be flexible for those staff who are high risk, such as immunosuppressed, to decrease their risk of exposure.
  • Ensure all employees have adequate access to hand washing facilitates.
  • Promote good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene and provide hand sanitisers and tissues for all staff and workers.

For contractors visiting homes:

  • Call ahead of jobs to ensure that no one is sick or unwell.
  • Ask for access to hand washing facilities; and where possible, for surfaces to be worked in, disinfected prior to arrival.
  • Ask that the home/site is adequately ventilated and that household social distancing practices are maintained on your arrival.

For location based workers:

  • Take lunch at your desk or outside rather than in the lunch room.
  • Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces regularly.
  • Consider opening windows and adjusting air conditioning for more ventilation.
  • Limit food handling and sharing of food in the workplace.
  • Reconsider any business travel plans.
  • Promote strictest hygiene among food preparation (canteen) staff and their close contacts
  • Consider if gatherings can be rescheduled, staggered or cancelled

Find the comprehensive Department of Health guidelines on social distancing here.

If staff do not have any symptoms there is no test that can predict if they will become
unwell or not. It is not possible to issue a ‘medical clearance certificate’.

Information on Workplace Preparedness
Frequently Asked Questions
Testing for COVID 19
  1. Can you do a test and clear me to return to work?
  2. Can I send my worker to your clinic so that you can do a test and clear them to return to work?

Doctors are unable to certify patients are cleared from having COVID-19, for two reasons:

  1. As per government advice and guidelines, resources must be conserved for patients who are both unwell and fit strict testing criteria and this means that testing for COVID-19 outside of the strict medical criterion cannot and should not be done.
  2. Even if testing was available, a negative test cannot ensure that the patient is not, or will not become infective. A test may be performed during the incubation phase of infection, and the patient may become infective in the following days.

This will preserve precious healthcare resources, such as testing kits, laboratory facilities, protective equipment and health care workers.

At this time, doctors are therefore unable to:

  • Provide clearance for people who have returned from overseas. These patients need to self-isolate for 14 days. Once 14 days have passed, if the person shows NO symptoms, they are fit to return to work.
  • Provide clearance for well people who have had contact with unwell people (specifically, if the unwell person has NOT been formally diagnosed with COVID-19). Our advice to everyone is to self-isolate if and when they develop any symptoms of a respiratory tract infection.
  • Provide testing for patients with MILD illness symptoms, with no COVID-19 close contacts or travel risk factors. These people are to take ‘sick leave’ as usual for a cold or flu, and are able to return to work once they are free of symptoms for 24 hours prior to returning to work.

I would implore and recommend that you consider the need for requesting Medical Clearance/ Certificates during this time as it leads to well people presenting to GP Practices and stretching our essential health care service.

What should I do if I need to self-isolate?

If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, you must stay at home to prevent it spreading to other people. You might also be asked to stay at home if you may have been exposed to the virus.

Staying at home means you:

  • do not go to public places such as work, school, shopping centres, childcare or university
  • ask someone to get food and other necessities for you and leave them at your front door
  • do not let visitors in — only people who usually live with you should be in your home
  • You should stay in touch by phone and on-line with your family and friends.

For more information read the home isolation guidance document on the Department of Health website here.

What is the difference between Isolation and Quarantine?

Quarantine is another term used for isolation in returned travellers, where they are unwell but serving out time to avoid risk to others in the community. Currently the term isolation is being used by the government in the information provided to returning travellers. Read the returning travellers information here.

What is Social Distancing?

Social distancing is the act of limiting contact with others in order to limit or stop the spread of infectious diseases. In encompasses many things and employers and employees all have an obligation to do their utmost to limit the spread of disease in the current environment.

  • For an individual it is staying at home as much as possible – this includes working from home where you have the capabilities to.
  • When out in public try to stay at least 1.5m from others where possible and avoiding anyone who is unwell by at least this distance.
  • Avoid non-essential commitments.

For the population it is more preventing incoming people from high risk areas, travellers having to quarantine for 2 weeks, reducing access to high risk places – nursing homes, etc. Protecting those at increased risk. This will likely progress to reducing sizes of gatherings. Measures such as closures of restaurants, shops and schools that have occurred in countries further along in the pandemic are also ways of social distancing.

How do we practice Social Distancing in the workplace?

For some business and essential services you will be unable to work from home. Below are recommendations from the Department of Health in maintaining social distancing within the workplace.

  • Stay at home if you are sick.
  • Stop handshaking as a greeting.
  • Hold meetings via video conferencing or phone call.
  • Enable any and/or all employees to work from home.
  • Make changes to how your business operates to be flexible for those staff who are high risk, such as immunosuppressed, to decrease their risk of exposure.
  • Ensure all employees have adequate access to hand washing facilitates.
  • Promote good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene and provide hand sanitisers and tissues for all staff and workers.

For contractors visiting homes:

  • Call ahead of jobs to ensure that no one is sick or unwell.
  • Ask for access to hand washing facilities; and where possible, for surfaces to be worked in, disinfected prior to arrival.
  • Ask that the home/site is adequately ventilated and that household social distancing practices are maintained on your arrival.

For location based workers:

  • Take lunch at your desk or outside rather than in the lunch room.
  • Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces regularly.
  • Consider opening windows and adjusting air conditioning for more ventilation.
  • Limit food handling and sharing of food in the workplace.
  • Reconsider non-essential business travel
  • Promote strictest hygiene among food preparation (canteen) staff and their close contacts
  • Consider if large gatherings can be rescheduled, staggered or cancelled

Find the comprehensive Department of Health guidelines on social distancing here.

Enquire about COVID-19 Workplace Preparedness

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Where can I seek further advice?

The national coronavirus helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for any questions you may have about COVID-19. 24 hour healthcare advice may also be received from Health Direct.

National Coronavirus Helpline: 1800 020 080

Health Direct Helpline: 1800 022 222

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