What am required to do if one of my employees tests positive to COVID-19?
As an employer you have an obligation to the industry and your staff to ensure that you act swiftly and appropriately if you or a staff member tests positive to COVID-19. Under Government regulations, you also have an obligation to report the matter to WorkSafe.
For the avoidance of doubt, a number of industry participants are employers including Racing Victoria, Racing Clubs, Trainers, Jockeys and Other Service Providers.
Following are the various documents that an employer needs to complete in these circumstances. These must be completed as soon as possible after becoming aware of the positive case – moving quickly and accurately is absolutely critical.
EMPLOYER TO COMPLETE AND SEND TO DHHS:
For further information on DHHS requirements visit - www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/workplace-obligations-covid-19
EMPLOYER TO COMPLETE AND SEND TO WORKSAFE:
For further information on WorkSafe requirements visit - www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/report-confirmed-covid-19-diagnosis
What do I do if I have attended or spent time in a COVID hotspot?
If you have attended or spent time in any COVID Hotspot in the past 14 days, you are not permitted to attend any Victorian racecourse or licensed premises unless and until you have completed 14 days self-isolation upon arrival in Victoria AND you have obtained permission from the Stewards (COVID Hotspot Protocol).
COVID Hotspot means any location (including a particular local government area, region, city or venue) identified by Racing Victoria (having regard to Federal and State Government advice) from time to time as a “COVID hotspot” due to the existence of community transmission or active COVID-19 cases (or both).
Until further notice, the entirety of South Australia is a COVID Hotspot.
What does self-isolate mean?
Where possible, you must self-isolate in a premises alone, and where that is not practicable, you must not reside with any person within a high risk profession (such as aged care, health care or food processing).
Self-isolate means staying at home and only leaving home for essential services or exercise; you must not have close contact with any person other than those you are residing with.
Upon request from Racing Victoria, you must provide reasonable information regarding your self-isolation, including your place of residence while in Victoria and occupation details of those you live with.
The COVID Hotspot Protocol applies to all persons entering Victoria, regardless of their place of residence.
Will I need to obtain a negative COVID-19 test?
In addition to the requirement to complete 14 days self-isolation (and any other requirement determined by the Stewards), Racing Victoria reserves the right to require you to obtain a negative COVID-19 test result prior to permitting you to attend a Victorian racecourse or licensed premises where you have attended or spent time in a COVID Hotspot.
Please make sure that you monitor the Racing Victoria website here and media releases, as well as State and Federal Government websites, for the most up to date information. If you have any questions regarding this COVID Hotspot Protocol, including if you are unsure whether it applies to you, you should contact Racing Victoria to determine next steps.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory infections. These can range from the common cold to more serious diseases.
COVID-19 is the disease caused by a new coronavirus. It was first reported in December 2019 in Wuhan City in China.
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness. Symptoms include fever, coughing, sore throat and shortness of breath. The virus can spread from person to person, but good hygiene can prevent infection.
How can I help prevent the spread of coronavirus?
Practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene and keeping your distance from others when you are sick 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 toilet.
- Cover your cough and sneeze, dispose of tissues, and wash your hands.
- If unwell, avoid contact with others (stay more than 1.5 metres from people).
- Exercise personal responsibility for social distancing measures.
What is social distancing?
Social distancing is one way to help slow the spread of viruses such as COVID-19. Social distancing includes staying at home when you are unwell, avoiding large public gatherings if they’re not essential, keeping a distance of 1.5 metres between you and other people whenever possible and minimising physical contact especially with people at higher risk of developing serious symptoms, such as older people and people with existing health conditions.
All people who arrive in Australia from midnight 15 March 2020 or think may they have been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus, are required to self-isolate for 14 days.
What does isolate in your home mean?
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 do not need to wear a mask in your home. If you need to go out to seek medical attention, wear a surgical mask (if you have one) to protect others.
For more information, visit www.health.gov.au/covid19-resources
What do I do if I develop symptoms?
If you develop symptoms (fever, a cough, sore throat, tiredness or shortness of breath), particularly within 14 days of arriving in Australia, or within 14 days of last contact of a confirmed case, you should arrange to see your doctor for urgent assessment.
You should telephone the health clinic or hospital before you arrive and tell them your travel history or that you may have been in contact with a potential case of coronavirus.
You must remain isolated either in your home, hotel or a health care setting until public health authorities inform you it is safe for you to return to your usual activities.
Who are considered vulnerable people?
For your information: On Monday 30 March 2020, the Government provided strong advice that the following persons are, or are likely to be, at higher risk of serious illness if they are infected with the virus:
- People 70 years and older
- People 65 years and older with chronic medical conditions
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 50 years and older with one or more chronic medical conditions
- People with compromised immune systems.
This information is regularly updated and we encourage you to read the Prime Minister’s speech which can be found here.
What are the key health contacts?
For the latest advice, information and resources, go to www.health.gov.au
Call the National Coronavirus Help Line on 1800 020 080. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you require translating or interpreting services, call 131 450.
If you have concerns about your health, speak to your doctor.
Where do I go for information on Government support?
Following are some of the key online information sources from the Australian and Victoria Governments for businesses and individuals seeking up-to-date information and support during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic:
Outside of Government services, the major banks are important contact points for businesses and individuals. Following are links to COVID-19 coronavirus information pages developed online by the major banks: