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 the Department of Health:
All persons who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 must self-isolate.
The Victorian Government has updated its guidance on when you need to isolate. These are available on the Government website at Case alerts – public exposure sites | Coronavirus Victoria and are as follows:
- If you have been at a Tier 1 exposure site during the times listed: you must immediately isolate, get a COVID test, and quarantine for 14 days from the date of exposure. You should also contact the Department of Health at 1300 651 160 and the RV Stewards.
- If you have been at a Tier 2 exposure site during the times listed: you should urgently get a COVID test and isolate until they receive a negative result. You should also contact the Department of Health at 1300 651 160 and the RV Stewards.
- If you have been at a Tier 3 exposure site during the times listed: you should monitor for symptoms - If symptoms develop, immediately get tested and isolate until you receive a negative result.
The Department of Health may message you to notify you that you have been at one of these venues. However, you should continue to monitor the Government website for your own purposes.
If you are notified by RV that you are a close contact of a person that has been at a Tier 1 – 3 site above, you will be required to isolate for a further period from licensed premises.
- If you have been notified by RV that you are a close contact of a Tier 1 person above, you will not be permitted to enter a licensed premises for a period of up to 14 days, until you have had clearance from the RV Stewards (who will work with the Chief Medical Officer).
- If you have been notified by RV that you are a close contact of a Tier 2 person above, you will not be permitted to enter a licensed premises until you have had a negative COVID-19 result on Day 6 (noting that the date of your contact is Day 0) and have received clearance from the RV Stewards.
- If you have been notified by RV that you are a close contact of a Tier 3 person above, you must not enter a licensed premises if you are displaying any COVID-19 symptoms.
RV Stewards can be contacted on email@example.com
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. This 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
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.
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
If I have been at an exposure site or otherwise need to self isolate, 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 or otherwise been required to self-isolate due to COVID-19.
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, fatigue, chills or sweats, runny nose, loss or change in sense of small or taste and shortness of breath. The virus can spread from person to person, but good hygiene and social distancing 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 is the best defence against most viruses. You should:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, including before and after eating, and after going to the toilet.
- Cover your cough and sneeze (for example, by coughing or sneezing into your elbow), dispose of tissues, and wash your hands.
- If unwell, avoid contact with others (stay more than 1.5 metres from people), get tested and self-isolate at home until the outcome of your test is known.
- 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 and minimising physical contact especially with people at higher risk of developing serious symptoms, such as older people and people with existing health conditions.
What do I do if I develop symptoms?
If you develop symptoms (fever, a cough, sore throat, tiredness, runny nose, chills or sweats, loss or change in sense of smell or taste or shortness of breath), particularly within 14 days of arriving in Australia or having been in a COVID Hotspot or a location identified as an exposure site by the Victorian Government, or within 14 days of last contact of a confirmed case, you should arrange to see your doctor for urgent assessment, get tested and self-isolate until the outcome of your test is known.
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?
The following people have been identified as being most at risk of becoming very sick from coronavirus:
- older people
- people with pre-existing medical conditions including those with diabetes, chronic lung disease, kidney failure and people with low or suppressed immune systems.
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- people living with HIV
What are the key health contacts?
For the latest advice, information and resources, go to www.health.gov.au
or to the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services website at https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus
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: