Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus. Symptoms range from a mild cough to pneumonia. Some people recover easily, others may get very sick very quickly. There is evidence that it spreads from person to person. Good hygiene can prevent infection.
We at Amaranth are taking the necessary precautions to ensure we can and will be available to continue our health and social support and services work.
Our staff play a vital role, especially in times of emergencies and issues related to public health. We recognise the impact that the recent developments with COVID-19 have had on our members and the general community. For social workers this affects us at a professional and personal level.
We are following Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) Department of Health guidelines and recommend members stay up-to-date with the latest updates from the Australian government for health professionals. We also recognise that those that use our services may wish to know what they can do to minimise their risk of Covid-19.
In particular, we highlight the following:
Can staff go to work?
In the following scenarios staff cannot go to work if they have:
- left, or transited through a high risk country that requires isolation in the last 14 days, from leaving that country.
- been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus in the last 14 days (they must isolate themselves for 14 days after the date of last contact with the confirmed case).
How can we help prevent the spread of coronavirus?
Practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene is the best defence against most viruses.
- 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 use alcohol-based hand sanitiser;
- and if unwell, avoid contact with others (stay more than 1.5 meters from people).
Furthermore, while coronavirus is of concern, it is important to remember that most people displaying symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat or tiredness are likely suffering with a cold or other respiratory illness – not coronavirus.
For those working in other settings we recommend speaking to your manager(s) and supervisor(s) and make sure you are aware of internal policies and procedures.
We share many members’ concerns about the reports of racist behaviour, and the panic in the community that may impact on vulnerable groups.
We encourage you to look out for the well-being and safety of yourself, colleagues and the people you work with.
If you would like to keep up-to-date and for the latest advice, information and resources, go to www.health.gov.au.
You can also Call the National Coronavirus Health Information 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.