INTRODUCTION AND PURPOSE
The QHA has sought guidance from Queensland Health and Safe Work Australia on the process and protocols which may be required to be followed pending a positive COVID-19 case at a venue.
There are a number of variables which may impact the process including the time an infected person was in a venue; the areas and interactions an infected person may have had in a venue; the severity; the required area to be cleaned; the degree of cleaning; and timeframes for any closure if required.
It is for these reasons that a case-by-case approach is adopted and ultimately the process will be driven and determined by Queensland Health and associated authorities. Therefore, the following information is provided as an indicative guide only. It is recommended that the venue always has a staff member/manager available during trading to respond to any COVID-19 issues.
What has been clearly established is the following:
- Contact Tracing information is critical – ensure you are accurately collecting and storing this information for all customers and contractors who visit the premises
- Cleaning schedules – the ability to demonstrate the venue’s cleaning regime and processes is critical in determining the extent of any required ‘deep clean’ or closure period
- Cleaning chemicals – ensure the products used are fit for purpose and be able to provide the details of all cleaning products used.
Keep these records diligently and be able to provide them on request to Public Health Authorities.
STEPS TO TAKE WHEN A COVID-19 POSITIVE CASE HAS BEEN IN A VENUE
- Seek advice and assess the risks
If someone at your venue is confirmed as having COVID-19, you will need to notify the state public health unit. Seek government health advice by calling Queensland State Helpline:
Queensland - 13 432 584
You can also contact the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080, which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The National Helpline can provide advice on when and how to seek medical help or about how to get tested for COVID-19.
Ensure that you have current contact details for the person and make a note about the areas they had accessed in the workplace, who they had been in close contact with and for how long. This will inform you about risks to others and areas to clean and disinfect.
- Identify and tell close contacts
The Queensland Government’s Department of Health will trace and contact the people the infected person was in close contact with and provide them with instructions to quarantine.
In the meantime, consider who the affected person may have had recent close contact with. If instructed by health officials, inform close contacts that they may have been exposed to COVID-19 and the requirements to quarantine. You must maintain the privacy of all individuals involved.
- Clean and disinfect
Close off the affected areas and do not let others use or enter them until they have been cleaned and disinfected. Open outside doors to increase air flow. All areas, for example offices, bathrooms, kitchens and common areas as well as equipment or PPE that were used by the person concerned must then be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
Do I need to close my workplace for cleaning?
There is no automatic requirement to close an entire workplace following a suspect or confirmed case of COVID-19. It may be unnecessary if the person has only visited certain parts of your workplace or if government health officials advise you that the risk of others being exposed are low.
Whether you need to suspend operations in your workplace will depend on factors such as the size of the workplace, nature of work, number of people and suspected areas of contamination.
This fact sheet provides recommendations for cleaning, disinfecting and removing of waste from the environment where people with confirmed, probable or suspected COVID-19 infection may have been: Fact Sheet Click here
Further information on how to clean and disinfect can be found in the Cleaning to prevent the spread of COVID-19 guide
The state public health unit may also provide you with further information about how and where to clean. You must follow those instructions.
QHA Bronze Partner, Complete Property Services can assist QHA Members: https://cpsa.online/
- Consider public relations management
Manage any media or community concerns to protect the venue’s reputation and demonstrate commitment to safety and best practice. Contact the QHA for referral to experienced Public Relations Management consultants.