SA Health preparation and strategies for Novel Coronavirus

13 February 2020

In January, ANMFSA wrote to SA Health in relation to the rapidly escalating outbreak of Coronavirus across the world and suspected cases being investigated in Australia. ANMF requested an update on SA Health’s preparedness if South Australia was to experience a Coronavirus outbreak.

We sought information regarding:

  • The existence of protocols, polices and guidelines to support caring for infected persons and the level of training and education that SA Health staff have received regarding the implementation of these documents.
  • The current availability of P95 masks and the ability to meet ongoing demand should an outbreak occur in South Australia.
  • The number of front-line clinical staff who are currently fit tested for a P95 mask and the proposed schedule to ensure that all relevant staff are fit tested.

This week we received a response advising:

  • SA Health and the LHNs are ensuring staff have access to relevant information including policies and procedures as well as access and training in the required personal protective equipment (PPE). Each LHN has local policies, procedures and instructions unique to their facilities
    • Currently the LHNs are undertaking novel coronavirus specific education and training with relevant staff.
    • Staff can access e-learning modules via the digital e-learning platform including modules relating to worker health and safety as well as infection prevention and control.
  • SA Health has developed a dedicated 2019-nCoV web page sahealth.gov.au/novelcoronavirus which links to current and relevant information.
  • SA Health has sufficient supply of surgical masks, gloves, gowns, and eye protection to meet current demand.
    • The stock availability of P2/N95 masks for SA Health staff is currently three months’ worth with current demand.
    • There are P2/N95 masks in the National Medical Stockpile earmarked for South Australia which SA Health can access as required.
    • SA Health is gradually increasing the amount of stock to cover 18 months of normal usage.
    • The Commonwealth have also supplied 34,000 surgical masks to primary care via the Primary Health Networks.
  • SA Health will continue to support and work closely with the LHNs, other healthcare providers, other departments and communities in relation to this current outbreak of novel coronavirus 2019.

Read the full correspondence here.

If you have any questions or concerns about your workplace preparedness please contact ANMF (SA Branch) Duty Officer on 8334 1900.