What are the symptoms of COVID-19? Symptoms include shortness of breath or cough, with or without a fever. In some cases, the virus can cause severe pneumonia. The symptoms can start between 2 and 14 days from exposure to the virus . How is COVID-19 spread? COVID-19 can be spread from person-to-person. This can happen when a person comes into contact with the respiratory secretions of an infected person, for example through coughing or sneezing. Spread of this coronavirus from person-to-person is usually between close contacts. Close contacts have been defined as those people who have been face-to-face with a person infected with the virus for at least 15 minutes (cumulative over the course of a week while the person was infectious) or been in the same closed space for at least 2 hours with an infected person. Spread of this coronavirus can also occur through touching objects or surfaces (such as door handles or tables) contaminated from a cough or sneeze from a person with a confirmed infection, and then touching your mouth or face. Can staff obtain a medical clearance for work? It is not possible to obtain a “medical clearance” for COVID-19 unless your employee has a confirmed case of COVID-19. In the early stages of infection (before people have symptoms), it may not be possible to detect the virus. Testing when you do not have symptoms could give a false negative result.
Source: Government COVID-19 FAQs
Is social distancing required mandatory in the workplace? Social distancing must be followed at work as far as practicable, based on principles published by the Department of Health. Risk assessments should be conducted and suitable control strategies implemented. I employ vulnerable staff, what should I do? Employers that have employees who are at increased risk of adverse outcomes if they contract COVID-19 coronavirus due to pre-existing medical conditions or age should consider if the team member can work from home, or if the job can be modified to reduce risk factors such as contact with the public. Where this is not possible, staff should be encouraged to use existing leave entitlements. Do my staff need to wear surgical masks? General COVID-19 coronavirus information on surgical masks and who should use surgical masks has been published by the Australian Government Department of Health. Surgical masks are not currently recommended for healthy members of the public, or for customer service workers. My team members may come into close contact with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 coronavirus. Should the staff use personal protective equipment (PPE)? If a staff members comes into close contact with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 coronavirus in the course of their work, employers must put controls measures in place to minimise the risk of a worker contracting the virus so far as practicable.
Source: Worksafe COVID-19 FAQs
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