Update on 08.09.2020
Information regarding face masks for general consulting in non-COVID suspicious patients has been conflicting, confusing and changes frequently. Following is some of the most recent information to be used as a guide for you to make decisions in your practice. Depending on your practice location, your operating state and your personal circumstances this should be considered on a case-by-case basis. For the most up to date Australian information look at the Department of Health website.
Practising good hygiene and physical distancing are our most powerful weapons in fighting this virus and saving lives.
Everyone should practise good hygiene to protect against infections. Good hygiene includes:
- washing your hands often with soap and water
- using a tissue and covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze
- avoiding close contact with others.
The NT Health Website links back to the Australian Government Department of Health, Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance on use of personal protective equipment (PPE) in non-inpatient health care settings, during the COVID-19 outbreak.
(when) COVID-19 is not suspected
For a patient where there is no clinical or epidemiological evidence of COVID-19, who has no respiratory symptoms and is not in quarantine:
- Standard precautions apply as for all patients, including hand hygiene (5 Moments).
- Personal protective equipment (PPE) use should be determined by risk assessment, based on the patient’s presenting complaint or condition.
- PPE should be used according to the Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare (2019)2
In the context of the low rate of community transmission of COVID-19 in Australia, routine use of masks is not recommended.