Covid-19 Management Process

1.0 Purpose

The purpose of this document is to provide guidance on dealing with a 365FM team member with a suspected or confirmed case of Covid-19, and general information, considerations and actions to be taken relevant to Covid-19 including symptoms, testing, who is most at risk and general guidance for preventing the spread of the virus.

This guide is based on Australian Government Health Department guidance information which is continuously being monitored as more detailed information and advice becomes available about the spread of the Covid-19 virus and best ways to deal with it.

All team members are to be aware of this process and abide by the supporting guideline to minimise the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus.

More in depth guidance is available online via the Australian Government Department of Health website which is being continually updated with the latest information.

There may be circumstances where a team member in the workplace is displaying COVID-like symptoms or shares information (e.g. they have been in close contact with someone that has the virus) that causes reasonable concerns about their health and the health of others in the workplace. Do not wait until confirmation that a worker has COVID-19. Prompt action and reasonable steps in accordance with this document are to be taken to manage the risks and minimise the spread of Covid-19.

2.0 Scope

This document applies to all 365FM team members and visitors to 365FM worksites.

3.0 Process Map Explanatory Notes

Note #1: If Team Member at Home

If any team member is at home and has either:

  • Cold and flu like symptoms (no matter how mild) – Refer Section 4.2 for further details of Covid-19 Symptoms
    • Been in close contact with somebody who has Covid-19, or a team member’s direct family member has been in close contact with somebody who has Covid-19
    • Been confirmed as having Covid-19

They must:

  • Immediately notify their manager of their absence and circumstances
    • Immediately isolate or quarantine at home (Refer Process Explanatory Notes #6, #7 and #8).

Note #2: If Team Member is at a 365FM or Partner Workplace

If any team member is at a 365FM or Partner workplace and has either:

  • Cold and flu like symptoms (no matter how mild) – Refer Section 4.2 for further details of Covid-19 Symptoms
    • Been in close contact with somebody who has Covid-19, or a team member’s direct family member has been in close contact with somebody who has Covid-19
    • Been confirmed as having Covid-19

They must:

  • Immediately notify their manager of their circumstances

Depending on the workplace and team member circumstances, their Line Manager will:

  • Isolate the team member from others immediately
    • Provide PPE (e.g. face mask)
    • Seek advice from the People & Safety Team, who may then contact relevant health agencies.
    • Arrange safe transport to immediately isolate or quarantine the team member at home (Refer Notes #6, #7 and #8), unless urgent medical attention is required.

Note #2a: Isolate the Team Member (Guidelines)

  • If the team member has serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing, call 000 for urgent medical help.
    • Otherwise, take steps to prevent them from potentially spreading the virus by isolating them from others, such as in the first aid room.
    • Provide appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to the affected team member, such as disposable surgical mask, hand sanitiser and tissues. Also provide protection to those assisting the team member.
    • Notify the people and safety team

Note #2b: Transport the Team Member (Guidelines)

Ensure the team member has transport home, to a location they can isolate, or to a medical facility if necessary. Wherever possible, the team member should use a personal mode of transport to minimise exposure to others. They should not use public transport unless there is no other option.

If they need to use a taxi or ride share service (or public transport) then they should avoid contact with others including the driver to the extent possible. This includes:

  • Wearing a fitted mask, if available
    • Avoiding direct contact with the driver, including sitting in the back seat to achieve as much separation as is reasonably possible
    • Practising good hand hygiene and cough/sneeze hygiene
    • Paying by card

Note #3: Report to 365FM CID and Close Off Impacted Workplace Areas

When a line manager is made aware or contacted by a team member with an actual or suspected case of Covid- 19, they should ensure that current contact details for the team member are obtained and make a note about the areas they have been in the workplace, who they have been in close contact with in the workplace and for how long. This will provide information about risks to others and areas to clean and disinfect. This information may also assist the state and territory public health unit if they follow up at a later time.

The team member’s line manager is to immediately call the 365FM Critical Incident Desk.

Responses to the following questions will be required:

  • Date Logged
    • Team Member Name
    • Business Unit
    • Site
    • Reported By
    • Has the team member returned from overseas?
    • Is the Team Member experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms?
    • Has the Team Member come into close contact with a proven case or a suspected case of COVID-19

The line manager and/or People & Safety Team will arrange close-off of workplace areas where the person has been in contact within last 7 days (if applicable) and will not let team members enter those areas until they have been cleaned and disinfected.

Note #4: Gather Information & Assess the Risk

Upon being advised, the People & Safety Team will:

  • Gather information about the circumstances using Covid-19 Suspected/Confirmed Case – Circumstances Form. This will assist the State Health Unit should this information be requested
    • Liaise with the relevant operational manager in regard to notifying relevant Partner representatives if the team member has worked at a Partner site/s in the past 14 days.
    • Seek government health advice as necessary by calling the state or territory helpline. Follow the advice of the state and territory public health unit. The National Coronavirus Helpline can also be contacted 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.
    • Identify and notify close contacts (under advice of relevant government health agencies).
    • Arrange deep clean and disinfecting of workplace areas at risk (if applicable).

Note #4a: Clean & Disinfect

Close off the affected areas and do not let others use or enter them until the areas have been cleaned and disinfected. Assess the need for part or full closure of work/office areas.

Arrange a deep clean performed in accordance with ‘Standard Operating Procedures – Infectious Virus Control’.

The State and Territory public health unit may also provide further information about how and where to clean. These instructions must be followed.

Note #4b: Identify & Contact Close Contacts

The state or territory public health unit will identify close contacts of a confirmed COVID-19 case and provide them with instructions, for example, in relation to quarantine requirements.

Close contact is when there has been 15 minutes of face-to-face contact or persons are in the same room for a period of 1 hour.

In the meantime, consider who the affected team member may have had recent close contact with. If instructed by health officials, tell close contacts that they may have been exposed to COVID-19 and the requirements for quarantine. Maintain the privacy of all individuals involved.

Seek information about the areas that close contacts have been in the workplace, who they have been in close contact within the workplace and for how long. This will assist to identify additional areas that may also need to be cleaned and disinfected.

Note #5: Seek Medical Advice & Get Tested

Team members can:

  • Attend a drive through testing station if one has been set up locally
    • contact your doctor and they will arrange the test
    • attend a respiratory or fever clinic

Respiratory or fever clinics are dedicated health centres around the country focusing on testing people with acute respiratory infection symptoms.

Team members should find the respiratory/fever clinic nearest to them, that can be found through relevant state or territory health agency websites.

If a team members symptoms are serious, they should seek urgent medical attention. If possible, call ahead so the medical facility can prepare. They will be asked to take precautions when attending for treatment. It is important instruction provided are strictly followed.

To protect others when getting tested, team members should:

  • Wear a mask
    • Stay at least 1.5m away from other people
    • Cover coughs or sneezes with your elbow
    • Use hand sanitiser upon entry to medical or testing facilities

Team members should tell the doctor about:

  • Their symptoms
    • Any travel history
    • Any recent contact you have had with someone who has COVID-19

Testing is even more important if a team member has symptoms and any of the following apply:

  • Returned from overseas in the past 14 days
    • Travelled on a cruise ship (either passenger or crew) in the 14 days before developing symptoms
    • Have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days
    • Have lived in or travelled through an area where there is a higher risk of community transmission, as defined by the local public health unit

After testing it may take several days for test results to come back. If a team member has serious symptoms they may be kept in hospital and isolated from other patients to prevent the virus spreading.

If the doctor says a team member is well enough to go home while they wait for test results, they should:

  • Isolate at home
    • Protect themselves and others

The relevant state and territory public health unit will trace and contact the people the infected team member was in close contact with and provide them with instructions to quarantine. The advice of the relevant state and territory public health unit and WHS regulator must always followed.

Note #6: Isolate at Home While Waiting for Test Results

Team members must isolate at home while waiting for test results and seek medical attention if condition worsens. Refer to Section 4.5 for further isolation definition/guidelines.

Note #7: Quarantine at Home for 14 days Regardless of Test Results

Team members must quarantine at home for 14 days regardless of test results and seek medical attention if condition worsens.

If initial test is negative then the team member is required to be retested on day 11 of their quarantine period. A medical clearance/notification from the doctor, state based Department of Health or testing provider will be required prior to returning to work.

If initial test is positive then a medical clearance/notification from the doctor or state based Department of Health will be required prior to returning to work, as per process requirements for a team member with a confirmed case of Covid-19.

Refer to Section 4.4 for further quarantine definition/guidelines.

Note #8: Isolate at Home Until Full Recovery

Team members must isolate at home until a full recovery is made and seek medical attention if condition worsens. Refer to Section 4.5 for further isolation definition/guidelines.

Note #9: Monitor Team Members Progress and Condition

Line managers must ensure team members (or a family member) provides 365FM with regular updates of their progress and condition. Line managers must convey this information to the People & Safety Team, including details of team members absence.

Note #10: Track Status of Team Member & Liaise with Partner Representatives

The People & Safety Team will:

  • Track the status of team member(s) condition, absenteeism and report to the 365FM ELT
    • Liaise with Partner Covid-19 Representatives as required (for close contact and confirmed cases only)
    • Manage absence in accordance with 365FM leave policy and ensure contact is maintained with the team member

Note #11: Obtain Medical Clearance Before Returning to Workplace

Team members must obtain written medical clearance or notification from Doctor, State based Health Agency or testing provider before returning to the workplace.

4.0 Supporting Information/Guidelines

4.1          Preventing the Spread of Covid-19

Listed below are the general principles to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus as well the common cold and flu.

  • Where a face mask
    • Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus
    • Avoid non-essential use of public transport when possible
    • Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others
    • Minimise contact by avoiding unnecessary social contact with others
    • Avoid unnecessary travel
    • Avoid gatherings in public spaces
    • Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet and social media.
    • Speak to your manager and discuss your concerns so they can help you to make reasonable adjustments to your working day such as start time to avoid crowds on public transport, job activity, working from home, etc
    • Practice good hygiene including washing your hands thoroughly and regularly
      • Use soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use alcohol-based hand sanitiser if soap and water is not available.
      • Always wash your hands when you get home or into work.
  • If you wear gloves make sure you dispose of them correctly and always wash your hands after
    • Use hand sanitiser regularly when hand washing facilities are not available
    • Follow guidance on social distancing by trying to avoid close contact with people by keeping a sensible distance away, don’t arrange meetings, avoid busy areas if possible and keep group sizes to a minimum, ideally no more than two.
    • Avoid touching your face /eyes/ nose/ mouth with unwashed hands
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue then throw it in the bin. Wash your hands as soon as possible afterwards

More detailed information can be referenced in the Australian Government Department of Health – Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health Alert website.

4.2          Recognising Covid-19 Symptoms

Anyone who is unwell should not be at a workplace.

Symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild illness to pneumonia. Some people will recover easily, and others may get extremely sick very quickly.

People with coronavirus may experience symptoms such as:

  • Fever
    • Respiratory symptoms such as coughing, sore throat or shortness of breath

Other symptoms can include runny nose, headache, muscle or joint pains, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, loss of sense of smell, altered sense of taste, loss of appetite and fatigue.

If a team member needs to talk to someone about their symptoms, they can call the National Coronavirus Helpline 1800 020 080 for advice.

If a team member has one or more of these symptoms, even mildly, it is important to get tested as soon as possible. Early diagnosis means steps can be taken to avoid spreading the virus to other people.

It is important to remember that if a person becomes sick with these symptoms at work they may be suffering from a cold, the flu or other respiratory illness and not COVID-19.

4.3          Who is Most at Risk

In Australia, the people most at risk of getting the virus are:

  • Travellers who have recently been overseas
    • Those who have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19
    • People in correctional and detention facilities
    • People in group residential settings

People who are, or are more likely to be, at higher risk of serious illness if they get the virus are:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 50 years and older with one or more chronic medical conditions
    • People 65 years and older with chronic medical conditions
    • People 70 years and older
    • People with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems
    • People in aged care facilities
    • People with a disability

At this stage the risk to children and babies, and the role children play in the transmission of COVID-19, is not clear. However, there has so far been a low rate of confirmed COVID-19 cases among children, relative to the broader population.

There is limited evidence at this time regarding the risk in pregnant women.

See advice for people at risk for further information on how these people can be protected.

4.4          Quarantine Definition / Guidelines

Quarantine is when someone is well but may have been in contact with someone with Covid-19.

  • 14 days quarantine required (regardless of a negative test result)
    • If well for 14 days, then able to leave quarantine
    • If test positive during quarantine, then person goes into isolation and anyone in the household is deemed a close contact and goes into quarantine
    • If well, others in the household don’t need to quarantine.

Team members who require a period of quarantine cannot return to the workplace until their period of quarantine is over.

4.5          Isolation Definition / Guidelines

Isolation is when someone has or is suspected of having Covid-19

  • Person must stay isolated until health authority advises safe to leave
    • People in the household will be deemed close contacts and must follow quarantine rules
    • Quarantine rules are to be followed for 14 days from when the person with Covid-19 was last infectious

Team members who goes into isolation cannot return to the workplace until they have a clearance from a medical practitioner.

Produced By
WHS Risk and Compliance
Client Service Managers – National
Site Supervisors – National
Authorised By
General Manager – 36FM – 13/05/20