Wearing of surgical masks expanded to all areas where staff have direct contact with patients

In response to the changing circumstances in the communities we care for, we have updated our advice on the use of surgical masks. 

In clinical areas where physical distancing cannot be maintained, we’d like all staff to wear a surgical mask to increase their protection against COVID-19. 

When using surgical masks remember:

- Always wash or sanitise your hands before putting on and removing your mask.

- Masks can be worn for up to four hours. 

- Masks do not need to be changed for each patient.

- Masks with ear loops should be worn with the blue side facing outwards.

- Masks should be removed for meal/toilet breaks or if they are soiled/wet.

- Masks can’t be re-used.

To protect yourself and your colleagues please also remember to:

- Keep a safe distance (1.5 metres) between yourself and others at all times. 

- If you can work from you home you should.

- Conduct meetings by phone or Teams.

- Regularly wash or sanitise your hands.

- Do not come to work if you’re unwell.

- If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, chills, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, or loss of smell or taste) – however mild – self-isolate and arrange to be tested. You can only return to work and other activities if you return a negative test result and you no longer have symptoms.

We’ll continue to monitor the situation and DHHS guidelines and will issue updates as required. 

Managers, please ensure that you share this information with relevant people in your teams – particularly those who have limited access to email.

Thank you for your ongoing support and please stay safe.

John Ferraro
Interim Chief Operating Officer