Use of surgical masks expanded to TSC, Ward 10 and mental health

Good afternoon all,

The use of surgical masks by staff interacting with patients in clinical areas is being expanded to include staff in The Surgery Centre, Ward 10 (Repat) and mental health inpatient units from 1pm on Sunday 5 July.

Clinical staff (nurses, doctors, Allied Health and support staff) in these areas as well as in acute inpatient areas in Austin Tower and the ONJ Centre are required to wear surgical masks when interacting with patients until further notice.

The wearing of masks is in addition to the other measures in place to help limit the spread of COVID-19:

  1. Maintaining a physical distance of more than 1.5m between yourself and others wherever possible
  2. Practicing good hand hygiene
  3. The appropriate use of PPE
  4. Staying at home if unwell.

Advice about the use of surgical masks is being reviewed daily and this latest change may only be a temporary measure. The steps above remain the best defence we have to protect us against the spread of COVID-19.

Surgical masks are being provided to relevant areas by Procurement and will be distributed to staff via ANUMs and/or the Nurse in Charge.

Key points regarding the use of surgical masks:

  • Always perform hand hygiene before putting on and removing your surgical mask
  • Masks can be worn for up to 4 hours
  • Masks do not need to be changed for each patient
  • Masks should be removed when going for meal breaks, going to toilet or when they are soiled or wet
  • Masks can’t be re-used.

The current changing environment is challenging for all of us and we will do our best to share the latest information with you as quickly as possible.

As mentioned yesterday, please continue to check your emails, the Hub and the SharePoint site regularly in the coming days to ensure you are aware of any changes as they occur.

John Ferraro
Interim Chief Operating Officer