Stronger PPE guidance for health care workers 

Published: 24 September 2020 

 

In light of the recent positive COVID cases of health care workers in West Moreton, the QNMU has written to the Chief Health Officer seeking urgent changes to personal protective equipment (PPE) advice so health care workers MUST wear a N95/P2 respirator in areas where there are suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients. 
 
The provision of and mandated use of the N95/P2 mask within a dedicated COVID-19 ward is a reasonable and practicable measure that would reduce the risk of transmission to health care workers working in areas with high coronavirus case load. In Victoria, close to 3500 health and aged care workers have contracted COVID-19.
 
These stronger guidelines would bring Queensland into line with Victoria, where N95/P2 masks are mandatory for all staff working directly with COVID-infected patients.
 
These masks are the best defence we have against transmitting the disease and the QNMU will be pushing for this change urgently. 
 
The QNMU also worked very closely with West Moreton on the COVID response and achieved:
 
  • improvements to quarantine protocols. Staff are now either in full quarantine or no quarantine. Modified quarantine has ceased.
  • wide scale rollout and fit testing of N95/P2 masks with masks to be used in all COVID wards and areas where people have been exposed to COVID.