29 June 2021
To: All CALHN staff
Action: Please ensure you adhere to the below requirements. Managers are asked to actively share this information with staff who may not have access to email.
Last night we received further information on the mandatory mask requirements.
Who needs to wear a mask?
From 12.01am 29 June 2021, all people in health care settings must wear a mask (covering mouth and nose) at all times when in the physical presence of other people on the premises. This includes:
- care providers
- administrative and other staff
- contractors; and
- any other person present on site.
A health care service includes public hospitals and health services, including allied health, community, dental, radiology, disability and rehabilitation services. This mandatory requirement also extends to administration, catering, cleaning and ward staff based in a patient-facing/clinical site.
Staff based at non patient facing/clinical sites such as Roma Mitchell House will not be required to wear a mask as long as you are able to adhere to physical distancing of 1.5m.
There are some exceptions to these requirements:
- A person is not required to wear a mask if they have a relevant medical condition, including problems with their breathing, a serious condition of the face, a disability or a mental health condition (evidence of a relevant medical condition must be produced on request i.e. letter from GP or medical professional)
- A mask is not required for a patient or client and person providing care if the mask will hinder the provision of relevant care or impact on safety
- A mask is not required to be worn in circumstances where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication
- A mask is not required to be worn when a person is eating or drinking
- A child under the age of 12 is not required to wear a mask.
What kind of mask do I need to wear?
Within our hospitals and health services, the CALHN Infectious Disease and Infection Prevention and Control teams recommends that all staff, visitors and patients wear single-use surgical masks.
Masks should be changed at least every four hours, or if it is compromised (for example damp or damaged).
While cloth masks are popular within the community, all CALHN staff are required to use health service supplied disposable surgical mask while on site. This includes wearing eye protection where clinically indicated as per OWI00811 Transmission Based Precautions.
Visitors coming onto a CALHN site are to be offered a health service supplied disposable surgical mask to wear while on site.
Staff within clinical environments are to wear PPE in accordance with their clinical exposure as defined in the SA Health PPE Matrix.
A public campaign managed by the Department for Health and Wellbeing will inform the community of the need to wear masks on health sites and will be supported with local signage and communications across our sites.
Late yesterday the logistics team delivered an initial supply of disposable masks to admin (blue spaces) and non-clinical areas, and placed at mail delivery points across the RAH. Please ensure you work at a local level to distribute them.
Imprest locations at RAH, TQEH, Hampstead and Glenside have been topped up in preparation for an increase in demand.
SA Dental will be providing specific information to staff in regards to mask advice for their sites.
Further supplies will need to be ordered through standard oracle ordering process (Oracle code 19047012 – Level 1 for administration use and Oracle code 19047308 – Level 3 for clinical use).
We also ask that if one of our supporting organisations or partners (such as Spotless or ISS) ask for a mask that they are provided with one.
We would also like to remind everyone that we have plenty of supply available in our imprest and at our distribution centre. Please only take what you require to get through the day and do not ‘hoard’ supplies. We have enough PPE to keep our staff, visitors and patients safe.
When am I allowed to remove the mask?
You can remove your mask when eating and drinking. Please remember to consider those around you and physically distance.
When outside our facility buildings, such as in a courtyard, masks can be removed if you are able to maintain physical distancing.
Do patients need to wear a mask?
Patients will only need to wear a mask when they leave their room or cubicle, or when they are unable to maintain physical distancing. Patients in shared rooms only need to wear a mask if they cannot maintain physical distancing. Exceptions for health reasons will apply.
If a patient is alone in their inpatient room/cubicle, they are only required to wear a mask when someone enters the room i.e. nurse.
For more information download the patient and visitor mask advice fact sheet.
Can my patient remove their mask for a clinical need?
Yes. If the provider or carer’s professional opinion is that the wearing of a mask will hinder the provision of care, the patient, resident or client and/or person providing care can remove their mask.
Do I have to wear a mask in public (off site)?
At this time in South Australia it is not mandatory for the general community, but it is recommended to wear a mask when out in public if you are unable to physically distance and it is encouraged on public transport.
As healthcare workers we should be modelling behaviour for the community.
Questions about wearing a mask
If you have any questions about wearing a mask please view our updated staff mask FAQs, speak with your line manager or if required contact our Infection Prevention and Control Unit or the Clinical Worker Health Unit:
Infection Prevention and Control Unit
- Royal Adelaide Hospital, telephone 7074 2810
- The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, telephone 8222 7588
Clinical Worker Health Unit
- Royal Adelaide Hospital, telephone 7117 2306
- The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, telephone 8222 7642
Afterhours: 0438 976 481
Working from home
If able non-patient facing staff at our hospital and health service sites that are not required as part of essential operations, are encouraged to work with your managers to see if flexible work arrangements such as work from home can be managed during this period.
All requests need to be discussed and approved with your line manager.
If you are working from home, please complete a working from home form as soon as possible (even if you have previously completed one).
Physical distancing and meetings
Wherever possible staff are encouraged to limit face-to-face meetings and use Microsoft Teams. In addition, please ensure that physical distancing should be maintained by applying the 1 person per 2 square metre rule in all areas including meeting rooms.
Keeping informed during COVID-19
We would like to again remind you that you can find the latest information on recently updated COVID-19 staff portal. This site is regularly updated with staff information and resources.
We will also continue to regularly post to the CALHN Workforce Facebook Group. If you haven't yet joined this group, we encourage you to do so.
Please continue to play your part:
- Get tested with any symptoms of COVID-19, no matter how mild.
- Use the COVID SAfe Check-In at all required businesses and events.
- Get vaccinated if you haven’t done so already. Book online now.
If you have any questions, please speak with your line manager, however staff are expected to use their common sense and role model appropriate behaviours. Thank you for your cooperation during this time
CALHN COVID-19 Commander