COVID-19 Advice for the JCU Community - Last updated: 21 January 2022, 8am (AEST)

COVID-19 Policies and Procedures

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Frequently Asked Questions

Work Health and Safety policies procedures and guidelines  related to COVID-19 are available below.

The JCU Event Organiser is responsible for completing this checklist as part of the completion of the COVID Safe Event Checklist.  This attachment and the COVID Safe Event Checklist must be submitted for approval.

Indoor Event

Indoor events require a COVID safe event checklist and approval

Outdoor Event

Outdoor events do not require a COVID safe event checklist or approval unless the event is:

  • A music festival;
  • A dance festival;
  • An event with a dance area; or
  • In a location that has been declared an impacted area.

JCU COVID Safe Event Checklist

WHS-PRO-GUI-002I COVID-19 Field Trip Guideline

Introduction

JCU is responsible for managing the safety of our staff, students and the public when conducting University field trips in relation to COVID-19.

JCU will monitor federal and state government advice and update internal procedures as the requirements change.

The following conditions should be considered for planning field trips, if these conditions cannot be met postponing the field trip should be considered.

1 Health Direction Qld Government:

The Chief Health Officer in Queensland issues public health directions that apply to workplaces.  These directions form the bulk of the legal requirements that JCU and members of the public must comply with.  As such, there are sections of the directions that allow the University to operate for instruction and business.

Summarised in Table 1 below are the primary requirements for JCU the Entity, Staff and Students to comply with as of the 1st of December  2020.

Please note that the requirements are changing frequently.  As such constant review will need to occur.

Table 1: Relevant Public Health Direction Summaries

Social Distancing & Gatherings

Movement and Gathering Direction (No. 7) (01/12/2020) (Public Health Act 2005 (Qld) Section 362B

Highlighted Section:

JCU Current Interpretation:

Physical Distancing:

Section 6:

An owner, resident, tenant, occupier, temporary occupier or person in control of a premises, including a residence, must take reasonable steps to encourage visitors to the premises to practice physical distancing to the extent reasonably practicable.

Section 7:

A person who is leaving their principal place of residence must practice physical distancing while outside their principal place of residence, to the extent reasonably practicable.

Definition of Physical Distancing:

Section 31.  Definition of physical distancing - includes remaining at least 1.5 metres away from other persons where possible

Physical distancing shall be practiced during University activities, where reasonably practicable.

Where it is essential, physical distancing may be reduced.  Examples of essential activities that would require people to be within 1.5m of each other include activities that involve a two person lift, activities such as physiotherapy on a client where the distance cannot be maintained.

Anyone who leaves their home must practice physical distancing. This is to stay at least 1.5m from others where possible.

Where it is essential, this distance may be reduced.  This could apply such as a two-person lift, activities such as physiotherapy where the distance cannot be maintained.

Gatherings:

Section 27. Gathering does not include a gathering: (n) at a school, university, educational institution or childcare facility, that is necessary for the normal business of the facility

Section 38. Restricted area means a particular area of Queensland decided by the Chief Health Officer and published on the Queensland Government website.

Section 26.  Gathering, subject to section 26, means:

  • Non-restricted area: under part 2 means a gathering of more than 50 persons in a single undivided outdoor space or single undivided indoor space at the same time; or
  • Restricted area: under part 3 a gathering of more than 10 persons in a single undivided outdoor space or single undivided indoor space at the same time.

Restricted area:

Section 19. A person who owns, controls or operates premises, other than a residence, in a restricted area must not organise or allow a gathering of more than 10 people to occur on the premises.

Non-restricted area:

Section 12. A person who owns, controls or operates premises, other than a residence, in a non-restricted area must not organise or allow a gathering of more than 50 people to occur on the premises.

Section 27, (n) excludes the University from the gathering rules. This allows work or study groups of people to be at the University with no restrictions to the number of people.

If the gathering is for social / recreational reasons, the gathering must not be larger than 50 in a non-restricted area or 10 in a restricted area.

A list of restricted areas can be found at: the Queensland Government website.

JCU has a legal obligation to prohibit social / recreational gatherings greater than 40 (non-restricted areas or greater than 10 (restricted areas) to occur on the campus.

Travelling Interstate

Border Restrictions Direction (No.17) (01/12/2020) (Public Health Act 2005 (Qld) Section 362B)

This notice provides direction to all travelers to Qld including returning residents and workers.

Direction notice ‘Border Restrictions Direction (No. 17) should be read and understood by the Field Trip Leader prior to leaving Qld for a Field Trip.  This direction notice details quarantine and entry requirements for returning to Qld.

The Field Trip Leader is required to follow the State Government requirements of the interstate destination.

2 Close Contact

The close contact information is used for contact tracing. This is not a legal requirement, it is guidance that could assist in limiting the number of staff or students that could be deemed as close contacts.

Anyone deemed to be a close contact to a positive COVID-19 case will be required to quarantine for 14 days.

The criteria from Qld Public health is:

  • Greater than 15 minutes cumulative over a week, face to face within 1.5m, in any setting;
  • Greater than 2 hours within the same enclosed space.

As such, we wish to adhere to keeping contact below these thresholds, to the extent reasonably practicable, to:

  • Infection control - minimise the potential for transmission to staff or students of COVID-19 if an attendee has the virus;
  • Business continuity - reduce any potential for large numbers of staff or students to be deemed as close contacts resulting in quarantine for the applicable 14 days.

3 Should the field trip progress?

The following questions should be considered to determine if the field trip is able to be conducted safely and in accordance with Queensland Health and the Australian Government advice:

A

Does the trip involve interstate travel? Refer to table 1

B

Does the trip involve travel to a ‘hot spot’? Refer to https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status/hotspots-covid-19

C

Can the projects be suspended or disrupted if the advice from the Government changes?

D

Have all participants been advised that they must stay at home if they are sick, or are directed self-quarantine by QLD Public Health.

E

Has COVID-19 advice and infection control principles be included in your plans and met throughout the trip, to the extent possible?

  • Physical distancing (refer to section 3.1.1)
  • Infection control (refer to section 3.1.3)
  • Health screening (refer to section 3.1.4)

F

Is there a plan in place to manage a person who becomes ill during the trip (refer to section 3.4)?

G

Have all participants been encouraged to advise the Field trip leader if they are ‘vulnerable’ (refer to section 3.5).  The ‘vulnerable’ person should provide the Field Trip Leader with the advice from their treating medical practitioner.  Specific controls will be determined on a case by case basis. Refer to WHS-PRO-GUI-006h COVID-19 Guideline for Managing Vulnerable Staff Member.

H

Ensure all participants receive additional COVID-19 information as part of the pre-trip safety briefing (refer to section 3.6)

I Are you travelling to a JCU Research Station? If yes, ensure you have made contact with the Research Station Manager and have considered the stations COVID safe plan in your plans.

3.1 Physical distancing and Public Health Control Advice

All participants on field trips are required to meet the physical distancing and public health controls issued by the Australian Government and Qld Health, to the extent possible.

3.1.1 Physical Distancing:

If JCU have a reasonable option to separate field trip participants and meet the 1.5m requirement, then this should be applied.

If it is unreasonable to maintain the 1.5m distancing between field trip participants:

  • All participants must be advised, prior to the trip, that physical distancing will not be able to be accommodated during specific components of the trip (e.g. bus trip).  If participants choose to attend and consent to participating without physical distancing, the participants will then be classed as a single group.  Participants who choose not be a part of the single group, will be able to opt out of the field trip; and
  • The participants should maintain a distance of 1.5m from all other people/groups that they come across on the trip (e.g. bus driver, farmer, etc.) as much as is practicable, as these people are not captured in the field trip single group.
3.1.2 Number of participants on a JCU Field Trip
  • There is no JCU or government prescribed maximum number of participants for trips in regards to COVID.
3.1.3 Public Health Controls

The current public health controls include:

  • Environmental cleaning
  • Hygiene measures
  • Regular washing of hands
  • Availability of hand sanitiser
  • Avoid handshaking
3.1.4 Health Screening

The Field Trip Leader is responsible for ensuring that participants answer the following health screening questions immediately prior to leaving for the trip.  The Field Trip Leader is to determine the most appropriate way to ask and record the screening questions, e.g. form completed by each participant, questions included on the roll, verbally discussed and note maintained in Field Trip Leaders diary.

Health Screening questions include:

  • In the last 14 days have you travelled from overseas or a COVID-19 hotspot?
  • Have you been in close contact with a person who is positive for COVID-19?
  • Are you an active COVID-19 case?
  • Are you awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test?
  • Are you currently, or have you recently experienced cough, fever, sore throat, fatigue or shortness of breath?)

If the participant answers ‘yes’ to any of the screening questions, they shall not attend the field trip.

3.2 COVID requirements for the use of Non-JCU Companies (e.g. chartered vehicle, restaurant, hotels, accommodation facilities)

Where the field trip participants are required to use the services of a non-JCU Company (e.g. staying a hotel, travelling in a chartered vehicle, eating at a restaurant or using a caterer) the Company offering the service is responsible for ensuring that they are running a COVID Safe Business.  The JCU Field Trip Leader is required to confirm that the company is operating in accordance with a COVID Safe Framework (i.e. COVID Safe Industry Plan, Site Specific COVID Safe Plan, COVID Safe Checklist).

The Field Trip Leader is responsible for:

  • Requesting a copy of the companies COVID Safe Framework (may be a plan, checklist).  If the Company is unable to provide a plan / checklist, the Company should not be used; and
  • Read and understand the controls detailed in the COVID Safe Framework document, the WHS Unit can provide assistance on request.

3.3 Infection Control

3.3.1 Shared equipment
  • Do not share belongings such as keyboards, pens and phones where possible;
  • Ensure shared or communal equipment is cleaned and disinfected thoroughly between users (use 60% ethanol spray or bactericidal wipes impregnated with at least 60% ethanol to clean equipment).
3.3.2 Handwashing requirements
  • Access to handwashing facilities with soap and paper towel or hand sanitiser;
  • Techniques – handwashing poster on the JCU webpage
3.3.3 Cleaning and disinfecting
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as doorknob, table surfaces;
  • Clean and disinfect frequently used objects such as mobile phones, keys and wallets;
  • Increase the amount of fresh air available by opening windows or adjusting air conditioning.

Detergents and other cleaning products are intended for physical removal of dirt, oil and other substances.

Products that are identified (e.g. on the label) as a disinfectant are used to disinfect surfaces.  Either clean with a detergent first then disinfect, or use a product that both cleans and disinfects at once.

Acceptable disinfectants include:

  • Alcohol solutions at >60% (such as ethanol) e.g., methylated spirits;
  • Products marked as disinfectant.

3.4 What to do if a participant becomes unwell (COVID-19 symptoms) during the trip?

If a person who is sick needs to be transported from their accommodation or a medical facility, the following options should be considered:
  • Isolate the person from others and request the person wear a surgical mask when leaving the room (isolated area);
  • Contact emergency services or local medical centre for advice (including transport advice);
  • Self-transport with no other person in the vehicle is the preferred option (but only if the person is well enough).  Note – a person presenting with flu-like symptoms that may include fever should not drive themselves;
  • Last resort: Another person may transport the patient.  In this instance, the person who is transporting the patient should wear full PPE (surgical mask, protective eyewear and gloves) and decontaminate the vehicle post-transport in accordance with the guidelines for ‘terminal clean’. The patient must also wear a surgical-mask during transportation.  In this instance, the person who is transporting the patient should prepare to self-quarantine for the recommended period (currently 14 days) while they confirm whether or not they will develop symptoms.

Before any patient with flu-like symptoms is transported, contact should first be made with the destination (prior to departure) to advise them of the intended transportation, and to confirm any instructions for how the patient should be managed upon arrival.

Report to WHS unit if the person is advised to self-quarantine or tests positive.

3.5 Definition of Vulnerable

For the purpose of this document, the term vulnerable will be used for people who are more at risk of serious illness if they get COVID-19.  These people include:

A person is more likely to suffer severe illness due to COVID-19 if he/she:

  • is 70 years of age or over
  • is aged 65 years or over and have a chronic medical condition
  • is Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander aged 50 years and over with chronic medical conditions
  • has had an organ transplant and are on immune suppressive therapy
  • has had a bone marrow transplant in the last 24 months
  • is on immune suppressive therapy for graft versus host disease
  • has blood cancer eg leukaemia, lymphoma or myelodysplastic syndrome (diagnosed within the last 5 years)
  • is having chemotherapy or radiotherapy

A person is more likely to suffer moderate illness due to COVID-19 if he/she has:

  • chronic renal (kidney) failure
  • heart disease (coronary heart disease or failure)
  • chronic lung disease (excludes mild or moderate asthma)
  • a non-haematological cancer (diagnosed in the last 12 months)
  • diabetes
  • severe obesity with a BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2
  • chronic liver disease
  • some neurological conditions (stroke, dementia, other) (speak to your doctor about your risk)
  • some chronic inflammatory conditions and treatments (speak to your doctor about your risk)
  • other primary or acquired immunodeficiency (speak to your doctor about your risk)
  • poorly controlled blood pressure (may increase risk –speak to your doctor)

3.6 Participant briefing

Additional COVID-19 advice for field trips participants to discuss prior to the trip:

  • Symptoms and signs of COVID-19;
  • Personal hygiene, particularly hand hygiene, sneeze and cough etiquette;
  • Physical distancing rules;
  • Appropriate use of PPE such as gloves, gowns, eye protection and masks, including how to don and doff PPE correctly;
  • Actions on experiencing symptoms of COVID-19; and
  • Student and staff wellbeing support.

4 Approval

The Field Trip Approver in the Riskware Field Trip Module remains as the direct supervisor of the Field Trip Leader, as they are in the best position to ensure the health and safety risk controls are appropriate.  The current COVID-19 response processes also require each field trip to be approved by the Dean/Director.  This additional approval, ensures that the Dean/Director is aware of their staff member’s activities and destinations.  The Dean/Director may provide approval directly to the Field Trip Leader via email or other processes as determined by the Dean/Director.

During this interim period, any access to JCU Research Stations should be considered a field trip and are required to be entered into the Riskware Field Trip Module.

Field Trip Leaders are responsible for identifying and bringing to the attention of their Dean/Director any trips that may involve travel to or through a COVID-19 hotspot.  Quarantine requirements should be included in the field trip plan.

5 Schedules/Appendices

Appendix 1 - How to Handwash

Appendix 2 - How to Handrub

5 Document Control

Version

Approval/Implementation Date

Author 

Details

8.0 01/12/2020 JCU WHS Unit

Updates due to release of the Movement and Gathering Direction (1 December 2020) and Border restrictions Direction (No. 18)  (1 December 2020).

Updates due to release of Approved COVID Industry Safe Plans, Qld Government.

7.0

19/10/2020

JCU WHS Unit

Updates due to release of Restrictions on Business, Activities and Undertakings Direction (no 8) (16 October 2020) and Movement and Gathering Direction (no. 5)  (16 October 2020).

Updates due to release of Approved COVID Industry Safe Plans, Qld Government.

6.0

30/7/2020

JCU WHS Unit

Updates due to release of Restrictions on Business, Activities and Undertakings Direction (no 4) (10 July 2020) and Movement and Gathering Direction (no. 2) (3 July 2020)

Includes easing restrictions to level

Updates to the section 4 – Approvals.3.

5.0 02/06/2020 JCU WHS Unit

Updated due to the release of the Movement and Gathering Direction (no.1) 01/06/2020.

Added approval section 4.

4.0 28/05/2020 JCU WHS Unit

Updated due to release of Home Confinement, Movement and Gathering Direction (no.6) 19/05/2020

Addition of Gathering Definition (section 23) to clarify social gathering requirements.

Update to ka.

Document Control table added to guideline

WHS-PRO-Gui_002m COVID-19

Safe Use of Personal Protective Equipment Guideline

Introduction

JCU is responsible for managing the safety of our staff, students and the public when using personal protective equipment (PPE) as a control measure for Covid-19.

JCU recognises that PPE is in short supply and PPE must be used in the correct way and for the correct tasks.  JCU needs to ensure PPE will be available to be used by those who require it.  Unnecessary use of PPE should be avoided.

1 Types of PPE and when to use them

Surgical masks and respirators are not required as a general precaution for daily activities.  This PPE is to be worn when there is a specific potential for exposure, see Table 1: Types of PPE.

The risk of spreading COVID-19 virus occurs when:

  • Contact is made with respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes; or
  • The infected person touches a surface or object and leaving droplet material behind.

The controls to avoid the spread of COVID 19 include:

  • Practicing good hand hygiene;
  • Environmental cleaning (door handles, hand rails and other commonly touched surfaces) at least daily;
  • Isolation of infected or suspected case; and
  • Use of PPE when there is a risk of exposure.

At no time should cleaning staff enter a room occupied by a person with suspected / potential COVID-19. These spaces will be cleaned by the person occupying the space.

Aerosol generating procedures of a medical nature are not covered in this guideline.

Table 1 below provides a guide for the types of PPE that may be used and when this should be considered.

Table 1: Types of PPE

Type of Personal Protective EquipmentWhen to Use
Disposable gloves
  • When in direct contact or closer than 1.5m to a suspected (symptomatic) or confirmed case– this includes during transport;
  • Cleaning of common areas used by suspected / confirmed COVID19 cases;
  • Entering a room occupied by a confirmed case (this should be avoided);
  • Entering a room occupied by a symptomatic potential case;

Terminal clean (cleaning a room once a confirmed case has left the room).

Disposable plastic apron/gown (fluid resistant)
  • When in direct contact or closer than 1.5m to a suspected (symptomatic) or confirmed case  – this includes during transport;
  • Cleaning of common areas used by suspected / confirmed COVID19 cases;

Laundering of clothing or linen.

Coverall (full body and fluid resistant)
  • Potentially worn during terminal clean;
  • Entering a room occupied by a confirmed case.
Eye protection (this may include reusable safety goggles, single use face shields or reusable frames fitted with single use lenses. Reusable eye protection should be cleaned and disinfected after use)
  • When   in direct contact or closer than 1.5m to a suspected (symptomatic) or   confirmed case  – this includes during   transport;
  • Cleaning   of common areas used by suspected / confirmed COVID19 cases;
  • Entering   a room occupied by a confirmed case;
  • Entering   a room occupied by a symptomatic potential case;
  • Terminal   clean.
Surgical masks
  • When in direct contact or closer than 1.5m to a suspected (symptomatic) or confirmed case – this includes during transport;
  • People entering the room and the person with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should wear a surgical mask if the person with COVID-19 remains in the room;
  • Suspected / confirmed COVID-19 cases should wear a surgical mask when leaving their isolation area;

During transport of a person with suspected / confirmed COVID-19 a surgical mask should be used by all persons in the vehicle (including the driver).

P2/N95 Mask (fit tested)
  • When suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases with severe symptoms suggestive of pneumonia (e.g. fever, difficulty breathing, or frequent, severe or productive coughing);
  • Required for aerosol generating procedures conducted by health care professionals.  These masks are in short supply and should not be used for other activities;
  • Potentially used during terminal clean;

Vehicle drivers must wear a P2/N95 mask during transport of a person with suspected / confirmed COVID-19 where the person is displaying sustained sneezing / coughing (droplet producing symptoms).  The ill person should wear a surgical mask (P2/N95 mask is not required for the ill person).

2 Correct Process for Fitting PPE

People should use the following process to safely put on the recommended personal protective equipment before entering the potentially contaminated area:

  1. Clean your hands. This can be done with both liquid soap and running water or >60% alcohol- based hand sanitiser;
  2. Put on a disposable apron. Fasten the back of the apron at the neck and waist;
  3. Surgical mask (if required):
    • Follow the manufactures instructions for fitting the mask, a general guide is provided in Figure 1 below;
    • Do not touch the inside of the mask;
    • Do not refit during the period of use;
    • Fit your own mask.
  4. P2/N95 disposable respirator (if required due to risk of aerosol, highly symptomatic person):
    • Follow the manufactures instructions for fitting the mask:
      • There will most likely be a nose piece (wire or plastic) that must be moulded to your nose to provide adequate fit;
    • Do not touch the inside of the mask;
    • Do not refit during the period of use;
    • Fit your own mask;
    • The individual should have had a fit test with the particular brand and size of the respirator;
  5. If the person with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 is in the area.  They should also wear a surgical mask. Secure the ties of the mask at the middle of the head and neck. Fit the flexible band to nose bridge and ensure mask is fitted snug to face and below the chin. Do not touch or adjust the mask until you are ready to remove the mask;
  6. Put on protective eyewear to protect your eyes from the cleaning fluids;
  7. Put on disposable latex or vinyl gloves, see Figure 2.

The purpose of personal protective equipment is to reduce the risk of direct contact with contaminated surfaces.

3 Correct process for Removing PPE

People should use the following process to safely remove personal protective equipment:

  1. Remove and dispose of gloves. The outside of gloves is potentially contaminated. Remove gloves being careful not to contaminate bare hands during glove removal (see Figure 2);
  2. Clean your hands. This can be done with both liquid soap and running water or >60% alcohol-based hand rub;
  3. Remove and dispose of apron. The apron front maybe contaminated. Untie or break fasteners and pull apron away from body, touching the inside of the apron only;
  4. Remove protective eyewear/face shield. The outside of protective eyewear/face shields maybe contaminated. Remove eyewear/face shield by tilting the head forward and lifting the headband or earpieces. Avoid touching the front surface of the eyewear/face shield.  Reusable protective eyewear should be placed into a container and washed in disinfectant and water and allowed to completely air dry;
  5. Remove and dispose of surgical mask or P2/N95 respirator if worn. Do not touch the front of the surgical mask or respirator. Remove by holding the elastic straps or ties and remove without touching the front;
  6. Clean your hands. This can be done with either liquid soap and running water, or >60% alcohol-based hand rub.

Personal protective equipment can be disposed into general waste.  Do not reuse disposable PPE.

If wearing a mask, it should be either on or off – ensure it always covers both the nose and mouth and do not let it dangle from the neck.

Schedule/Appendices

Figure 1: How to fit and remove a surgical mask

Figure 2 How to fit and remove protective gloves

https://www.health.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0038/939656/qh-covid-19-Infection-control-guidelines.pdf

https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/industry/resources-and-fact-sheets-for-industry/covid-19-cleaning-and-disinfection-recommendations

Document Control

VersionDate Implemented/ApprovedAuthorDetails
2.018/05/2020JCU WHS Unit

Updated

   

Working from home may be required at times during the covid-19 pandemic.  JCU has a number of resources that are available to assist with home workstation safety and ergonomics. See ‘Resources for All Staff’ on the Remote Working webpage. A Remote Working Arrangement application form is not necessarily required when temporarily working remotely due to covid-19, however the information held within the form and the accompanying resources will be useful in the creation of a safe work space at home.

To notify JCU complete the following form - COVID-19 Notification Form - JCU Australia

The WHS Unit is available to answer any further questions staff may have and can be contact via email: safety@jcu.edu.au