COVID-19 Advice for the JCU Community - Last updated: 8 June 2022, 12pm (AEST)

COVID-19 Policies and Procedures

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From 17 December 2021, events are no longer required to operate under the COVID Safe Event Checklist.  All events are to managed in accordance with the standard University COVID-19 directions

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