Arjo AUS FAQ Covid-19
Updated: 28th February 2022
COVID-19 FAQ Revision.18
1. What is a coronavirus and COVID-19?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses known to cause respiratory infections. These can range from the common cold to more serious diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). This new coronavirus originated in Hubei Province, China and the disease caused by the virus is named COVID-19.
2. How is this coronavirus spread?
COVID-19 is most likely to spread from person-to-person through:
- Direct close contact with a person while they are infectious or in the 24 hours before their symptoms appeared.
- Close contact with a person with a confirmed infection who coughs or sneezes.
- Touching objects or surfaces (such as door handles or tables) contaminated from a cough or sneeze from a person with a confirmed infection, and then touching your mouth or face.
3. What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to colds and the flu and include:
- Sore throat
- Difficulty breathing
4. What do I do if I am feeling unwell?
If you are feeling unwell while at work, please consult with your Line Manager who will work with you and make arrangements for you to either go home, work from home, and/or seek medical treatment.
If you are feeling unwell at home you should notify your Line Manager before the start of your usual shift and you should stay home and/or seek medical treatment.
5. I’m not feeling well and don’t think I can come to work, what should I do?
You should contact your Manager/Supervisor prior to your normal start time to notify them as per normal. If you suspect COVID-19 or have any symptoms, then you should seek medical assistance for urgent assessment. Refer Q7.
6. Should I be tested for COVID-19?
Your doctor will tell you if you should be tested, your doctor will decide if you meet the criteria:
- You have returned from overseas in the past 14 days;
- You have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days;
- You travelled on a cruise ship (either passenger or crew) in the 14 days before developing symptoms;
- You are a health care, aged care or residential care worker;
- You have lived in an area where there is a higher risk of community transmission, as defined by the local public health unit.
7. Where should I go if I need to be tested for COVID-19?
It appears that the dedicated COVID-19 test clinics provide the quickest testing process and result turnarounds. If any of your team needs to be COVID tested, Arjo recommends the following (wherever possible):
a) Contact a dedicated COVID-19 test clinic to book or attend the COVID-19 test. Please use the links below to access details on the clinics within your states:
b) While at the test centre, let them know you are an essential worker and to fast track your test results if possible.
8. Who needs to self isolate?
You must self-isolate if you have COVID-19, or you have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, or you arrived in Australia after midnight on 15 March 2020.
9. Someone I live with is in isolation or getting tested for COVID-19. Should I self-isolate and get tested as well?
Staff should immediately notify their Manager and HR and commence self-isolation at home if directed to by the Health Authorities. If the test results come back negative or the local Health Department give the all-clear to stop self-isolation, then the staff member can return to work. Where self-isolation is directed, always follow the Health Authority instructions.
10. What information do I report to my Manager and HR if a member of my household or I am suspected of having COVID-19?
Depending on your circumstances you may also be asked to help identify any other people that you have had close contact with (15 minutes of uninterrupted contact), between the possible infection starting point and when you have become aware of the possible infection.
11. What does isolate in your home mean?
If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, you must stay at home to prevent it from spreading to other people. You might also be asked to stay at home if you may have been exposed to the virus. Where self-isolation is directed, always follow the Health Authority instructions.
Staying at home means you:
- do not leave your home/hotel unless it is an emergency
- do not go to public places such as work or shopping centres
- do not let visitors in - only people who usually live with you should be in your home.
You should stay in touch by phone and on-line with your family and friends. For more information, read the fact sheet on home isolation.
12. What is social distancing?
Social distancing is one way to help slow the spread of viruses such as COVID-19. Social distancing includes staying at home when you are unwell, avoiding large public gatherings if they’re not essential, keeping a distance of 1.5 metres between you and other people whenever possible and minimising physical contact such as shaking hands, especially with people at higher risk of developing serious symptoms, such as older people and people with existing health conditions.
Social distancing precautions can help protect the people in our community who are most at risk.
13. Who is most at risk of a serious illness?
Some people who are infected may not get sick at all, some will get mild symptoms from which they will recover easily, and others may become very ill, very quickly. From previous experience with other coronaviruses, the people at most risk of serious infection are:
- People with compromised immune systems (e.g. cancer).
- Elderly people.
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, as they have higher rates of chronic illness.
- People with diagnosed chronic medical conditions.
- People in group residential settings.
- People in detention facilities.
- Very young children and babies.*
*At this stage the risk to children and babies, and the role children play in the transmission of COVID-19, is not clear. However, there has so far been a low rate of confirmed COVID-19 cases among children, relative to the broader population.
14. How is the virus treated?
There is no specific treatment for coronaviruses. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses. Most of the symptoms can be treated with supportive medical care.
15. How can we help prevent the spread of coronavirus?
Practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene and keeping your distance from others when you are sick is the best defence against most viruses. You should:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, before and after eating, and after going to the toilet.
- Cover your cough and sneeze, dispose of tissues, and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
- If unwell, avoid contact with others (stay more than 1.5 metres from people).
- Exercise personal responsibility for social distancing measures
16. What is Arjo’s position on the COVID-19 vaccine?
The approval of COVID-19 vaccines & the associated booster shot has been an extremely positive development. Getting the population vaccinated is now seen as the only way to avoid future lock-downs and closure of state & international borders.
Arjo continues to monitor the guidance from the applicable health authorities and government bodies. It is clear they are promoting a rapid roll-out of all approved vaccines across the country and increasing supply to all approved age groups. Arjo firmly supports immunisation against the Flu and Covid-19 viruses and requests all staff to be fully vaccinated which includes the booster shot. It is a very easy process to go online and make a booking. Your line manager or HR can assist you to do this if required.
Arjo will offer staff paid time off during working hours to visit their GP or Vaccination Clinic and also understands that some staff may experience a mild reaction to vaccinations such as tiredness, arm pain or a mild fever. If this happens and staff cannot work, please communicate with your Line Manager to arrange further paid time off.
As a priority, our front line staff who visit aged care facilities and hospitals need to get fully vaccinated which includes your booster shot as soon as you are eligible. This is to protect yourselves and those at increased risk of COVID-19 infection and vulnerable to serious complications if infected. Our customers are now demanding that all staff and contractors (e.g. Arjo) have proof of Flu AND COVID-19 vaccinations, and we are seeing many customers across Australia also mandating booster shots too.
We do ask that when you receive the COVID-19 vaccine or booster shot, you should immediately inform the HR department and send an email to Batool Swaid. Batool.firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any concerns or questions regarding the vaccine or booster shot, we would encourage you to speak to your Manager, HR, GP, health care professional or visit https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/covid-19-vaccination/getting-the-covid-19-vaccination
17. Should I wear a face mask?
You should only wear a mask if you are directed to by Arjo, a facility or ward you are visiting and local or state Health Authorities. The Health Authority recommendations or requirements on when to wear a face mask differ state to state.
Please ensure you keep up to date with any changes that occur within your state, and follow any of the recommendations or requirements that are made by your Health Authorities.
18. Can I work from home, if I am in the 14 day isolation period?
This will depend on your role if there is the ability to work from home and will need to be determined on a case by case basis with your Manager and HR. Refer to AU-OHS-036 Home Based Work policy & procedure on AUS SharePoint.
19. Will I be paid during the required isolation period after returning from personal travel domestic and/or international?
Any planned domestic and/or international travels should be discussed with your Manager before booking, and should allow for any required isolation periods by health authorities on return. This means you should plan to take isolation periods as annual leave.
If you do not have sufficient annual leave to cover isolation periods, then you should discuss with your Manager if the period can be approved as unpaid leave. There is no automatic entitlement to unpaid leave.
20. Will I be paid if I am asked by a government agency to isolate at home for being a close contact and/or at a local or state exposure site?
If you are instructed to isolate at home due to being deemed a close contact and/or at local or state exposure site, you will need to access your leave entitlements. Please discuss your circumstances with your Manager.
NOTE: Where a worker has been deemed a close contact whilst performing their usual duties, please consult with your Manager to discuss the special circumstances and entitlement that may be applied.
21. Will I be paid if I get COVID-19 and my doctor tells me or directs me to isolate at home?
If you are instructed to isolate at home due to illness and have a medical certificate, then you will need to access your sick leave. If you don’t have enough sick leave to cover the time away from work, then consult with your Manager to discuss other options of using annual leave, long service or unpaid leave.
22. Why must I clean my desk, office, car/ or van? How do I do this?
By keeping common surface areas clean, it will help reduce the spread of the virus. It is important that you take all the recommended steps to help protect yourself and others.
23. What must I do if I suspect one of my co-workers has COVID-19?
If you see a co-worker who appears unwell in the office, ask them in a courteous and respectful way how they are feeling and encourage them to consult with their Line Manager to discuss their circumstance.
24. If one of my co-workers get COVID-19, how will you notify me? What must I do?
Arjo will update staff via their Managers who will explain the situation and the specific instructions that will need to be followed.
25. What are Arjo’s site working arrangements?
Our offices across Australia remain open as we are an essential supplier of services. Our highest priority at this time is to keep our people safe and healthy and to keep operating the business at maximum activity.
To this end we are committed to providing safe and healthy workplaces to protect our people. This means additional precautions, such as:
- Taking temperature on arrival to site
- Cleaning desks daily
- Enforcing social distancing, where ever possible
- Minimizing staff movements beyond their usual work areas and facilities
- Different business areas are implementing specific controls, please support all precautions that are being introduced across the Arjo business.
As our offices remain open and as not all employees can work from home, we are looking to accommodate staff in offices via a system of flexible/split/rotational shifts for office based employees.
Arjo has an essential services letter available which can be used as required to identify you as an essential worker.
26. Can I temporarily work from home?
There are some roles that can be done on a temporary working from home basis. The temporary homeworking policy should be followed and discussed with your Manager if you are in a role that can be performed from home.
27. What happens if I can’t go to work because we have no available childcare arrangements?
At this time schools remain open in most states but if you find yourself in a situation that the school that your children attend is closed and you do not have childcare arrangements, we will be as flexible as possible.
Discuss personal circumstances with your Manager and/or HR with a view to
- Apply a work from home arrangement in line with temporary homeworking policy.
- Reviewing leave entitlements such as – carer’s leave, annual leave, long service leave, and unpaid leave.
- Coordinating temporary shift changes, where you can balance shifts with childcare and support from others in your community.
Please discuss with your Manager and come to an agreed approach that can work for you and the company.
28. What about Employees who are unable to work from home or if we don’t have enough of your normal work for you to do, or less work than usual?
Our aim is to keep the business operating at maximum activity. In cases where you are not operating at maximum activity in your role, we may ask employees to carry out alternative duties for this period and / or assist in other departments. Please be open to having discussions with your Manager and / or HR in working out plans.
29. Why are you asking me to work in another business area?
Arjo is committed to doing everything it can to keep operating the business at maximum capacity, if you are in an area or role that is not 100% utilised then we will expect you be flexible and work another area at this time. At this time Arjo needs all hands on deck.
30. Working from home isn’t clear to me… I’m confused - I think I have a job that can work from home but my Manager hasn’t offered this to me? What is the Arjo position on working from home?
Staff working from home is managed on a case by case basis and should be discussed with your line Manager.
31. What if I or my family member(s) are in an at risk category for COVID-19?
There will be some employees/ or members of their household who are considered to be in the at risk group. The employee needs to take responsibility for their own condition and needs to follow the guidance from the Department of Health.
As an employer, we will treat this on a case by case basis and be as supportive as possible and will support flexible and home working where we can.
Please ensure that you inform your Manager and agree on the approach.
32. Is my job safe?
Remember that Arjo is providing an essential service at this time, and we are operating the business at maximum activity. Should the business performance change, we will then communicate this with you constructively and transparently.
Arjo remains committed to you, our valued employees, and our commitment to you is to continue to run this business in a successful way, particularly on the other side of the COVID-19 situation.
33. Can I take supplies home from Arjo such as toilet paper, hand sanitiser, soap, masks/PPE?
Arjo has a sharing program in place to assist staff with certain hard to get consumables such as toilet paper – please refer to your local Operations Manager for more details.
The taking of any supplies outside of the sharing program is considered misconduct and subject to disciplinary action.
34. Do social distancing laws apply at the workplace?
Yes, social distancing must be practised at work in the Arjo sites and on customer sites. This means you must work/stand 1.5m apart from your work colleagues/customers. This means you cannot be in groups of more than two people and must be 1.5m apart at any time.
Strict individual and business fines apply if social distancing rules are not adhered to.
If in the course of your role you are prevented from practicing the social distancing rules, please speak to your Manager.
35. What if I have personal interstate or international travel planned for the holidays – what do I need to consider in relation to returning to work after my holidays?
COVID-19 is highly contagious and travel advice can change rapidly. Before considering any travel, it is important that you are up to date with the latest advice.
Travel interstate, internationally or through any Australian COVID hotspots may require 14 days self-isolation at your home or at your expense in a COVID medi-hotel when you return home. Please discuss any travel plans to known COVID hotspots with your Line Manager prior to leaving, so that Arjo can manage any risks and maintain a safe workplace for all.
FRONT LINE STAFF FAQ
36. What restrictions are there on business related international and interstate air travel?
All non-business critical international and interstate air travel is currently suspended. Please discuss any business critical needs for any air travel with your Line Manager.
37. What if I have been asked to enter a facility (including hospital, aged care facility etc.) where there is suspected / known Covid-19 outbreak has occurred?
For any customer sites that have a confirmed COVID-19 infection, please consult with your Manager prior to entry. Your Manager will work with you to review the requirements on a case by case basis.
Arjo as a provider of essential services, respects that staff on the front line may feel vulnerable at this time. For this reason, frontline staff should enter customer sites vigilant that potential cases of COVID-19 may exist.
If staff do need to enter the facility, they should follow their infection control training and procedures as you would normally do. This includes practicing standard hand hygiene and donning appropriate PPE. Ensure equipment has been decontaminated prior to undertaking work and make sure that all vehicles and tools are regularly cleaned as per the procedure.
If it is permissible to proceed, conduct work as necessary, minimise contact with facility surfaces and maintain separation distances with other people. Remember a disposable apron can double as a ground sheet in the case that a technician needs to work at ground level.
All Arjo staff should always follow Facility protocols when visiting a Customer site, this may include adherence to no go zones and/or additional PPE to enter high risk wards.
38. What if I have been in a facility (including hospital or aged care) which is subsequently identified as having an active Covid-19 case at the time I was there?
Subsequent social isolation and testing for COVID-19 is not required unless deemed to be required by the health authorities. Please do not act on news reports, but contact your manager and take direction if contacted by health authorities.
39. What must I do if I arrive at a facility (including hospital, aged care facility etc.) and local infection control procedures have not been followed and the equipment has not been de-contaminated?
40. If I’m frontline working in hospital / facility and contract COVID-19, is it a workplace injury?
The answer is yes. But in saying this, it is very important to take note of the fact that whether or not the injury will be compensable will largely depend on:
- Expert medical advice and proof that Coronavirus (COVID-19) was actually contracted during the course of employment and;
- That the employment was the key contributing factor to contracting Coronavirus (COVID-19).
It could be difficult to determine the proof that the employment was the key contributing factor to contracting Coronavirus (COVID-19), and in addition to this each claim would have to be looked at individually on both its merits and evidence. Arjo’s Injury Management policy applies to all staff who are injured in the course of performing their work related duties.
41. What PPE do I need on the front line?
Your standard issue PPE is in place to protect you from all diseases, not just COVID-19. Your standard PPE should consist of disposable gloves, safety glasses, disposable aprons and depending on work location (laundries) disposable hair nets. There is no requirement for front line staff to don additional PPE unless they are directed to by a Facility to enter a high risk ward. Refer to Q17. regarding use of masks.
42. I am fearful of entering a hospital or long term care facility, what should I do?
43. What if I need to drive across a state border blockade to perform my job?
44. Should I download and use the local State COVID check-in app?
All Arjo staff should download the local state check-in app on their company or personal mobile device. Daily check-in on arrival at an Arjo site is mandatory.
Where Customers or the State Health Department have mandated Arjo staff check-in via the mobile app or any other process as a conditional of entry to a site, all Arjo staff should comply with the requirement before entering.
COVID-19 FAQ Revision.18 Date Last Updated: 28/02/2022 For internal use only.
Print-outs and copies of this document have to be checked for validity and correctness before use.