Virtus Health Staff - COVID-19 Committee FAQs #1

Employee and Specialist Frequently Asked Questions

This is not intended to be an exhaustive list and will be updated as and when required.  In the meantime, if you have further questions please direct them to your immediate manager.  The changes around the world are moving so fast that we now refer to “community” as being local, national or global instead of naming all countries.

What happens if I contract COVID-19 at work? What happens if I contract COVID-19 in the community or during a period of leave, domestic or international?

You will be required to isolate yourself for a period designated by respective Government Health Departments (currently 14 days in Australia) – during this period you will be paid under the personal (sick) leave provisions of your employment contract where they apply (Australia) and/or Enterprise Agreement subject to providing a medical certificate.

What happens if I suspect I have been exposed to COVID-19 in the community or during a period of leave, domestic or international?

Monitor for symptoms and if concerned, take a test to establish whether you have the virus. You will be required to isolate yourself for a period designated by Virtus Health – during this period you will be paid under the personal leave provisions of your contract where they apply (Australia).

Contact Grant McBride grant.mcbride@virtusdiagnostics.com.au or 0437 834 410 and advise your immediate manager so local Managing Directors can log in Riskman.

What happens if my normal place of work is temporarily closed due to a COVID-19 outbreak?

You may be required to isolate yourself for a period designated by Virtus Health. The company may also consider alternative working arrangements and these will be communicated to you in a timely manner.

What happens if another place of work in Virtus is temporarily closed due to a COVID-19 outbreak?

After appropriate cleaning has been undertaken you and other colleagues may be required to provide cover and support at the location concerned. Alternatively patients and specialists may attend your location to maintain services and support.

If I have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 OR I am suffering from a respiratory illness what should I do?

  • If fever or respiratory illness (even if mild) occur seek medical attention as soon as possible, isolate yourself immediately
  • Call/visit your GP before returning to work;
  • Contact your supervisor directly;
  • Monitor symptoms for 14 days.

Should I attend work if a member of my family is in isolation?

No, you should comply with the isolation guidelines.

Should I book travel to work related international conferences?

No. Virtus Health has determined all international travel is postponed until further notice. Exceptions to this are through the written approval of the Interim Chief Executive Officer.

Will I be required to travel on business to other Virtus international locations?

No. Virtus Health has adequate video-conferencing facilities and you may vary your working arrangements to fulfill meetings outside your normal working hours if applicable. International travel on company business will be considered on a case by case business, but our current approach is that employees will not be asked to travel.

Should I travel between Virtus locations within Australia or Europe?

All international and domestic business related air travel for Virtus staff and doctors is suspended, this includes attendance at domestic conferences, Board meetings, Management meetings or travel within the Virtus network. If you believe there is a need for urgent travel please seek advice from your immediate manager.

How do I stay safe?

There are no guarantees, but:

  • Wash hands for about 20 seconds with soap and hot water or use a sanitizer gel after contact with patients or colleagues, or every 2 hours;
  • Use a tissue for coughs and sneezes;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands;
  • Avoid close contact with people who are feeling unwell; and
  • Politely refrain from the normal practice of welcome handshakes, hugs or kisses.

Should I wear a face mask at work?

For COVID-19 specific situations, you should use Personal Protective Equipment (gown, googles, gloves & face masks) if in contact (from examination to simple procedures e.g. blood sample, nasal swab) on patient(s) having respiratory illness or suspected coronavirus.

If staff are undertaking procedures for a patient with Confirmed COVID 19 (Coronavirus) they must wear properly fitted P2 or N95 mask.

Any staff member who develops a fever or presents with any respiratory symptoms should be asked to don a mask immediately, notify management and leave work to see a GP or attend a fever or respiratory clinic for investigation and management.

Am I eligible for Workers Compensation/Employers Liability if I contract COVID-19 at work?

The normal process of assessment will apply in each country, state or territory. 

Version Date: 11 March 2020.