If you are unsure if you need a rapid antigen test, please read the guidance below (updated 28.02.23)
Effective Monday 7 February 2022, the following people at WDHS must do a Rapid Antigen (RA) test every 72 hours:
- All WDHS staff, students, and volunteers;
- Visiting Medical Officers (VMO)
- Staff working from home; and
- Authorised contractors working onsite.
The purpose of introducing this program is to reduce the number of people with undiagnosed COVID-19 infection working in priority settings.
Positive RA results
If a staff member, VMO , student, volunteer or contractor returns a positive RA test result, they must immediately:
• advise their department head;
• follow the Victorian Government quarantine and isolation requirements. Click here for link
** Isolation for Healthcare Worker’s is 7 days. At the end of 7 days, if you still have significant respiratory symptoms you are likely still infectious. A RAT is recommended to help establish this. A GP consult is recommended if further time off work is required.
You are no longer required to undertake a PCR test, if your RAT result is positive.
A staff member is to re-commence RA testing 4 weeks after COVID infection.
Negative RA Results
If a staff member has a negative RAT but still has new respiratory symptoms they must not return to work, but should:
- Collect a self-testing kit for COVID-19 & Respiratory viruses PCR from the ED
- Self-swab according to the instructions inside the kit.
- Do not swab in your workplace, or within the hospital confines
- Return the kit to the ED staff
- Results for COVID-19 are conveyed via text message
- Results for respiratory viruses test are conveyed via phone by IP&C staff (usually the same day or day after the COVID-19 result)
- If results are due over the weekend please contact the AH Coordinator
Please note – you cannot return to work until you receive clearance for both results
WDHS no longer requires negative RA results to be submitted via WDHS’s online reporting form.
Where to get your RA test kits
The free RA tests are available to collect from your Department Head.
If you have any queries in relation to this program please contact your Divisional or Department Head.
Staff exemption from isolation
In order to ease the pressure of staff shortages, Healthcare Workers are exempt from COVID-19 isolation under certain circumstances.
The exemption applies to household or household like contacts who have spent more than 4 hours with someone who has COVID-19.
The household or household like close contact exemption applies to WDHS staff:
• Who have no symptoms;
• Who agree to work during their quarantine period; and
• Who have not tested positive in the previous 7 days.
• have been granted an exemption by the Chief Executive (see link to exemption form below).
If at any time the WDHS staff member has symptoms or tests positive to a rapid antigen (RA) or PCR test, the exemption no longer applies.
If a WDHS staff member tests positive – they are a case and must isolate for 7 days and must notify their department head.
Staff already working from home (under a WDHS-approved Working from Home plan) are not required to apply for an exemption.
Exempt WDHS staff must:
• undertake a RA test each day for 7 days and return a negative result prior to commencing their shift:
• wear an N95/P2 face mask at all times while at work and while travelling to and from work;
• not enter shared break areas with other workers; and
• not share facilities or amenities with other staff if possible, and follow all employer directions if they must use shared facilities.
• clean surfaces with a Clinell wipe after taking a break.
• Staff must also follow the standard testing requirements for a household or household-like contact and get tested on Day 1 of contact (or as soon as possible) and again on Day 6 – with a RA test.
To apply for an exemption please click on the following link: https://form.jotform.com/220318453260043
Thank you for your continued support and if you have any queries or concerns please contact your Department or Divisional Head.
Last updated 28.02.23