The National Department of Health has released their guideline for occupational exposure amongst essential workers:

Guidelines for symptom monitoring and management of essential workers for COVID-19 related infection. Click here for the guideline.

Scenario 3 and 4 deal with a COVID-19 negative individual who has a high or low risk exposure to a confirmed or suspected case.

What is High Risk Exposure?

Close contact within 1 metre of a COVID-19 confirmed case for >15 minutes without PPE (no face cover/eye cover)
OR
failure of PPE
AND/OR
direct contact with respiratory secretions of confirmed COVID-19 case (clinical or laboratory)

When can I return to work following high risk exposure?

If asymptomatic through day 7, then a COVID-19 PCR  test is done on day 8 (mark specimen Health Care Worker so it is done urgently)
If PCR result negative and you are well, return to work.

Return to work restrictions following high risk exposure:

Undergo medical evaluation to confirm if you are fit to work
Continued self-monitoring for symptoms (twice daily symptom check using the tool)
Wear a surgical mask at all times until 21 days after first test
Implement social distancing measures as appropriate (in the case of healthworkers avoiding contact with severely immunocompromised patients)
Adhere to hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, and cough etiquette
Seek medical re-evaluation if respiratory symptoms occur 

What is Low Risk Exposure?

Low risk exposure: >1 metre away from a COVID-19 confirmed case for <15 minutes
OR
within 1 meter but wearing PPE (face cover, eye cover).

Also consider lower risk if COVID case was wearing a surgical mask (source control).

Return to work restrictions following low risk exposure:

Continued self-monitoring for symptoms (twice daily symptom check using the tool)
Implement social distancing measures as appropriate (in the case of healthworkers avoiding contact with severely immunocompromised patients)
Adhere to hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, and cough etiquette
Seek medical re-evaluation if respiratory symptoms occur 

If you are uncertain of the exposure risk, use the WHO tool.

Source: National Department of Health. Guidelines for symptom monitoring and management of essential workers for COVID-19 related infection. April 2020

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