Coronavirus (COVID-19) Policy

Bridges Alliance is committed to doing our part to decrease the spread of Coronavirus.

Covid-19 Sam

Date of Review: July 2020

This policy applies to all employees of Bridges Alliance, clients, stakeholders, and all relevant persons.
This policy includes the measures we are actively taking to mitigate the spread of coronavirus. To sustain a healthy and safe workplace in this unique environment, staff are to adhere to all health guidelines listed in this policy and by local health and governmental bodies.
  1. What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)
  2. Symptoms of COVID-19
  3. Prevention and protection against COVID-19
  4. Sick leave arrangements for employees
  5. Work from home requests (for head office staff)
  6. Travelling/commuting measures
  7. If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19
  8. COVIDSafe mobile app

1. What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)

1.1 According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

1.2 Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.

1.3 WHO has identified that for the majority of people who become infected with the COVID-19 virus, will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness, and recover without requiring special treatment. With older people (elderly), and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer they are more likely to develop serious illness.

2. Symptoms of COVID-19

2.1 Most common symptoms as identified by WHO that are in alignment with COVID-19 are:

  • Fever
  • Dry Cough
  • Tiredness

2.2 Least common symptoms as identified by WHO that are in alignment with COVID-19 are:

  • Aches and pains
  • Sore throat
  • Diarrhoea
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Headache
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • A rash on skin, or discolouration of fingers or toes

2.3 Serious common symptoms as identified by WHO that are in alignment with COVID-19 are:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Loss of speech or movement

2.3 If someone is infected with the virus the average amount of time for symptoms to show and cease is 5 – 6 days, however it can extend to as long as 14 days. .

3. Prevention and protection against COVID-19

3.1 Bridges Alliance recommends watching the below video from WHO, that demonstrates what people can do to protect themselves from contracting or spreading COVID-19. Click this video link:

3.2 The COVID-19 virus is spread mainly through saliva or discharge from the nose when one infected with the virus

3.3 At this point in time, although clinical trials evaluating potential treatments are ongoing, there are no vaccines or treatment that can cure COVID-19. Bridges Alliance will continue to inform their staff of any treatment findings as WHO continues to provide updated information on this.

3.4 Bridges Alliance understands that due to the nature of our services we cannot isolate ourselves from one another in full capacity. However, we will ensure our community is taking precautions by enforcing the following within our offices, residential homes, and delivery of services

  • All employees, clients and visitors must take their temperature and log this upon entering any building owned or operated by Bridges Alliance. If your temperature is over 40 ℃ or under 32 ℃ you are to report this to your senior or management for further guidance. The average body temperature is 36.5 ℃ to 37.2 ℃.
  • All employees, clients and visitors must sanitise their hands for 20 seconds upon entering any building owned or operated by Bridges Alliance.
  • All employees, clients and visitors must sign in and answer health related questions in written or electronic No more than TWO visitors in any Bridges Alliance owned or operated building at the same time as the current employees or clients who regularly operate within that space.form upon entering any building owned or operated by Bridges Alliance.
  • Where possible, social distancing of 1.5 metres including desks. Particularly in the office spaces of Bridges Alliance buildings.
  • Encouraging all employees to download the COVIDSafe app to be accurately informed.
  • Encouraging employees working in head office to work from home three days a week. This is to minimise the amount of people in the one space during this time.
  • Ensuring all buildings owned or operated by Bridges Alliance have supplies or tissues, hand sanitiser, hand
    soap and water and temperature checking appliances.
  • Any employee or client who has been or come in contact with an individual or place (also known as “Hot Spots”) where COVID-19 was present, must immediately get tested for COVID-19 at any of the hospitals available or pop up testing areas. For staff, their shift will be immediately cancelled and they will not be able to return to work until they test negative and provide eligible proof of their results. For clients, they are to isolate until they test negative and provide eligible proof of their results.
  • Enhanced cleaning regimes of all owned or operated buildings by Bridges Alliance including the cleaning of door handles/knobs, workstations, and countertops.
  • Provide posters and electronic messages to increase awareness of COVID-19 among staff and clients to promote safe individual practices at the workplace and at home.

3.5 Recommended precautions to further protect oneself include:

  • Maintaining hand hygiene by washing your hands regularly using either soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
  • Maintaining hand hygiene by wearing protective gloves where possible.
  • Avoid touching your face where possible.
  • Covering of your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, by doing so into the corner of your elbow.
  • Advising your senior or appropriate staff member that you are feeling unwell and staying home minimising contact with others.
  • Avoiding unnecessary travel and staying clear of large groups of people and crowds.
  • Promoting respiratory etiquette by wearing medical face masks.

4. Sick leave arrangements for employees

4.1 If an employee is sick and shows signs of having a cold or the flu such as coughing, sneezing, or fever, it is
recommended that they remain home and seek medical attention immediately.

4.2 It is advised that if an employee has sick family members, that they themself stay home, until their family members are recovered.

4.3 If an employee becomes sick at work, they will be separated from other employees and clients, and sent home.

5. Work from home requests (for head office staff)

5.1 A “Work from Home” Policy may be created and put into effect if the outbreak of COVID-19 becomes severe enough. This policy will remain in effect until conditions improve well within healthy limits per local health and/or governmental bodies.

5.2 Should an employee be required to care for a family member who is diagnosed with COVID-19, they will need to provide proof of being negative to this virus themselves, upon their family member recovering. This employee may not return back to work until they are cleared by a medical professional. If the employee is from head office, they may continue to work from home only within their capacity.

6. Travelling/commuting measures

6.1 If an outbreak becomes severe enough, employee travel (where possible) may be partially restricted for Support Workers and full restricted for head office staff until conditions improve.

6.2 Bridges Alliance will leverage the use of virtual meeting technologies such as Zoom Meetings and Microsoft Teams to continue work that would normally be conducted onsite by head office staff.

6.3 If an employee has recently returned from any area with a high number of COVID-19 diagnoses, they will be required to:

  • Support Worker: be tested for the virus and not return to work until their results show as negative by a medical professional
  • Head office staff: Work from home for at least 5 calendar days and may return to the office if no symptoms have presented themselves.

7. If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19

Bridges Alliance recognises that a diagnosis of the COVID-19 virus does not mean an employee is unable to work. However, for the safety and precaution of all employees, clients and our community, the employee will not be able to return to work until they provide a result of negative to COVID-19 by a medical professional.

Any individual that works for or is a client of Bridges Alliance who has come into contact with the employee that contracts COVID-19 must get tested immediately, and not return to work (employees) or isolate themselves (clients) from all of members of our community until they themselves receive a result of negative to the virus.

This policy will be reviewed and updated by senior management, as new information and guidelines are made available from local health and governmental bodies.

Have Questions?

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Head Office: Suite 1B, 1-9 Iolanthe St Campbelltown, NSW, 2560, Australia

Phone Number: 1300 771 063

Email Address: infoandreferrals@bridgesalliance.com.au

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