Following Premier Dominic Perrottet’s announcement regarding the updated Public Health Order for NSW on 15 December 2021, other restrictions have now been significantly eased and aligned for everyone (both vaccinated and unvaccinated) across the state.
Under these revised settings outlined in the Public Health Order (PHO):
There is no requirement for private health practitioners to have QR codes under the new Public Health Order (PHO).
MASKS & FACE COVERINGS
There is no requirement for private health practitioners to wear face coverings / masks
.Although mask mandates are no longer in place, NSW Chief Allied Health Officer – Andrew Davison – has provided Chiropractic Australia with the following advice regarding the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), with specific reference to masks face and coverings:
“Although the PHO does not specifically require private health practitioners to wear masks, I would strongly encourage all allied health and other health practitioners to continue wearing masks and other PPE, and continue screening patients coming into their practices for the following reasons:
1. Due to the increasing case numbers, NSW Health has today (December 15th) reverted back to Red Alert which requires all our staff to wear masks and other PPE and screen visitors.
2. Private health practitioners, including allied health, see very vulnerable people at a high risk of serious health complications resulting from COVID-19 and face masks significantly reduce the risk of transmission to and from patients.
3. There have been ‘clusters’ of positive COVID-19 cases in NSW resulting from private allied health practices, particularly practices where face masks have not been worn by clinicians.
4. Wearing face masks also reduces the risk to private allied health businesses because if clinicians are vaccinated and wearing ‘appropriate’ PPE they are less likely to be considered a ‘close contact’ if one of their patients is COVID-19 positive and therefore the requirement and timeframe to self-isolate is reduced.”
For more information about this and risk assessing and managing the exposure of vaccinated staff and PPE see: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/covid-19/Documents/risk-matrix-hcw-vaccinated.pdf
For information about risk assessing and managing the exposure of unvaccinated staff and PPE see: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/covid-19/Documents/risk-matrix-hcw-unvaccinated.pdf
For more advice for health care professionals, including PPE and screening patients, please go to https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/covid-19/Pages/advice-for-professionals.aspx
Vaccination order to be extended to primary care and private sector health service providers
According to the update from NSW Health on December 16th, Mandatory vaccination requirements will be extended to all primary care and other private sector health service providers across NSW, with these workers required to have had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine by 31 January 2022.*
*Please note: Whilst this change is expected, it is yet to be formerly enacted. Chiropractic Australia has reached out to NSW Health and will update members regarding this ammendment and when it commences as soon as this information comes to light.
The revised Public Health Order will extend vaccination requirements to health practitioners working in private and community settings, as well as support staff working in these practices, consistent with the with requirements in other states and territories; including Victoria, Queensland, and Western Australia.
Obligations for employers to take reasonable steps to ensure workers comply with these vaccination requirements, and for workers to provide evidence of vaccination will also apply. Workers will not be able to work in these settings unless they are vaccinated or have a medical contraindication certified by a medical practitioner.