Recently, we have had an increase in requests for COVID-19 clearance certificates, in order to return to work.
According to the Victorian Department of Health, as at 13/03/2020, the guidelines for testing for COVID-19 are as follows:
- Symptomatic return travellers from any country
- Contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19
Testing is also considered for those at high risk to the community (e.g. health care workers) in the absence of the above risk factors.
There is no current recommendation, nor the resources, to test patients outside the above criteria in the community. As a result, a definitive clearance for COVID-19 cannot be provided for people presenting with viral symptoms. For those who present with viral symptoms, the current recommendation is to stay home until they feel well.
The guidelines for testing are continuing to change. We encourage employers to keep up to date with the current guidelines that will assist in determining which staff members need to be isolated and sent for testing to ensure the safety of all employees and the wider community. The current guidelines can be found on the Victoria Health Department website.
Prevention is of course the best option, and education regarding proper hand-washing techniques, cough etiquette and minimising hand-to-hand and hand-to-face contact is paramount. It is also recommended by the Health Department to consider influenza vaccination (when available).
If you require further confirmation of the above guidelines, there is a “Coronavirus Hotline” available on 1800 675 398.