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COVID-19 testing and vaccination for health workers

COVID-19 Testing and Vaccination Requirements (Contact by Health Workers with Cases) Direction (No. 2)

This Direction only applies to all employees and contractors of a Queensland Hospital and Health Service or the Queensland Ambulance Service.

What’s changed from 12 May 2021

  • Hospital and Health Service Chief Executives and the Queensland Ambulance Service Commissioner must ensure relevant employees comply with mask wearing requirements and:
    • are fit tested for a PFR or P2/N95 respirator
    • perform fit checking before each shift
    • wear a PFR or P2/N95 respirator at all times.
  • Relevant employees working at a quarantine facility must wear a PFR or P2/N95 respirator in designated zones and perform fit checking before each shift.

Overview

To protect the health of the community and those working in hospitals, health workers who are at a higher risk of having contact with COVID-positive patients must follow COVID-19 vaccination, testing and mask wearing requirements. These workers are considered relevant employees under this Direction.

Vaccination

Current employees

To continue working as a relevant employee, you must comply with vaccination requirements if you are likely to have direct contact with a COVID-19 patient. This means you must:

  • have received one dose of Pfizer or Astra Zeneca by 31 March; and
  • receive a second dose of Pfizer on or around 21 April or Astra Zeneca on or around 23 June; and
  • have notified the Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive or the Queensland Ambulance Commissioner (or nominated representatives) of your vaccination.

New employees

If you start work after 31 March 2021, you must comply with vaccination requirements if you are likely to have direct contact with a COVID-19 patient. This means you must:

  • have received one dose of Pfizer or Astra Zeneca before starting work; and
  • receive a second dose of Pfizer on or around 3 weeks after your first dose or Astra Zeneca on or around 12 weeks after your first dose; and
  • have notified the Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive or the Queensland Ambulance Commissioner (or nominated representatives) of your vaccination.

If you do not comply with vaccination requirements, direct contact with a COVID-19 patient will only be allowed if:

  • emergency care must be provided immediately
  • there is no other vaccinated employee available who can provide care or transport
  • you must provide services to maintain safe operation of the area where the COVID-19 patient is located.

If you do not comply with vaccination requirements and enter an area where a COVID-19 patient is located, you must:

  • report what happened to the Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive or the Queensland Ambulance Commissioner as soon as possible; and
  • undertake surveillance testing until 14 days have passed since you had contact with the person or entered the area.

If asked by an emergency officer, you must provide evidence that you comply with vaccination requirements.

If you do not comply with vaccination requirements, you can still work in a Queensland Hospital and Health Service or for the Queensland Ambulance Service as long as you do not work as a relevant employee. This means you cannot work in or enter an area with COVID-19 patients.

Testing

Relevant employees who are likely to be in direct contact with a COVID-19 patient must undertake surveillance testing and notify their employer of the test.

This means you must:

  • have a saliva test each shift
  • have a weekly throat and deep nasal swab if you are away from work for 7 days or more. You must continue to be tested until 14 days have passed since you have been at work.
  • have a test when directed by an emergency officer; or
  • continue to undertake surveillance testing if you work as a quarantine facility worker.

If you comply with surveillance testing and do not have COVID-19 symptoms, you do not need to isolate or quarantine while waiting for your result.

If you are not tested, you cannot work until you comply with testing or until 14 days have passed since you were a relevant employee.

If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, you must:

  • immediately seek medical attention
  • be tested and isolate until you receive a negative result and have no symptoms
  • follow the requirements in any other public health direction.

Face masks

  • Hospital and Health Service Chief Executives and the Queensland Ambulance Service Commissioner must ensure relevant employees comply with mask wearing requirements and:
    • are fit tested for a PFR or P2/N95 respirator
    • perform fit checking before each shift
    • wear a PFR or P2/N95 respirator at all times.
  • Relevant employees working at a quarantine facility must wear a PFR or P2/N95 respirator in designated zones and perform fit checking before each shift.

Record keeping

The Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive and the Queensland Ambulance Commissioner must keep a record of surveillance testing of relevant employees.

For full details read the COVID-19 Testing and Vaccination Requirements (Contact by Health Workers with Cases) Direction (No. 2).

Questions and Answers about COVID-19 testing and vaccination for health workers

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Questions and Requests for exemptions

If you are seeking clarification on a Direction or have any questions, please call 134 COVID (13 42 68).

You can apply for an exemption to a Direction online.