Updated advice for Health Professionals

8 Jul 2020

Good afternoon all,

The main updates are:

·        Updated to reflect removal of suspect case definition and introduction of Higher Index of Suspicion criteria.
·        Reference to surveillance testing of those meeting only the clinical criteria.
·        Removed return to work requirement for two negative tests for confirmed COVID-19 cases who are Health Care Workers (HCW) following release from isolation.
·        Transferred the guidance for management of contacts, and relapsing cases from the case definition document to the Advice for Health Professionals document.
·        Introduced brief advice on management of cases with persistent symptoms.
·        Updated advice on management of close contacts seeking transfer or admission to aged residential care (ARC) facilities.
·        Updated links to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) advice.
·        As only Public Health Units can assign someone as a probable case, the document has been updated to de-emphasise probable case by consistently referring to confirmed (or probable) case.

Of these, the main one that the sector will need to be aware of is the removal of the requirement for two negative tests for COVID-19 Health Care Worker cases who are returning to work. The change in advice was following review by the Technical Advisory Group and in line with updated Australian advice on this topic.  Note that the requirement for a negative swab (Day 12) before return to work of health care workers who are close contacts of a confirmed case remains.

Kind regards

Dr Harriette Carr
Deputy Director of Public Health
Population Health and Prevention
Ministry of Health