All of NSW is a red alert area. All areas of NSW are currently under stay at home Orders, until 11 September for regional NSW and 1 October for Greater Sydney.

From 28 August 2021 for staff who live in an area of concern must have registered their travel to leave a local government area of concern for work (unless providing an emergency service).

Visitors are permitted only by exception and must meet the conditions outlined in the COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control Manual. People seeking to visit a healthcare facility must request permission from the healthcare facility or treating doctor. NSW Health does not issue exemptions.

All staff and visitors entering a NSW Health hospital or health service must be screened at entry.

COVID-19 health screening involves a symptom check and an exposure assessment. Temperature checking can remain where automated thermal imaging systems are in place. Hand-held devices for temperature checking are not to be used.

This screening guide reflects the requirements under current Public Health Orders.

There are testing requirements for staff from Greater Sydney working in facilities more than 50km outside the Greater Sydney region.

Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) are considered areas of concern. There are restrictions for people who have been in Victoria or the ACT from 5 August 2021 and there are close and casual contact places of high concern in Victoria and the ACT.

There are active cases in New Zealand with contact tracing locations of interest.

For further information on Alert levels please read the COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control Manual.


Last updated: 06 September 2021
Download

Stay informed

NSW is currently responding to a number of COVID-19 outbreaks all across NSW. Healthcare workers are at high risk of exposure to COVID-19. It is important that we maintain high rates of testing to ensure any new cases or outbreaks are identified and managed rapidly. To assist healthcare facilities to assess staff who have been exposed to COVID-19 please to refer the Health Care Worker COVID-19 Risk Assessment Matrix.

Symptom check - all staff and visitors

Ask if they have any of these symptoms

Fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, body aches, sore or scratchy throat, headache, runny nose, muscle pain, vomiting, nausea, diarrhoea, or loss of smell or taste.

Temperature check

Hand-held devices for temperature checking are not to be used. Temperature checking can remain where automated thermal imaging systems are in place.

If temperature <37.5˚C, complete symptom check and exposure assessment.

If the person has a temperature of ≥ 37.5˚C or reports any symptoms, provide a mask and refer them to the closest COVID-19 testing clinic for COVID-19 testing. Tell them to self-isolate until they receive their results. If the person is attending a clinical appointment in the facility check with the treating team prior to referral to the COVID-19 clinic.

COVID-19 exposure assessment - Staff

Exposure to a COVID-19 case

  • Ask if they have been in contact with a COVID-19 case in the last 14 days without appropriate PPE or if they have been asked to self-isolate by a health official.
    • If yes to either, record their contact details and ask your manager to refer to the local public health unit for follow up. Exclude them from working at the facility and tell them they must immediately self-isolate for 14 days since the exposure. Ensure details are available of the staff member to assist with follow up.
  • Ask if they have a household member who is a close contact of a COVID-19 case.
    • If yes, ask secondary questions:
      • if the household member has received a negative COVID-19 test result as part of their close contact follow-up
      • if they have been appropriately isolating from the household member since the household member was identified as a close contact.
    • If no to either of the secondary questions, record their contact details and ask your manager to refer to the local public health unit for follow up. Exclude them from the facility until further advice is received from the public health unit.
    • If yes to both secondary questions, they are not excluded from the facility, and you should continue the exposure assessment.
  • Ask if they have been to any of the Close Contact locations or travelled on nominated public transport routes, during the time and date indicated, in the Close contacts – Get tested immediately and self-isolate for 14 days table at NSW Health - Case locations and alerts.
    • If yes, record their contact details and ask your manager to refer to the local public health unit for follow up. Exclude them from the facility and tell them they must follow the advice on that web page.
  • Ask if they have been to any of the Casual Contact locations or travelled on nominated public transport routes, during the time and date indicated, in the Casual contacts – Get tested immediately and self-isolate until you get a negative result table at NSW Health - Case locations and alerts.
    • Staff who have attended casual contact venues need to self-isolate until the receive a negative test. While they do not need to continue to self-isolate following a negative test result, they can only return to work fourteen days after they were at the venue, unless they are essential.
    • If a staff member has an essential role in the facility and has attended a casual contact venue, refer them to their manager for a risk assessment. Managers should use their district employee risk assessment procedure and can contact the local public health unit for advice if required.
    • Essential staff who are permitted to work following a risk assessment should wear a mask while on duty and have a follow up COVID-19 test between 12 and 14 days after they were at the venue, as well as at any time if any symptoms occur.

COVID-19 vaccination from 9 September 2021

For staff who live in an area of concern ask if they have received at least 1 dose of a COVID -19 vaccine. Exclude staff from the facility if they:

Surveillance testing of staff

  • For facilities outside Greater Sydney ask if they live or have been in Greater Sydney in the previous 14 days. Greater Sydney includes Wollongong and the Blue Mountains, however from 21 August, Shellharbour and the Central Coast are no longer included as part of Greater Sydney.
    • If a staff member is non-essential exclude them from the facility
    • If a staff member has an essential role in the facility, refer them to their manager for a risk assessment. Managers can contact the local public health unit for advice if required.
      • Ask them if they have been tested for COVID-19 in the last 7 days
      • Ask them for evidence that the test has been taken (e.g. an SMS text message or email from the testing organisation).

Interstate or overseas risk locations

  • Ask if they have been in Victoria, the ACT or New Zealand in the last 14 days.
    • If yes, refer the staff member to your manager for a risk assessment of their exposure. Managers can contact the local public health unit for advice on assessing risks.
  • Ask if they have been to any Places of high concern - Close Contact Places in Victoria or the ACT or contact tracing locations of interest in New Zealand at the dates and times listed in the previous 14 days
    • If yes, exclude them from the facility. Record their contact details and ask your manager to refer to the local public health unit for follow up.
  • Ask if they have been to any Places of high concern - Casual Contact Places in Victoria or the ACT at the dates or times listed in the previous 14 days
    • Staff who have attended casual contact venues need to self-isolate until the receive a negative test. While they do not need to continue to self-isolate following a negative test result, they can only return to work fourteen days after they were at the venue, unless they are essential (see below).
    • If a staff member has an essential role in the facility and has attended a casual contact venue, refer them to their manager for a risk assessment. Managers should use their district employee risk assessment procedure and can contact the local public health unit for advice if required.

Essential staff who are permitted to work following a risk assessment should wear a mask while on duty and have a follow up COVID-19 test between 12 and 14 days after they were at the venue, as well as at any time if any symptoms occur.

COVID-19 exposure assessment - Visitors

All visitors should be excluded from the facility, however, there are reasons where a person may be permitted. For people seeking to visit a facility ensure that advice is sought from either the treating team or facility manager before excluding the person from the facility and appropriate mitigation measures are put in place. Please note that general exemptions for entry cannot be given. For further information please refer to Supporting visits and contact with family for inpatients in the last days of life.

Visitors may be permitted to enter provided they have not been to any Places of high concern or have any COVID-19 symptoms, where they are:

  • seeking medical treatment
  • obtaining medical supplies
  • fulfilling carer's responsibilities
  • end of life visit
  • attending an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

For visitors who are permitted to enter:

Exposure to a COVID-19 case

  • Ask if they have been in contact with a COVID-19 case in the last 14 days or been asked to self-isolate by a health official.
    • If yes to either question, record their contact details and ask your manager to refer to the local public health unit for follow up. Exclude them from the facility and tell them they must immediately self-isolate for 14 days since the exposure.
  • Ask if they have been to any of the Close Contact locations or nominated public transport routes during the time and date indicated, in the Close contacts - Get tested immediately and self-isolate for 14 days table at NSW Health - Case locations and alerts.
    • If yes, record their contact details and ask your manager to refer to the local public health unit for follow up. Exclude them from the facility and tell them they must follow advice on that web page.
  • Ask if they have been to any of the locations or nominated public transport routes during the time and date indicated, in the Casual contacts - Get tested immediately and self-isolate until you get a negative result table at NSW Health - Case locations and alerts.
    • Exclude them from the facility even if they have been tested and received a negative result. If they haven't been tested advise them to do so immediately. Record their contact details and ask your manager to refer to the local public health unit for follow up.

Interstate or overseas risk locations

  • Ask if they have been in Victoria, the ACT or New Zealand in the last 14 days.
    • If yes, exclude them from the facility; (in exceptional circumstances contact the Public Health Unit for advice or refer to the above advice).
  • Ask if they have been to any Places of high concern – Close or Casual Contact Places in Victoria or the ACT or contact tracing locations of interest in New Zealand at the dates and times listed in the previous 14 days
    • If yes, exclude them from the facility. Record their contact details and ask your manager to refer to the local public health unit for follow up.
      • However, there are reasons where a person may be permitted. Please ensure that advice is sought from either the treating team or facility manager before excluding the person from the facility and appropriate mitigation measures are put in place. The following people may be permitted to enter provided they have not been to any Places of high concern or have any COVID-19 symptoms, where a person is:
        • seeking medical treatment
        • obtaining medical supplies
        • fulfilling carer's responsibilities
        • end of life visit
        • attending an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Current as at: Monday 6 September 2021
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW