The increase in community transmission of COVID-19 and application of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) continues to be a key focus for the health system, with the safety of our patients and staff our priority.

Given the current context of local transmission, NSW Health has advised LHDs / SCHNs to escalate to a moderate risk level (Amber). This requires all health workers wear a surgical mask if they are within 1.5m of patients. Patients are also required to wear a mask, where possible. This advice applies to hospital and community health settings and comes into effect from Friday 24 July 2020.

The new advice on mask use is underpinned by expert risk assessments. The recommendations are detailed in the COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control Response and Escalation Framework and poster.

I want to emphasise that mask use supplements, but is not a substitute for, other precautions such as hand hygiene and physical distancing. Full PPE guidelines are available on the CEC website, and remain an integral element of keeping staff safe.

The Clinical Excellence Commission and the Public Health Emergency Operations Centre (PHEOC) are continuously monitoring the evolving situation, and will update advice as new evidence emerges, and risk levels change.

Thank you for your commitment, dedication and passion to serving the people of NSW.

Elizabeth Koff
Secretary, NSW Health

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Current as at: Thursday 23 July 2020
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW