Information updates

COVID-19 and Face Masks

3 August 2020

From Monday 3 August 2020, if you live in Victoria you must wear a face covering whenever you leave your home, unless an excemption applies. A face covering needs to cover both your nose and mouth. It could be a face mask or shield. For details go to https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/face-coverings-covid-19 

On 10 July 2020 the Australian Government announced their updated advice regarding the wearing of face masks, in response to recent outbreaks of COVID-19 due to increased SARS-CoV-2 infections in Victoria.  

Wearing a face mask is now recommended by the Australian Government and Australian health experts in areas where there is community transmission of COVID-19, if physical distancing (staying at least 1.5 m away from others) is not possible. Situations where it may not be feasible to maintain physical distancing include shopping, workplaces and transport on buses, trains, trams, light rail, ferries, taxis, ubers or airline flights. 

Face masks are also recommended for people who are immunosuppressed and for people at increased risk of severe illness (if infected), due to their age or a chronic medical condition.

Wearing a face mask helps to protect against droplets when a person with COVID-19 coughs, speaks or sneezes, if you are less than 1.5 metres away. Wearing a mask will also help protect others if you are infected with the virus.

Fact sheets and FAQs 

On 16 July 2020 the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care released new resources to provide guidance to consumers on the use of face masks to protect against COVID-19. 

The new fact sheet and FAQs (frequently asked questions and asnswers) should assist people to decide whether to wear a mask in the community, and provide advice on how to use face masks safely.

Information on how to use face masks is also on the World Health Organisation (WHO) website:

www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/when-and-how-to-use-masks

It is important to note that the use a face mask is NOT a substitute for other actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Hand hygiene and avoidance of touching potentially contaminated surfaces.
  • Respiratory hygiene, including cough and sneeze etiquette.
  • Staying at home when unwell, even with mild respiratory symptoms.
  • Physical distancing (staying at least 1.5 m away from others) and following government restrictions.

To safely put on a disposable face mask:

  • Wash your hands before putting on the mask.
  • Make sure it covers your nose and mouth and fits snugly under your chin, over the bridge of your nose and against the sides of your face.
  • Do not touch the front of the mask while it is on, or when removing it (and if you do so accidentally, wash or clean your hands immediately).
  • Wash your hands after removing the mask.

The WHO has updated its information on transmission of SARS-CoV-2: implications for infection prevention precautions, which includes new scientific evidence:

https://www.who.int/news-room/commentaries/detail/transmission-of-sars-cov-2-implications-for-infection-prevention-precautions

SBS has translated information about COVID-19 available on its website:

https://www.sbs.com.au/language/coronavirus

Information about COVID-19 and Immunodeficiency:

https://www.allergy.org.au/patients/covid-19

Information about COVID-19 and Allergy:

https://www.allergy.org.au/about-ascia/info-updates/allergy-and-covid-19

More information about COVID-19: 

https://www.allergy.org.au/members/covid-19

 

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