COVID-19 protection for health care workers not adequate

23 Jul 2020

Current guidelines for respiratory protection of Australian health care workers against COVID-19 are inadequate, according to a new article in the Medical Journal of Australia. 

The authors wrote that guidelines for the protection of health care workers in Australia state that a medical mask is indicated for routine care of COVID-19 patients, and a respirator only for aerosol-generating procedures.  

However, they say these guidelines are not aligned with the growing body of scientific evidence around transmission and prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The article outlines the evidence of airborne transmission, and the implications for the occupational health and safety of Australian health workers.  

The authors call for all health workers treating COVID-19 patients be provided airborne precautions, and the need for transparent national reporting of health worker infections. 

Read the article in the Medical Journal of Australia here 

Read the current issue of the Medical Journal of Australia here