COVID-19 Policy – Click here for Updates.

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COVID-19 Policy

Policy Updated: 9th March 2022

Recently, Qld Health have released new information for all to consider and have provided updated guidelines:
1. https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status/queensland-restrictions-update/changes-to-requirements-for-close-and-casual-contacts
2. https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/permissions-and-restrictions-for-workers-in-health-care-settings-interim-guidance

The Queensland update states:
1. If you are diagnosed with COVID by a positive PCR test you must:
a. Isolate for at least 7 days from the day you had your PCR test
b. Notify your household, employer, or school that you have COVID-19
c. Can leave isolation after 7 days if no symptoms.
d. Avoid high-risk settings for at least 7 days following negative test or asymptomatic.
e. If symptomatic* at day 6, have another PCR test. If positive stay at home until symptoms gone or have a negative PCR test.
f. If still symptomatic* on Day 12 perform a PCR/RAT test and continue isolating


2. If close contact* and have symptoms* (refer below for definitions)

a. Isolate 7 days from the time you last had contact with the person who has COVID-19
b. Have a PCR test and stay at home until results known. If positive, follow steps in point 1 above. If negative continue to stay at home.
c. If negative on Day 6 of isolation, take a RAT or PCR test. If negative, can leave isolation after completing 7 days of isolation if no symptoms*.
d. Avoid high-risk settings for at least 7 days following negative test or end of symptoms.

3. If close contact* and have no COVID-19 symptoms*
a. Stay at home for 7 days since you last had contact with the person who has COVID-19
b. Take a RAT test as soon as possible. If positive, follow steps in point 1 above. If negative, continue to stay at home for 7 days monitoring symptoms and follow steps in point 2 if they develop.
c. On day 6 of isolation, take another RAT test. If positive follow steps in point 2 above, if negative and no symptoms can leave home after completing 7 days of isolation.
d. Avoid high-risk settings for at least 7 days following negative test or end of symptoms.

You are a close contact if:
• You live with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19
• You are a household-like contact, that is you have spent more than 4 hours with a diagnosed person in a house, care facility or similar.

From 7 February 2022, use of the Check In Qld app is no longer required, other than for businesses where vaccination is a condition of entry.
You must continue to use the Check In Qld app for entry to:
• hospitality venues including cafés, restaurants, pubs, clubs, RSL clubs, taverns, function centres, bars, wineries, distilleries and microbreweries, but not including food courts
• entertainment venues including nightclubs, indoor live music venues, karaoke bars, concerts, theatres, cinema, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, casinos and gaming venues, convention and entertainment centres, adult entertainment venues and brothels, theme parks, and tourism experiences, zoos aquariums and wildlife centres, and showgrounds
• stadiums (indoor and outdoor), for all major sporting matches and other events with capacity for 5000 or more visitors. The Check In Qld app is not required for sporting stadiums with a capacity of less than 5000
• festivals
• Government owned galleries, museums and libraries
• wedding ceremonies and receptions, when more than 20 people attend, including the wedding party and officials
• private hire of a venue, where more than 20 people attend, or there is more than 1 person per 4 square metres
• vulnerable settings (hospitals , residential aged care and disability accommodation services).

From 6pm Friday, March 4 whilst masks will no longer be required in shops, workplaces, schools, and hospitality venues. Use of Masks is still encouraged where you can’t socially distance. Mask will still need to be worn on public transport, in hospitals, disability care facilities, prisons, aged care, airports and planes. Surgical masks will still need to be worn at hospitals and clinics within the Buderim Hospital grounds by staff and patients until further notice. Bundaberg clinic to also continue to wear masks.

Information for Patients
• Not to attend the clinic if you have any COVID-19 symptoms* at all, irrespective of how mild they may be, instead attend pathology testing clinic for PCR and if positive isolate for at least 7 days. If asymptomatic on day 7 of isolation no further testing or isolation required. Patients can request an exit RAT from the fertility clinic on day 6. If symptomatic* on day 6 a further PCR/RAT is required.
• If patient has been deemed a close contact with symptoms* not to attend the clinic. If no symptoms can attend clinic and undergoing screening including a RAT.
• All patients requiring a RAT will be self-performing the test under supervision at the clinic.
• Procedures Intra Uterine Inseminations (IUI), Egg Collections and Surgical Sperm Collections. All patients attending the clinic for these procedures will be required to have a RAT test the day of the procedure. If RAT result is negative procedure will continue, if positive procedure will be cancelled.
•Patients having an FET will need to attend the clinic on the morning of the transfer before 9am so a RAT can be performed. If result is negative, scientist will then proceed with embryo thawing, if result positive, cycle will be cancelled. If patient having a FET cycle lives remote (ie more than 2 hours from a clinic), and it’s not practical for them to attend the clinic before thawing of an embryo, they will be required to produce evidence of a negative home RAT the day before or the day of the procedure before an embryo will be thawed. A further RAT will be self-performed at the clinic before the transfer, if a negative result transfer will proceed, if a positive result is returned cycle will be cancelled. Support Persons attending for an IUI/ET will be required to have a RAT test at the clinic.
• Hand sanitise as soon as entering the clinic using the automatic dispenser at reception. Patients must wait 10 minutes after hand sanitising before being taken to a procedure room
• Proof of vaccination will no longer be required.
• Upon entering clinic admin will take the patient’s temperature using a contactless infrared forehead thermometer. If the temperature is =/>37.5 Celsius patient asked to take a seat in waiting room for 10 minutes and temperature repeated. If still =/>37.5 Celsius patient taken to intralipid room where they will be asked to complete a questionnaire to assess COVID symptoms and a nurse will perform a RAT. If Positive patient to leave clinic and attend for a PCR. If Negative appointment can proceed.
• Patients with temperatures +/<37.5 Celsius will be shown to a consult room where admin will: ➢ Provide them with a questionnaire to assess COVID symptoms* ➢ Assess if you have had recent close contact* with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 (*refer to definition of close contact above) ➢ Notify nurses to perform RAT if appropriate (egg collections and surgical sperm collections) • To minimize the number of people in the clinic: ➢ Consultations to be via the phone or ZOOM/SKYPE where possible ➢ Appropriate spacing of appointment times ➢ No children are permitted to accompany patients for any appointments. In the situation a patient arrives with a child, the child must remain in a pram/stroller. ➢ All visitors (excluding patients), need to be double vaccinated and show proof of vaccination for entry into the clinic. Cycle Cancellation
If you commence a cycle and it is cancelled because you/your partner test positive for COVID, you will incur a cancellation fee. If you are concerned about your cycle being cancelled, discuss deferring treatment with your specialist before commencing treatment.

Covid-19 & Pregnancy Information
• COVID-19 Infection in Pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of severe disease, hospitalisation, admission to intensive care, mechanical ventilation, and death in pregnant women, along with an increased risk of miscarriage, prematurity, and stillbirth.
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• To further support our patients during this difficult time the clinic is offering a free counselling session to assist with decision making and associated implications.
• Deferring Treatment after Testing Positive for COVID-19 According to the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) the available evidence suggests patients who had SARS-CoV-2 infection diagnosed within 7 days before or up to 30 days after surgery are at significant risk of post-operative complications including increased morbidity and mortality. A minimum of eight weeks of being symptom free prior to undergoing all but minor elective surgical procedures is recommended.
• As fertility operative procedures are considered minor, the recommendation is for patients to defer treatment for a minimum 4 weeks of being symptom free post a COVID diagnosis.

Information for Staff
• Not to attend the clinic if symptomatic* but attend pathology testing clinic for PCR and if positive isolate for 7 days. If asymptomatic on day 7 of isolation no further testing or isolation required. Patients can request an exit RAT from the fertility clinic on day 6.
• Hand sanitise as soon as entering the clinic using the automatic dispenser at reception or go straight to the bathroom and wash hands (scientists and other staff if they prefer)
• Laboratory staff to wear a N95 or P2 4 ply mask or equivalent, when handling semen samples as a minimum
• Must wear eye protection during any face-to-face contact with patients or staff
• If close contact and symptomatic follow steps as outlined above
• If close contact and no symptoms follow steps as outline above
• Departmental Teams to be set up where possible
• Staff to work from home where possible ie consultants
• If desk hot spotting, to thoroughly clean the computer, phone and desk at the end of your shift with hospital grade disinfectant wipes ie v-wipes.
• Any staff member can request a RAT for peace of mind.

*COVID-19 Symptoms are flu like symptoms including a fever, a runny nose, a cough, sore throat, and/or respiratory symptoms. DO NOT attend the clinic if you have any of these symptoms no matter how mild.

Ending isolation
If you have COVID-19, most people can end isolation 7 full days after taking the test that gave the positive COVID-19 result. You must not have a fever, sore throat, runny nose, or a cough that is bad or getting worse, on day 7 of isolation. If you do have a fever, sore throat, runny nose, or a cough that is bad or getting worse on day 7 of your isolation, you will need to remain in isolation until those symptoms have gone away.

Some people still have a mild dry cough, mild fatigue or loss of taste of smell after being sick with COVID-19 – they do not need to stay in isolation if they still have these symptoms.

You do not need another COVID-19 test to end your isolation period.

Work Permissions and Restrictions Framework for Workers in Health Care Settings Summary
• The Australian Health Department Matrix (Table 1), suggests that if a confirmed case (whether patient or co-worker), is wearing a surgical mask, and the other person is wearing a surgical mask and eye protection and are vaccinated, that most clinical contacts would be either low risk, or low to moderate risk.
• Non transient, face to face contact would be low-moderate risk.
• If low risk exposure, keep working and only test if symptoms develop.
• Low-mod risk, keep working but get a test day 2 and 5 post exposure and stop work if symptoms develop or return a positive PCR/RAT test.

Therefore, patients and visitors correctly wearing surgical (not cloth) face masks, and health care workers wearing surgical mask and eye protection, would mean that even if a positive case comes through, we can continue working unless symptoms develop.