The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC), on the advice of the Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA), has revised the previous AHPPC statement on 30 March 2020 on managing vulnerable workers.
AHPPC is pleased to note the continued stable low number of cases of COVID-19 in most communities in Australia. This has permitted progressive relaxation of travel and other physical distancing restrictions.
As the current level of COVID-19 cases is low, people, even those at higher risk of becoming severely ill from COVID-19, can return to work and other settings with appropriate precautions in place.
Australians should monitor current public health advice and continue physical distancing, using hand and respiratory hygiene and stay home if acutely unwell.
Current risk of contracting COVID-19
The risk of becoming infected with SARS-CoV2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) depends on the chance of being close to someone with COVID-19 or coming into contact with surfaces contaminated by the virus.
Because of this the local pattern of disease is the most important determinant of risk of contracting COVID-19 illness in any community. If there are no cases or a low number of cases and no evidence of community transmission, then the risk of exposure is low regardless of age or health conditions.
Currently, in Australia there are low numbers of cases. This means the risk of being exposed to someone with COVID-19 is currently low in most communities.
Each person has a personal responsibility to protect themselves, to protect loved ones and the wider community. Even if cases remain low, people still need to:
- practise physical distancing
- practise good cough and hand hygiene
- consider downloading the COVIDSafe app
- get influenza vaccination
- stay at home and get tested for COVID-19 if unwell with even mild cold or flu-like symptoms