To: CCF Victoria staff, members and stakeholders.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update – From the CEO Desk.
While any fatality as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is lamentable, it is pleasing to see the number of Positive Cases in Victoria trending downwards this week as the State Government is reviewing an “easing of restrictions” under stage 4.
Number of Covid-19 cases in Victoria
|There were 113 new cases detected in Victoria yesterday. Sadly, 12 more lives have been lost and our condolences go to their families. This is the same number of new positive cases reported in Victoria yesterday, which is down from 113 reported on Wednesday, 149 on Tuesday and 148 on Monday this week. There still have been no new reported cases in the building and construction industry since 17/8.|
Building & Construction Industry Working Group
CCF Victoria, together with other peak employer bodies and unions, this week made a joint submission on behalf of the Building & Construction Industry Working Group to the Premier and Crisis Council of Cabinet . The correspondence and strategy paper provides an update on the pro-active measures and initiatives our industry has actioned and planned, albeit under the limitations of current stage 4 restrictions.
It is now entirely appropriate to plan and develop strategies to return our industry to maximum production as soon as possible. However, we do not retreat for one moment from the primary responsibility to keep our people safe. We believe we can do both. The submission provides for a cautious health-based approach be required for returning to work with the strategy paper presenting joint pro-active measures for consideration by the Victorian Government.
The Premier in his media conference yesterday stated that a roadmap will soon be announced for a transition out of Stage 4 Restrictions, subject to a continuation of the downward trend in new infections. We are watching this space closely and also the response to our submission and strategy paper presented for a return to full capacity in our industry.
A copy of this joint submission and strategy to the Premier and Crisis Council, to return our industry to full capacity, can be viewed via the attached link.
Returning to work after a Positive Test or having been in Isolation as a Close Contact
As workers who have tested positive or close contacts who have been in isolation complete their quarantine, there are questions being raised as to whether other workers are at risk when they return.
The situation is that workers who have tested positive and been given a clearance to resume work by DHHS following their period of isolation, are no longer infectious and therefore are able to resume work on the nominated day. The situation for close contacts of a positive case who have been directed by DHHS to isolate for 14 days, are required return a negative result from an 11 day COVID-19 test before resuming work on day 15. The 14 day isolation period commences from the last day of contact with the confirmed positive case.
Close contact and Face Masks
Another question that frequently arises is whether the definition of close contact (greater than 15 minutes face to face, cumulative or sharing a closed space for more than 2 hours), is affected if the worker is wearing a face mask? …. The answer is NO, workers wearing face masks or other PPE are still considered to be close contacts if they meet the above definition.
Notification to DHHS – Positive Cases, Risk Assessments and Outcome Risk Assessment of the Worksite
Further to the advice in my last update, I have extracted and provided via the link below cover emails and relevant notification forms required by DHHS to be completed when you are notifying them of a positive case https://www.ccfvic.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/DHHS-Workplace-Risk-Assessment.docx, Risk Assessments (Appendix 1 – https://www.ccfvic.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Employer-COVID-Notification.docx), and the Outcome of the Risk Assessment (Appendix 2 – https://www.ccfvic.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Outcome-of-Risk-Assessment.docx).
Until my next update …. keep well – keep safe.
CEO, CCF Victoria